Why Sous Vide is Not for Me

Several months ago, we began an exploration into the world of sous vide, a cooking technique that involves cooking foods at a low temperature in a vacuum-sealed bag. Our first dinner cooked this way was chronicled in This meal brought to you by sous vide. I’d promised to write more about our sous vide meals, but we quickly figured that this method of cooking wasn’t for us. For some explanation as to why, please welcome the first post written by Jan.

When I started this trip into one form of molecular gastronomy, I was quite exited even though I had my reservations. I did lots of research and did not find much information, which I found rather strange. Continue reading

Reflections From the Plate

It’s been a little over four months since I started writing Our Life in Meals, and it’s begun to take on a life of its own. Initially I thought I would write about the dishes my husband Jan cooked while I sipped wine and took notes. But I wasn’t sitting on the sidelines long before I felt a strong desire to participate. Now I’m doing brazen things like picking and choosing which recipe steps to ignore and demanding more than a two foot wide space of kitchen countertop. Gutsy, I know. Continue reading

I wanted to share a link to this story I heard this morning on NPR about a man who’s created the National Mustard Museum (The National Mustard Museum: Passion for a Condiment) in Wisconsin that had me laughing in the car. He’s so passionate about mustard his mustard-jar collecting hobby quickly turned into an obsession.

While it’s taken me a few years to embrace mustard, (I never ate it as a kid and was a strictly mayo kind of girl), thanks to Jan’s influence, I’ve come to appreciate the value of this condiment. I also wanted to share my new favorite: Gulden’s Spicy Brown Mustard, which I’ve been using in just about everything from potato salad to deviled eggs.

I’ve come a long way, and while the five different types of mustard in my refrigerator right now can’t come close to the collection at the mustard museum, at least I can now appreciate the mustard-loving sentiment.

Mustard Madness

An Abundance of Condiments

I don’t know if other people are like this, but I love to look in other people’s refrigerators. Maybe it came from a job I had for a few years selling closet organizers in which I walked straight into someone’s house and into their closet, skipping all formalities and getting right to the heart of things. After all, you can learn a lot about a person from their closet, and I’m sure, also their refrigerator.

But you can’t just go to someone’s house and open their refrigerator on your own, right? The polite thing to do is wait for the “help yourself,” or, “it’s in the fridge” comment, after which, it’s ok to take a peek as you’re getting out what you went in there for. But don’t linger too long, or you’ll be revealed as a snooper. (On a side note: I found a site called FridgeWatcher that has pictures of the outside and inside of people’s refrigerators across the world. Fascinating!)

Of course, there are certain friends and family members where you’ve already skipped past that stage. Where it’s ok to be hanging out in the kitchen and, with a pause in the conversation, randomly open the fridge to check out what’s there. Continue reading