pizza Margherita


It is a patriotic pizza, an expression of one's affection for one's royal liege or at least for one's queen, like a red white and blue pizza would be for America except for Italy so it's green white and red, the colors of Italy's flag. Any Italian would notice and make the connection.

Maybe the inventor felt threatened and maybe he didn't care for the task, maybe even annoyed "Oh, her again." Nobody knows for certain.

roast beef sandwich


The end of the deli roast beef that starts out looking like a giant bright red disc shaved into slices that drains and changes color over days locked in a plastic bag aging by the hour. It doesn't look pretty anymore. Shame to cook it. Too tough to leave intact, it must be chopped. There is no au jus. 

My bread is excellent but a sandwich from Taste of Philly across the street is better.

mashed potato, chicken gravy


Maybe it's turkey gravy. I'm terrible for not marking frozen packages. Doesn't matter, it sure is good. Two of these and a peach is all that I had all day and it is so amazing, so satisfying that I could do the exact same thing again today. It doesn't look like much, no color, but it has two tablespoons butter in it and the same amount of fortified wine and those two things with all that starch and poultry flavor with a bit of herbs go a very long way for slathering on by forkful an engaging and satisfying landscape of flavor and fat-satisfaction all across the inside of your mouth down your throat and filling your stomach to red mark full.

When one encounters this combination as one of three or four things on a plate the abundance taken for granted and handled so casually really is astonishing. 


The ricer is brilliantly automatic while still being manual and so fast and easy and perfect it feels like cheating. 


Before I dropped Facebook somebody wrote, "How do you make gravy?" Seemed an odd question asked on the internet when one can inquire [gravy] and have it answered  and with pictures a hundred times on places like this right here.

Gravy is a sauce started with equal parts fat and flour until cooked, about one minute. With additional spices or herbs, the ones that you like in the amount that suits you. A liquid is added while stirring forming an emulsion of fat and greater amount of combined liquids, stock, broth, milk, wine, water, when whisked the liquids are held together mostly by the starch but also emulsifying ingredients as mustard and sometimes even egg. The following ratios are foolproof.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 Tablespoon flour (level measured tablespoon).
1 Cup chicken or turkey broth or stock

[salt, pepper, chile flakes or powder, garlic powder, nutmeg, oregano, cumin, ground coriander seed, ground mustard seed, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, wine any type, Sriracha sauce, any dry herb, what have you, whatever flavor addition you like but in moderation]

This forms a bubbling sludge. Remove from heat. Whisk or rapidly stir in liquid in 1-2-3 stages, return to heat. Another minute. 

Boil. Done. Gravy is fast.

The sauce thickens to boiling and thickens slightly more as it cools.  

Linguica sausage and bun, mustard and pickle relish





They're hot. Too hot. You wouldn't like them. Advertised as heavy with paprika, heavy on flavor, but not so heavy on heat. That is wrong. They are heavy on heat.

The butcher has only the usual things, bratwurst and Italian sausages in various degrees of hotness, and this. I asked the young butcher if Linguica indicated the sausage has tongue in it. He stopped and looked at me sternly, miffed it seemed, perplexed, finally he said, "I thought that same thing at first, but no. It does not have tongue in it. In ten years you are the first person to put that together as I did back then. I've been sort of waiting for someone else who thinks that way." Then he told me about the paprika and how the butchers like the sausage there even if most people don't. Sold.

Because if it did have tongue in it I'd go, "Ew, gross!" 

roast beef, Worcestershire, sea salt


Sea salt makes Worcestershire taste sweeter. It is the oddest thing. Worcestershire tastes a lot more like tamarind, like brown sugar is added instead of salt, and with no salt flavor at all. The salt brought forward the tamarind and its pronounced sweetness.

I enjoy this as a snack, a square of this, a square of that, a square of this and that, and  with no fast carbs in it.

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