the view from Dad’s kitchen

Sliced bread

On July 7, 1928, the first loaf of sliced bread was sold in a grocery store in Ohio. The sale and the event were the result of the invention of the bread slicing machine. At the time, it was hailed as the greatest thing since packaged bread.

This just reminds us that our food lives, like every other part of life, are driven by invention and creativity. From the invention (discovery?) of controlled fire, to sliced bread to oleo (some things don’t work out), we are caught up in and are the beneficiaries, or victims, of endless cyclical innovations.

Most new developments are mergers of other inventions. Butcher Box merges organically-grown, grass-fed meat-o-culture with internet marketing and dry ice. My recipes are more and more the result of mergings, experimentation, and a pinch of creation.

What are your favorites among the dishes you’ve invented?

Thanks to The Writer’s Almanac for the background on sliced bread.

Leftover impasta

Ham leftovers masquerade as prosciutto in this recipe. Easter rolls around and I think about ham. That was our family tradition when I was growing up. A ham dinner and an Easter Lamb Cake. But that’s another post. These days, ham means spiral-cut backed ham, with the sugar glaze, in the foil wrapper. Even though you can get it just about anywhere, I don’t think anyone does it as well as Honey-Baked®. Hope there’s one near you!

Continue reading

Heirloom recipes

Dad’s Recipe Box features heirloom recipes. One of our beginning ideas was to gather and publish family favorite dishes so the kids would have them written down if they wanted them. I debated whether to call these “heirloom” or “heritage” recipes, and I suppose either will do. But Merriam-Webster helped me decide. Here’s their definition:

heirloom: something of special value handed on from one generation to another

This is exactly what we intend by using the word. These recipes have special value becuase of the memories and feelings they evoke. Thanksgivings, Saturday mornings, Christmas, picnics and vacations. The older we get, the more we hold these times dear. If food and cooking can help us remember them, so much the better.

Bought in or sold out?

The Queen and I are really just bit players in the burgeoning network of  foodies and friends of home cooking. But we’re sincere! As we go deeper into sources and tools and thinking about the world’s food system, we take baby steps toward a greater appreciation of the people, companies and organizations that help us eat more intentionally, and we care more about those who help us do that.

This year is shaping up to be the Year of Tools. We’ve taken the plunge into the sea of grown-up small appliances for the kitchen. As the stand (or is it “standing”) mixer arrived this week, I realized that we’re now a Kitchen Aid family: blender, food processor and mixer. These choices were based almost entirely on ratings from users and some of Dads’ friends. Checked out Cook’s Illustrated, Amazon, and Observed carefully while learning how to bake from Martha. Kitchen Aid seems to be about everyone’s favorite. And then you go to their website and see all the solid Buckeyes who make the stuff somewhere in Ohio. Makes you proud the best is at least sometimes still American.

More baking adventures to come…

Pasta sauce

Hey, Dad really likes pasta with sauce…or without sauce, actually. I could eat it every day probably. But then…you get it.

When people ask me, “What do you like to cook?”, the first thing that comes to mind is pasta with sauce. Having Italian friends in high school who showed me that yes, there are other kinds of pasta besides spaghetti, and many hours studying my favorite Italian chefs on TV, plus 20 years or so of development, have made my pasta sauces fantastic in my own mind. And simple, with tons of flavor. Remember, it’s about flavor.

Continue reading

Dads Recipe Box is for fun…

…and better living through flavor!

We hear all the time about how much of the food we eat is bad for us…but the food that’s recommended instead is boring or bland! Well, the heck with that. Let’s enjoy getting healthy!

I’ve been cooking at home with a purpose for about 25 years. I’ve gotten better over time mainly because of the positive reinforcement that comes from cooking something that really tastes great. And it really helps when your significant others think it’s great, too.

So, at Dad’s Recipe Box, we’re all about flavor…and getting great flavor while saving time and money and getting healthy. Make sense to you? Then, welcome aboard!

See you in the Kitchen!, Dad

So what???

Ten months ago, I started eating healthier. Organic, natural, humane…yada, yada. I also started taking a daily multivitamin.

So what?! Has it made any difference whatsoever in my healthiness?

Don’t know for sure. But no colds, feel pretty darn good, generally. Lots of achey joints, but I’m an old guy and don’t get much exercise. (That’s another story.) But I do travel on airplanes quite a but and meet strange people…I mean strangers. So, if history is any judge, I should probably have had a cold or two this year so far, but so far, nothing.

How do I know for sure whether this healthy (expensive) food is doing me any good? Any ideas?


The Omnivore’s Dilemma

I’ve just finished reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan and its sequel, In Defense of FoodIt’s been a long time since I’ve read anything so inspiring and, in my opinion, a must-read for anyone who cares about food, cooking, nutrition, or contributing to a better world.

This will come through loud and clear on DRB starting with this post. I’ll talk about our attempts to try container gardening,  buy from farmers markets and other whole/clean/local food sources, and cook toward a safer and saner planet.

Looking forward to your feedback and your own experiences.


%d bloggers like this: