When it comes to premature death and disease, what we eat ranks as the single most important factor, according to a study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Yet few doctors say they feel properly trained to dispense dietary advice. One group, at least, is trying to fill that knowledge gap.

In a bustling kitchen at one of Chicago’s top cooking schools, a student cracks an egg into a wide, stainless steel bowl. But he’s not an aspiring chef. His name is Emmanuel Quaidoo, and he’s a first-year medical student. Quaidoo is working on a spinach and feta frittata, one of the healthy breakfast alternatives he has learned to make.

Quaidoo and about a dozen of his University of Chicago classmates are here on a stormy spring night taking a culinary nutrition class they won’t even get credit for.

A Dose Of Culinary Medicine Sends Med Students To The Kitchen

Photo credit: Monica Eng/WBEZ

Chef Omar Pereney of PESKA Seafood Culture made the HOUSTON Modern Luxury Restaurant Issue 2015 cover with his pretty “Fruit & Flower Salad” - seasonal berries, chia seed lime vinaigrette, spicy pecan meringue and lemon-olive oil sorbet.

Check out the full version of The Restaurant Issue 2015: http://digital.modernluxury.com/publication/?i=264055&ver=html5&p=1#{“page”:1,“issue_id”:264055}

Americans Have Had A Serious Addiction To Coffee Since Before Starbucks Was Even A Thought

The Union army was fueled by the stuff to the point that, if there was no time to boil water, Union men chewed whole beans as they marched. And at night, campsites were dotted with tiny fires, each boiling a pot of coffee like a million miniature Starbucks.  -Mental Floss

The lack of coffee didn’t stop some Confederate soldiers. Informal truces arose, and trades between the picket lines flourished. Because of the blockade, Union troops were unable to buy Southern tobacco, creating a common ground and an array of innovative ways for soldiers to acquire the unavailable.  

While in Fredericksburg, Virginia, one Confederate soldier slipped a note across picket lines that said “I send you some tobacco and expect some coffee in return. Send me some postage stamps and you will oblige yours Rebel.”[iv] 

Along the banks of the Rappahannock River, also in Fredericksburg, local folklore suggests that Confederate soldiers constructed small sailboats to send tobacco to Union forces on the other side of the river, requesting coffee to be sailed back when the wind changed. 

In another instance, James E. Hall, a soldier in the 31st Virginia Infantry, took part in a truce with Union soldiers on March 23, 1865, in which he exchanged newspapers with a Union soldier, and others in his company received coffee. Soon after, “the truce ended and both parties resumed the firing.”[v]



New Book: Mastering Basic Cheesemaking: The Fun and Fundamentals of Making Cheese at Home

Gianaclis Caldwell, author of multiple Cheese Notes favorites for cheesemakers and small dairies, including Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking, The Small Scale Cheese Business and The Small Scale Dairy — as well as cheesemaker/owner of the award-winning Pholia Farms in Rogue River, Oregon — has come out with a new book that is once-again jumping straight to the required-reading list. 

Unlike Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking — which is designed and written for professionals and cheesemakers eager to learn more advanced methods — her new book, Mastering Basic Cheesemaking: The Fun and Fundamentals of Making Cheese at Home (Kindle only, $5.99) is aimed at the beginning home cheesemaker, and provides recipes which are simplified and streamlined to make them better suited for cheesemakers who are more likely to be making their cheeses 1 gallon of milk at a time, rather than 100. 

This shouldn’t scare away cheese makers who might be looking for in-depth learning, however. Part 1: The Fundamentals, provides a solid foundation in the history, science and technical requirements of cheesemaking, with Part 2: The Fun of Making Cheese providing the recipes, broken down by styles and building from the simplest to the most complex, such as “Fresh and Versatile Cheeses” (such as Chevres, Fromage Blancs, Cream Cheeses and more) or “Rennet-Coagulated Aged Cheeses” (including Gouda, Traditional Cheddar and others).  The styles are first described in terms of the core processes and steps which define them (lactic coagulation vs rennet coagulation, for example), and then followed up by the specific recipes. In this way you learn first the common fundamentals, and then dive into the unique quirks and variations in each style.

This book also provides guidance on building your home cheese aging setup (such as with a modified wine refrigerator), and building a cheese press, if you don’t want to shell out the cash to purchase one (a home press is really quite simple to build if you have some basic DIY skills).  

Caldwell has once again done a great job of distilling dense technical information down to the fundamentals, stripping out the extraneous steps and providing home cheesemakers with an excellent primer to get them from cheese newbie to home affineur in no time, and does so with clear, engaging writing and a passion for the subject. 

Mastering Basic Cheesemaking is currently only available for Kindle, but there will be a print edition coming out later this year. I have to admit, at first I was a bit skeptical of how well a book like this would work on a smaller device like an iPhone (where many people do their ebook reading these days), but it’s actually pretty nice to be able to prop your phone on your stove or above your kitchen counter and follow along with the steps, swipe by swipe (just don’t drop it in the whey!). And for just $5.99, you’ll be hard pressed to find this much information at such a great price anywhere else. Via Amazon

Mastering Basic Cheesemaking: The Fun and Fundamentals of Making Cheese at Home (Kindle Edition)

Step into the cheese kitchen of a master cheesemaker and award winning author (Mastering Artisan Cheesemaking) for one-on-one lessons that will take you from complete novice to accomplished home cheesemaker - one cheese at a time. Each lesson builds your skills and knowledge by introducing a new cheesemaking practice, tools, and experience. Each chapter is devoted to a group of cheeses that are closely related, yet add complexity in a fashion that allows the reader to truly develop a deep understanding and appreciation of cheese and cheesemaking. 

If you want to really grasp the cheesemaking process, not simply recreate a variety of recipes or lightly delve into the topic, then this is the book for you! 

Get your Kindle copy here

anonymous asked:

Do you like being a line cook?

Some days I do, some days I don’t. But honestly, who loves their job all or even most of the time? 

My work stories are funnier and crazier than anyone else I know. Only as a cook can I greet a coworker by humping them, or tell someone I had their mom for dinner last night and not get smacked. In no other industry have I kept on working while a cooler was on a fire 10 feet away (friday night rush, one guy put it out and the rest of us kept going.) But, there’s also no other industry that expects so much, or pushes you so hard. You’ll cut and burn yourself every week, and you’ll be sore all the time. You won’t have a life on the weekends because you’ll always be at work. Your weekend drinking will be a shift drink with your coworkers at 3 am on Friday and Saturday. You’ll close at 2 am and open the next morning at 7. You’ll get really good at running on 5 hours of sleep with a hangover and probably no food. You’ll make amazing food for anyone every day of the week but you’ll feed yourself drive through more often than you want. 

So make of that what you will. For some people that’s ideal, it’s a new adventure every day. For some people, that’s awful. At one point of my life I loved it, but honestly, I’m getting too worn down. I need a stable schedule and I’m finding that’s harder and harder to get working in kitchens, plus I’ve got some health issues to settle. But I’ll always love it. 

Civil War Hardtack Crackers

Two pieces of Civil War-era hardtack—a simple type of biscuit made of flour and water—exhibit a remarkable long-lasting quality, one of the reasons that foodstuff became a dietary staple for the Union army. 

The cracker on the right, however, reveals one of the drawbacks of hardtack—if you look closely you can see that a bug has embedded itself in the upper right hand hole. Hardtack had a propensity for harboring insects; for this reason soldiers referred to the crackers as “worm castles.” Though jokes were made about the extra protein that the insects provided, soldiers often dunked the crackers in hot coffee to drive out the bugs. Hot liquid would also soften the often stale hardtack making it easier to eat. A steady diet of these crackers could lead to digestive problems among the troops—though soldiers believed that eating hardtack charred by fire would be an effective antidote for diarrhea.

The Confederacy did not manufacture hardtack

Confederate soldiers often ate whatever pieces they found on captured or dead soldiers. These particular crackers had been issued to prisoners-of-war J. G. and Thomas G. Penn of the 10th Virginia Cavalry upon their release from prison at Point Lookout, Maryland. The pair had been incarcerated after being captured by Sheridan’s cavalry near Five Forks in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, on April 3, 1865.

Some recipes omit shortening

2 cups of flour
½ to ¾ cup water
1 tablespoon of Crisco or vegetable fat
6 pinches of salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Mix the ingredients together into a stiff dough, knead several times, and spread the dough out flat to a thickness of ¼ inch on a non-greased cookie sheet.

Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut dough into 3-inch cracker squares. With the flat end of a bamboo skewer, punch four rows of holes, four holes per row, into each cracker.

Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, turn crackers over on the sheet and return to the oven and bake another 30 minutes. Cool completely.

Civil War Era Oatmeal Pie

During the Civil War, since pecans were in short supply in the South, oatmeal was substituted for the traditional pecan pie 

The history of oatmeal pie is difficult to verify.  Its thought that this pie originated during or around the Civil War, in Charleston, South Carolina. That would mean it is an idea that has been around since the 1860′s or close to that time. 



  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Beat eggs until frothy.
  3. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Add eggs; mix well.
  5. Add corn syrup, melted butter, and vanilla.
  6. Mix oatmeal.
  7. Pour into uncooked shell.
  8. Bake for 45 minutes.