The RV Chronicles — Getting primitive at the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Dutch Oven Blackberry Cobbler)

Dutch Oven Blackberry Cobbler — A grown-up dessert

I own plenty of kitchen tools that could be considered modern or high-tech. It’s stuff that cuts cleanly, heats evenly and mixes perfectly. Even at the Jimmy Rockford, my temporary RV home, I occasionally employ a pre-programmed pressure cooker or an uber-modern sous vide wand. But lately, I’ve been going more primitive with my cooking […]

The RV Chronicles — A 2017 Valentine’s letter to my wife (Recipe: Chocolate Covered Strawberries)

Say 'I love you' with quick, easy and delicious Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

Dear Catherine, I wrote you a year ago to tell you how lucky I am to know you … to be your lover. Our jobs kept us apart then, but we are together now and I feel even luckier. We share the smallest of spaces. Ridiculously small. It’s tight. Nerve-wracking. Yet, I feel so comforted […]

Confession No. 140 — Waste not … and never want again (Recipe: Stove Top Rice Pudding)

Stove Top Rice Pudding —

Have you ever swigged from a glass of water only to realize that it’s lemon lime soda? No matter how much you might enjoy the latter, such a surprise makes for a bad experience. Such was the case with my first turnip. ‘Mmmm, a pot of greens,’ I said to my childhood friend as we […]

The RV Chronicles — Celebrating 22 at the ‘Jimmy Rockford’ (Recipe: Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/ Apple Cider Caramel)

Pumpkin Bread Pudding w/ Apple Cider Caramel — Gooey fall goodness

Dear Catherine — Who would’ve thought that you’d be celebrating our 22nd wedding anniversary grading papers? Or watching our baby girl’s very last high school marching band performance? I never would have guessed that all these together years would be celebrated over Dairy Queen soft serve. Neither could I have predicted that, on our 22nd […]

The RV Chronicles — Serving up some sunshine

Grapefruit Brûlée — Luscious. Sunshine.

It’s been more than four years since I first sang the praises in these pages of school cafeteria employees.  I was reminded earlier this week why I’m such a fan. Did you know that school food service workers are often the first and last line of defense in identifying and seeking help for malnourished and […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Cranberry Lime Sorbet

But the dry tart flavor makes it an outstanding warm weather last course. Lime adds a little zing and another summer flavor

I can’t remember where I tasted my first sorbet, but I remember it was sky blue in color and that I felt gypped. ‘Why are we getting ice cream before dinner — and why only one small scoop,’ I asked my parents? ‘That’s sorbet, Adam,’ my mom responded. ‘It’s not dessert. It’s a palate cleanser.’ […]

The Unorthodox Epicure: Classic Crème Brûlée

Classic Creme Brulee —

My wife doesn’t realize it, but she owes a debt of sweet gratitude to François Massialot, a 17th century French chef. It was Massialot who first published in a cookbook the recipe for her favorite dessert: crème brûlée. Massialot’s original version was cooked with a stick of cinnamon and candied fruit, and he also suggested […]

The Unorthodox Epicure — Golden Pumpkin Tassies

Golden Pumpkin Tassies - A new Thanksgiving tradition?

I grew up eating the bite-sized Pecan Tassies made famous by Southern Living magazine. Still do, in fact. But the tangy rich tart shells are also delicious with other fillings. If you can get your hands on a Cushaw Pumpkin, do it.  (I used Cushaw pulp for the recipe in the picture; hence the ‘golden’ […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Cushaw: The best pumpkin you’ve never heard of

Cushaw Butter Pasties — The best little pies that you've never heard of.

If we can have Christmas in July, why can’t we have Thanksgiving in August? Yep, we’re talking pumpkin today. And this pumpkin — the Cushaw — is usually harvested during the hot months, like its summer squash brethren. What is a Cushaw Pumpkin? This striped beauty goes by many common names, including Tennessee Sweet Potato […]

Confession No. 119 — Lame excuses are difficult to … excuse

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You know what I despise most about excuses? Their blatant overuse. I’d always prefer that someone just own his actions. But most people don’t like the idea of moving on without injecting the why into the equation. And that’s when it all tends to go downhill. There’s a local restaurant that I occasionally patronize. It’s […]