Burrito: Is it a Wrap?

is a burrito a wrap debate

  Have you ever heard the podcast The Sporkful with Dan Pashman out of WNYC?  He’s a wingnut, always covering the food angle from some wacked out unexpected place.  So I was pretty stoked (as in fired up) when he asked if I’d like to have a conversation on one of our favorite SoCal staples, the burrito.  Specifically addressing the question, “Is the Burrito a Wrap”? I couldn’t believe we would even waste time addressing the subject.  You know the Michael Pollan definition of food as something your grandmother would recognize? Well the word wrap didn’t exist when I was growing up. If you wanted tuna salad or…Continue reading »

Pan Dulce En Español – Cooking Class as Language Learning

Mexican Pan Dulce

Languages and cooking.  They’re totally related for me.  And I’m pretty sure I love them equally.  Just as a couple of spices and a few vegetables can reveal a flavor palate, so the subtleties of language reveal a cultures insides.  I’m pretty fluent in Italian, a legacy of majoring in it at University and reinforced by countless trips.  My Spanish was learned on the fly in the kitchen until I spoke my own unique form of Spitalian.  It was a tribute to the desire to communicate that everyone in the kitchen understood me.  But when you learn a language orally, not by reading and writing there are huge…Continue reading »

Hot Water Dough Hand Pies

Hand Pies

Getting ready to teach a Pie Camp with Barbara Swell at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC means I’ve been playing with dough.  This weekend it was the UK Hot Water Dough traditionally used for meat pies.  It’s a sturdy dough meant to handle the weight of  lots of meat filling and gravy or “jelly” without the crutch of a pie pan aka Raised Pies.  You’ve seen them. They’re pretty impressive in their medieval formality.  The dough is made in a completely different way from regular pie dough.  Fat is melted with water and poured over flour which is stirred together like a batter then briefly kneaded…Continue reading »