influences

Weep No More

December 10, 2012
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If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know thatHe Who Will Not Be Ignored is named after Miles Davis. What you may notknow is that I’m named after Dave Brubeck. As friends sent me condolence emails after his passing last week, I was reminded that my family has its own Brubeck story. When […]

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St. Julia’s Day 2012

August 17, 2012
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Wednesday would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday. For this year’s St. Julia’s Day dinner (previous efforts here, here, and here), I wanted to pay tribute to what I used to call “god’s pantry”: her seemingly infinite supply of ingredients that were always on hand in her fridge, freezer, or cabinets. (If you’ve watched more than […]

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Continuing a Mail Order Education

February 11, 2012
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Apart from the basics of handwriting, grammar, and arithmetic, my grade school education happened at home, between the pages of books my parents bought to satisfy my voracious curiosity. (And, I have always suspected, to stop me from asking them questions they couldn’t answer.) This supplemental schooling began when I was given a box of How […]

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Thinking Differently

October 6, 2011
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Steve Jobs changed my life. It was a gradual process that began in the fall of 1984, when I first interacted with a Macintosh. I had moved into Castle Moose, a house full of game-playing Harvard graduates and later the location of some of my culinary milestones, including the legendary pumpkin pie story. In addition […]

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Still Waiting For My Food Pills

July 15, 2011
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This is a transcript of a talk I presented at Readercon 22 on Friday, July 15. Images are included as they appeared in the slide show. I had submitted the following description for the conference program guide: Cooking has always been based on science, but the connection was made explicit with the 1984 publication of […]

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I Don’t Have to Show You Any Stinking Badges!*

June 15, 2011
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Iwas a Boy Scout, but I never worked my way up the ranks to Eagle scout. That achievement required at least 21 merit badges, a few of which (swimming, lifesaving) were mandatory requirements completely beyond my physical capabilities. It should come as no surprise that I did acquire the cooking merit badge before I gave […]

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Get Lamp

November 12, 2010
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If you are a gaming geek of a certain age, the phrase “get lamp” should evoke a whole series of memories. For me they remind me of nights spent in the basement of McGregor House at MIT, where I played Adventure, the first computer text game, on a DEC line printer terminal (complete with 300 […]

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The Virtues of Restraint

October 19, 2010
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Shortly after we moved into our house (which She Who Must Be Obeyed bought me for my birthday fifteen years ago), we were given a bonsai juniper as a housewarming present. Since I deal with all of the Chez Belm biology projects (carnivorous plants, herb garden, outdoor landscaping, fermented food products, tropical fish, small boy), […]

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Tony and Me

July 27, 2010
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From the day I read Kitchen Confidential (KC ) right through to today, Anthony Bourdain has been a huge influence on how I cook, eat, and think about cooking and eating. He motivated me to try new things, which has led to some amazing meals at Per Se, St. John, Au Pied de Cochon, and […]

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Rock That Font

June 11, 2010
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A friend and reader of this blog sent me this email about a month ago: About the typography of rock album covers: http://rockthatfont.com/ I have never seen a website that seems more precisely designed for [you] — except that there are no recipes, alas. A visit to the site confirmed his description; it was as […]

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