Just a few weeks ago I ventured out into unknown (to me) cooking waters and sailed through making dinner with a slow cooker. My results weren't half-bad for a first-timer, and that experience showed me why some folks love their slow cooker and can't get through a week without setting it and letting it simmer-away while they're at work.
I launched my slow cooker adventure without a cookbook as a compass for guidance. To make future slow cooking forays easier I wanted a reliable cookbook that could make my slow-cooking learning path less bumpy. Turned out, Cook's Illustrated's American Test Kitchen has published two slow cooker cookbooks in the past three years.
Recently, I’ve learned something.
I’ve realized why my mom is so eager to have Petey and me visit, and why she doesn’t like it when we show up late, or leave early.
Q. I have had restless leg syndrome for as long as I can remember. I've been on a lot of different medications that did not work.
Normally my spouse and I enjoy each other’s company, and lead a relatively strife-free existence. But right now, I’m a little bit ticked off at Petey.
Q. Yesterday, my next-door neighbor (a nurse in our local monster-size hospital) vented aggressively about doctors she witnesses moving from patient to patient without washing their hands or wearing gloves. According to her, MRSA and C. diff infections are rampant at this hospital.
When my first column appeared almost 20 years ago I looked a lot younger and was confident that the low-fat way I’d lost more than 100 pounds was the healthiest way to lose weight. Here it is 20 years later and I now know that fats were not the unhealthy culprit I thought they were.
It’s well known that I’m no fan of the energy draining heat and humidity of our North Carolina summer. I watch for the subtlest of changes to leaf colors the way a middle school boy looks for whiskers on his upper lip.
Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck are giants by any standard and a first impulse may be to sniff at small paintings by them and their contemporaries, but the images in the “Small Treasures” exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Art only prove what a rich place northern Europe was for artists in the 17th century. Yes, they are small and the huge gallery walls seem painfully empty, but as the North Carolina Museum of Art’s curator of Northern European art, Dennis Weller, writes in his first catalog essay, “The closer you are the more you see” and that close look offers one delightful surprise after another, proving why their giant status has only grown over the centuries.
Even though it was a dog biscuit, anything that smells that good baking has got to taste amazing, right?
Well, we’ll see.
Y’know, I should probably back up a bit here.
Q. I have two daughters, ages 6 and 11. My oldest daughter brought home head lice, and it was a nightmare. Over-the-counter lice shampoos did nothing.
Outside the Joan Miró (1893-1983) exhibition is one of the artist’s sculptures, “La Caresse D’un Oiseau” (“Caress of a Bird”), 1967, on loan from the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas. The wall text tells us the green body is made from an ironing board, the head from a straw hat, the stomach from a tortoise shell and, in the back, two bocce balls sit where the buttocks might be. A bird perches at the top. This cast metal statue began with found objects and recalls, among its artistic ancestors, Picasso. It is a jaunty figure, inviting and whimsical, and promises colorful and fun art.
Q. Reading your column provided me with life-changing information. I am now 56. As a child and into my late teens, I endured chronic belly pain. Despite many tests through the years, no diagnosis was established.
Slow cookers may be slow, but their virtue lies in having a dinner entree ready when we arrive home from work. What I began to wonder was, during the process of getting everything ready for the slow cooker was when does anyone have the time to do what I was doing; certainly not at 4:30 in the morning before heading off to the office? My advice, prep the ingredients the night before and refrigerate them; just don't put a crock from the refrigerator right to the cooker; let it come to room temperature first.
I’ve always felt that there are two kinds of people who frequent tea parties (not counting little kids and their guests drinking imaginary tea out of thimbles).
First, genteel ladies and gentlemen who like to get dressed up, and be around other fancy types. I don’t know a whole lot of those people; I mainly hobnob with the sweat suit set.
The sad, grubby little clipping had been stuck on the fridge forever. I’d torn the recipe from some magazine months, or even a year ago.