Archive for the 'cooking' Category


Missed you. How’s it going?

What I like about blogs is you can let ’em be and come back and BAM! They’re still there.

Slow Food Harrisburg dinner was very cool, and Sara writes about it Thursday in the P-N Go section. Will link when it’s up. Best part for us was the three cheesemakers getting up and talking about their farms. The Amish guy told a joke — who knew there were Amish jokes?

If one sheep jumps the fence, how many sheep are left?


Whoa. That’s sheep for you. We had sheep and cow and goat cheese, a great dinner prepared and presented by the culinary students at HACC, good wine and some hearty propaganda from the Pennsylvania Farmstead and Artisan Cheese Alliance.

The next day, Dee and I set out for the new farm market in downtown Carlisle. It’s called the Carlisle Central Farmers Market, smack in the middle of Pennsylvania’s best soil.

This is a small space, though it might be bigger in the summer. It took us 15 seconds to find Keswick Creamery and Otterbein Acres, two of the three cheesemakers from the previous night, tucked into a small space with Painted Hand Farm. We bought cheese — crucial, because we always seem to run out midweek — and some ground goat.

I have loved goats since we went to dinner at the Browns’ farm in upper Dauphin county about 20 years ago. The goats leaned against the barn and watched us. They were just animals who liked to lean up against something. They made me happy. Now I get my goat fix from the farm near us at the bottom of Pleasant Drive, where about 60 goats roam the pasture in season.

Loving, honoring and eating animals are tough and constant choices in the omnivore world, so i t Thought I’d try goat chili. I put the goat into my standard chile recipe and … it really liked the seasoning. In a good way, it sorta multiplied the chipotle.

Try some goat. It will put hair on your chest. If, you know, you want some. But cut back a little on the seasoning.


The Bloggies

Recipe explorer Heidi Swanson, who won last year’s Best Food Blog – Recipes, has taken this year’s overall Food Blog award.

She started 101 Cookbooks in early 2003 when she looked at her huge cookbook collection one afternoon and realized she was cooking the same recipes over and over.

She decided to stop buying cookbooks and explore the ones she had. It didn’t quite work out that way, but one good result was a happy, charming, literate blog.

See all the 2007 Food Blog Awards here.


Happy Giving of Thanks

This week, my mother-in-in-law is in town – but the amazing Velma got off the plane at noon in a wheelchair and we had to camp in the Emergency Room at Hbg Hospital all evening, following by a 4 a.m. surgery.

She’s okay, and I want to tell you about the two terrific Thanksgiving dinners she almost had.

But first, I’m reanimating a Thanksgiving column I wrote about her a few years ago.


Unlike the holidays of spring and summer, which require charcoal lugging or propane lighting – and sometimes keg tapping and cherry-bomb throwing – Thanksgiving is leisurely.

It asks for only the energy to fall away from the dinner table …

Continue reading ‘Happy Giving of Thanks’



There are a couple things I do to keep trying new stuff — talking to foodies and welcoming the Leite’s Culinaria test recipes — but mostly it’s just reading other people’s food blogs.

Today I happened on a Polenta Worship post on Amateur Gourmet that pretty much decided my Saturday: polenta lasagna by Alice Waters.

So I’m stealing AG’s photo here …

Continue reading ‘Polenta’


The happy of food

We have sort of started getting ready for Thanksgiving, which surpasses even my birthday as the absolute best holiday of the year. Megan and Nate bring the grandkids, my ex-wife comes over and this year Dee’s mom is coming from Indiana. I usually work Thanksgiving. Megan, Nate et al have Turkey Day with the Ryans on Thursday … so our festive meal is at our house on Saturday.

Not that you care about all that — but this post on Jew and The Carrot about the importance of food to happiness really got me.

It’s about vegetarianism and the Talmud, specifically this quote: “There is no simcha without meat and wine.”

Simcha is …

Continue reading ‘The happy of food’


Slow food

If you read Sue’s story on eating local, you might be wondering: How do I join the Slow Food movement?

It’s easy!

Go to and read the page, then click to join. Where it asks for Convivia (yes, a bit precious), put Harrisburg. The Harrisburg chapter isn’t quite together yet, but Curtis Vreeland of Shipoke is assembling a crack team of organizers and it’s all coming together very s-l-o-w-l-y. Appropriate, huh?

Anyway, I queried Slow Food and even though Hbg isn’t listed, it’s okay.

The first dinner will be …

Continue reading ‘Slow food’



For a Hospitality Intro class, I wrote a piece on the kitchen culture’s bad boy:

An Appreciation of Anthony Bourdain

Early in the 21st century, Anthony Bourdain became the Quentin Tarantino of the kitchen. Tarantino’s breakthrough film, “Pulp Fiction,” had looked way too closely at the mobbed-up lowlifes behind the romantic “Godfather” movies.

And in “Kitchen Confidential” six years later, Bourdain stepped away from the calm, quiet cooking of Julia Child and Craig Claiborne to show the horrors going on in mid-level Manhattan restaurants.

His kitchens were all rock-n’roll, and sex, and drugs. The most potent of drugs was testosterone.

These are his culinary beginnings:
“Waiters were screaming. Chefs were shouting in impenetrable codes, while flames were shooting three feet high out of pans. The grill was crammed with a slowly moving train of orders. Pasta was being transferred to steaming colanders, some falling on the floor.

Continue reading ‘Bourdain’


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In culinary school and getting ready to trade the writing life for the cooking life. Or not. Might do both. At the moment I'm a feature writer for The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa. My name is Pat Carroll.