This is the eighteenth installment of "Eat This List" - a regularly recurring list of things chefs, farmers, writers and other food experts think you ought to know about.
You should cook. Yes, you. Even if you don't want to.
This isn't like saying that you should learn Ovid in the original Latin for the enrichment of your soul, or requiring that you hunker and hone your julienne and demi-glace skills until you emerge victorious in a battle overseen by Alton Brown or Anthony Bourdain. This is about getting yourself fed and taking a modicum of responsibility for it.
You eat, right? Maybe even more than once a day? (Or even if you ingest some combination of nutrients solely through methods that don't require chewing, smoothies have to taste like something, don't they?) And I'm going to go ahead and assume that you'd like to continue living in your body for the next while. Assembling foodstuffs for intake without the intermediary of a drive-thru speaker, menu, or segmented tray and microwave is the ideal way to facilitate that.
Yet people object, throw their hands in the air and simply refuse. Here's why they're wrong.
For most veterans of the Korean War, "SOS" has nothing to do with saving a ship.
I've heard the stories from my grandparents about eating "S*** On a Shingle" during their military service. I don't recall whether my Grandma Mouton, an Air Force veteran, ever made it for me as a kid. If she did, I've blocked it out with fond memories of snickerdoodles, fried egg sandwiches, and late-night french toast.
I don't think my Grandpa Mouton can do the same. As a Korean War Army vet, SOS probably haunts him in his dreams.
Fall holds two certainties in the realm of food - pumpkin-flavored everything and chili. One spoonful of the spicy stew can warm the body from the inside out.
Perhaps it’s the recollections of your grandmother’s dish on a crisp fall day. Or maybe it’s enjoying a heaping bowl while tailgating before a football game. Whatever the reason, chili is a must-have cold-weather dish, enjoyed equally at a cook-out or dinner party - and especially as leftovers.
“The one great thing about chili is the recipes are really kind of guidelines,” said Stephanie Anderson Witmer, author of Killer Chili: Savory Recipes from North America’s Favorite Restaurants. “People can change it depending on their tastes.”
Though many families have hand-me-down recipes, Anderson said there are a few things to remember when concocting your stew. Namely, chili can be as unique as the chef stirring the pot.
As September wanes, I start my annual autumn affair with my ice cream maker. When cooler weather sets in, we get cozy and churn, baby, churn.
Honestly, I never quite appreciated the irony of heavy cream-based desserts abounding during bikini season. The ice cream truck jingle ends up turning into jiggle and while that's okay if you're a bowl of Jell-O, the beach isn't quite so forgiving. So, I flip fall the proverbial bird by making ice cream during sweater weather.
But since the weather is experiencing a tad of an identity crisis at the moment with record-breaking heat in various parts of the country, this weekend is the ideal time to whip up a cool taste of fall's fruitage.
A whole harvest of divine flavors come with autumn - apple cider, maple, cranberry, candied pecans - that you can, nay, should infuse into your frozen treats. Plus, the time is ripe to top a bowl of otherwise ordinary vanilla ice cream with end-of-season blueberries, peaches, plums, blackberries and a drizzle of honey.
It's the summer bounty's encore before the final curtain.