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A couple weeks ago, I worked my last day at the restaurant. It was a very bittersweet decision for me, especially as I had grown close to most of my coworkers.

Since moving to Oregon, strawberry season has become one of the seasonal events that my culinary year revolves around. I think maybe this is the case for most people? It was even for Marion Rombauer Becker, who was allergic to them but ate them anyway.

When I started working for the Joy family, I had no idea that people in food circles don't talk about the Joy of Cooking much anymore. Not that they don't respect the book, but the general consensus seems to be that JOY is traditional, and most people nowadays want something modern with pictures.

In the South, pokeweed is a springtime delicacy. I’ve never really fooled with it, mostly because I figure anything that needs to be boiled in a few changes of water isn’t meant to be eaten. But I know some old-timers who talk about eating the first tender poke leaves and how it was a sort of spring cleansing food.

This is a repost from a few years ago, but Spring is in the air and rabes once again dominate our farmer's market. Time for a refresher... and some good pasta!

Our farmer’s market has been well-stocked with a spring treat we have never encountered before: flowering tops from over-wintering brassicas.


I often wonder what extraordinary hungers brought humans to eat certain questionable foods. The artichoke and the oyster belong in that category, without question, although both are considered delicacies these days.

Over the winter, leeks and cabbage are staple vegetables for us. At least in the Pacific Northwest, they seem to be available even during the bleakest part of winter, making them standards for cold weather cooking in our house.

When friends express concern over cooking dinner for us, thinking that our diet must be terribly exotic and exciting, I usually make a joke about how we actually just eat a lot of beans and rice. While that may be a slight exaggeration, we do, in fact, cook up a pot of beans almost every week.

We were recently asked to cook a fundraiser dinner for 18 people. While that’s straightforward enough (no one’s calling it “easy,” but straightforward, yes), there were quite a few food allergies in the group, plus one vegan guest.