Because I Can: Homemade Ketchup

Homemade Ketchup Recipe
Best Food Writing 2014

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The journey that culminated in my realization of the wonder that is homemade ketchup was long and circuitous, and, as sometimes happens, littered with the body of a friend.

One autumn night in 2000, our friend Geoffrey slunk back in through our kitchen door, a waft of cigarette smoke trailing behind him, as he hoped to avoid his wife, Sarah, who was helping The One clear the dishes from the dining table so we could play cards. Geoffrey leaned against the counter while I washed dishes.

“The lasagna was great,” he said.

“Thanks.”

It wasn’t, actually. It was an anemic imposter, devoid of the beef, veal, pork, and cheese that define the true Italian diva.  Instead, it contained zucchini, peppers, and broccoli rabe layered between spinach noodles. Geoffrey was in his green-food phase. Read more »

Homemade Butter

Homemade Butter Recipe

As is abundantly obvious to anyone with the slightest acquaintance with my medical records, I’ve never met a butter I didn’t like. Salted or unsalted; cow, goat, or sheep; French, English, Italian, American; compound or, er, singular.

However, the idea that I could make my own butter, that I could play Dr. Frankenstein to a bunch of butterfat globules, was completely lost on me during my formative years. It wasn’t until one lazy afternoon in Pittsburgh, during my sophomore year at Carnegie Mellon University, that I became aware of the possibility that is homemade butter.
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The Door Creaked Open

Man In Black

[Editor’s Note: If you’ve not yet read the first part of David’s vacation in Maine, you’ll want to do so before proceeding to this creepy continuation.]

The door creaked open a bit.

The intruder inside our vacation rental house turned his head to get a better look at us, just enough so all we could see through the crack was one of his eyes. In the moonless sky it looked black and beady.

“Who are you?” The One hooted threateningly. Great, I thought. We’re in the middle of the woods in Stephen King territory, and the usually reasonable love of my life decides to do a bit of chest pounding.

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