Food Snob Chronicles — The skinny on gum arabic

You’ve likely sat on it, brushed your teeth with it or put a touch of it behind each ear. You might have eaten it or used it as a tincture. And you’ve undoubtedly swallowed it. The byproducts of Acacia. It’s one of the largest genus of trees and shrubs known to botanists — more than […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Is it sauce? Or gravy? (Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato Gravy)

A rose, by any other name … might just be a Hibiscus. Or a Portulaca grandiflora! Such alternate names for vittles can be just as confusing. Is it macaroni? Or pasta? The answer all depends on whether you’re watching The Sopranos or The Brady Bunch. Macaroni is technically … pasta made from durum wheat. Pasta […]

Food Snob Chronicles – Are we eating in? Or eating out? (Recipe: Maid-Rite Sandwiches)

Menus change. Right along with the times. The typical U.S. dinner menu in the 1950s looked like something you’d get in a school cafeteria — potato ‘frosted’ meatloaf, tuna surprise and canned lima beans. In the 1970s, when we weren’t drinking down fondue, we were eating a lot more TV dinners — salisbury steak or […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Have canned spinach, will travel for Lo Mein (Recipe: Spinach Meatballs Parmigiana)

For food, I have used coupons and discount cards, floated many a check, and even paid 19 percent credit card interest for a pizza. But, trading for vittles? Never. I’m not referring to my tomatoes for your squash. Or, your freshly baked bread for keeping you stocked in fresh salsa. Those are the conventional trades […]

Confession No. 96 – And they think I’m going to the dogs?

Every neighborhood, apartment building or trailer park has one. Neither economics nor affluency play a role with this person. But, almost always it’s a she. And there are two traits that she shares with her counterparts in other locales: a dire need for some serious couch time with a shrink. And her nickname. The ‘crazy’ […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Getting to know your meat

How well do you know your meat? Seriously. Are you swayed by labels that say ‘fresh’ or ‘natural?’ And that burger you’re eating … is it really made from ground chuck? Before I scare you away, this installment is only intended to serve as a quick education for your next meat-buying outing and includes nothing […]

Confession No. 91 — Women are know-it-alls. Really. (Recipe: Chicken Fried Steak w/ Sawmill Gravy

Only two people in my life have ever bought my underwear – my mom and (then) my wife. It’s not that I can’t do for myself. I just don’t know my size or where to find men’s skivvies in my local department store. But that’s not the only knowledge I’m not privy to. My wife, […]

Confession No. 88 – Oh, how I long for the whistle … and the days of the elusive garbage bag

I have nothing against technology. I drive a car that generates its own electric power to use on start-up. I own about 70,000 songs that are stored on a business card-sized device; I listen to them through headphones that have better frequency response than what I hear in real life. I’ve made financial transactions in […]

Confession No. 85 – So, you think you’re an expert? (Recipe: Churrasco Mixed Grill)

I‘ve taken a swing at a backdoor slider; windsurfed on the Barnegat Bay; tried my hand at glass blowing; attempted to play guitar (and sing like Dave Grohl); and — most recently — fly a B-52 Stratofortress. Fine. I was the co-pilot in the B-52 simulator at Barksdale Air Force Base. Still, after an hour […]

Confession No. 84 — Unhappy at work? You decide. (Recipe: Guinness Beef Stew & Cauliflower Colcannon w/ Garlic Scapes)

I‘ve been unhappy in a few jobs. I worked in the dish room at the local Red Lobster. My hands, by the end of each shift, looked like prunes. My skin smelled like fish and cocktail sauce for days at a time … I also had a stint in construction as a go-fer. The money […]