Bordeaux. Napa. Toledo?

Getting beyond our depth is what we do at AHC because  no matter how hard I work my opinions will always outnumber the subjects I’m qualified to speak to. So proceed at your own risk because today we venture into the minefield of viniculture.

I’m the cook here at the Stone Cottage. That means I am also the sommelier. My training amounts to having drunken lots of wine over the past three decades and remembering what I like. In other words, I’m a trained professional.

Wednesday past, a work at home day, Mrs. AHC suggested stir fry for dinner. Foodies and chefs will tell you there are three great cuisines and you should master one. Self-trained fry cook that I  am, most of what I do is based on bistro cooking.

But to say I know anything about cooking Chinese is an insult to the one billion plus Chinese on the planet. What I know how to do is raid the Continue reading


Attention Fairway Shoppers (and Olive Oil Lovers)

Food is a matter of great interest in the AHC household and evidently quite a few others.  So today we’ll do something a little different and try to let you all in on a great olive oil bargain.

First, though, some background. Before  the era of ‘it’s all good’ (which is also the era of it’s all the same) there was such a thing as variation. In New York that extended to neighborhoods. I  never lived above 24th Continue reading

Julie, Julie, Julie

My Life in France
Julia Child

A book about or by a cook is not a cookbook, even if it includes the occasional recipe.

I think the logic of that statement is irrefutable. At least enough so that I once again sneaked past the cookbook waivers imposed by my wife.  I honestly would not have sought this particular volume out if it hadn’t fallen off the remainder rack at a deep discount because I’m sort of viscerally opposed to movie tie-in editions. As you can see, this printing gives you both Meryl Streep and Amy Adams with the added bonus of Nora Ephron‘s name. It’s enough to make me cringe.

True confession: I saw the  movie, chick flick that it is.  My ostensible reason was to see an old Continue reading

Food Again

My friend Vivian, a very accomplished and talented cook, once agreed with the statement that more than loving to cook she loved to eat. Since I’m the guy who made the observation I obviously concur. But if you read my post about James McWilliams and the, for lack of a better term, politics of food you know I have serious reservations about the whole foodie thing.

Now comes a funny little piece in the May issue of The Atlantic in  which Megan McArdle looks at what’s going on with high-end kitchenware. Let me be fair, this is first person reportage not scholarship. Among the reported facts are Continue reading

Food and Philosophy

Spending a week or more away from home, which I have to do twice a year, does not delight me. It does, though, give me lots of time to observe human behavior and that’s always worth the time invested. Participant observer activities, with a hint of ethnomethodological meddling, have filled more than a few of my days. This trip, though, I found myself thinking more about food and the ways in which it serves purposes far Continue reading