Honey, of course, he loved…

Honey, of course, he loved especially, slathered on bread and butter or crunched in the comb until the sticky goo ran down his chin. Nineteenth-century English poet Percy Shelley loved sweets, but boycotted sugar as many of his countrymen did because of its connection to slavery. An interesting look at some of the history of sugar from The Economist.

From the reader mail bag:…

From the reader mail bag:

I was wondering if you have any experience trying to make a good General Tso's sauce for either chicken or tofu. I have done some searching of my own but feel that the recipes seem a little boring. Granted, it is a very generic (though popular) food item on a Chinese menu, but I was just hoping you might have come across a recipe or tried one yourself which made the food a little more exciting. I tend to prefer the sauce a little less sweet as well, but that's just me. Any feedback, advice, or creative thinking would be appreciated if you have the time.

I don't. Does anyone else? I don't do much Chinese cooking at home.

Today's better-late-than-never gift suggestion is…

Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your HomeToday's better-late-than-never gift suggestion is a book you should be able to pick up at your local bookshop: Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook: The Essential Guide to Caring for Everything in Your Home. Surely you're looking for something for that person who's not sure how to organize his or her kitchen? Martha's "Golden Rules for Kitchen Organization" will solve that, and many other problems your recipient probably didn't even know s/he had. For obsessive homekeeping advice, Martha Stewart is your gal. $27 at Amazon.com, prices may vary at your local bookstore.

Grant Achatz has made the…

Grant Achatz has made the use of pure scents – complementing the taste of food with items used for their smells alone – a hallmark of his inventive cuisine. "This year, for instance, rosemary branches began appearing on Alinea’s tables as centerpieces, only to become aromatics when, midway through the meal, they were placed into holes in the restaurant’s specially designed terra-cotta serving pieces, which were heated to 400 degrees." When I ate there last spring, I was served black cod on a pillow that released the scent of orange as it deflated. It was spectacular.

Photos by Matt Armendariz…

Photos by Matt Armendariz
Photos by Matt Armendariz

Matt Armendariz explains how he creates beautiful food photos like those seen above. Of course he's got great gear, but he says natural light is best. This is my downfall: lighting. I never have enough good natural light when I need to shoot food — usually because it's dinner time and I'm just about to eat it! His good tips will certainly help me.

It's the last day…

Weiner Dog Screen Printed Shirt
It's the last day for gift ideas from handycraft site Etsy and today's selection is this awesome Weiner Dog Screen Printed Shirt! Alas, there's only one in stock, but it looks like they'll have more so maybe this is one of those "gifts" you just order for yourself. Who wouldn't want a t-shirt with this worried little weiner on it? I know I'd love one. $19.00 from Etsy. And next week, gifts procrastinators can (hopefully) pick up locally.

Can an upstart fry pan…

Can an upstart fry pan that costs a quarter of the price of All-Clad come from the kitchen-supply shop and reach the top? Over at Serious Eats, I pit two frying pans against each other to determine whether expensive pans are necessarily better. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments, so please feel free to share at the end of my article.