Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My dear friend and room mate from the 70's, Robin Heil, is a superb cook and her fried chicken was often requested by her ravenous room mates and friends. I have been begging for her to cook it again and, when she visited Gainesville from Colorado, we were lucky enough to coax her to our stove to do a rendition of her much-loved fried chicken. We were thrilled with the result.

Robin grew up in south Florida and came to Gainesville for college. From the mother of a Gainesville boyfriend, she encountered Southern cooking and learned many recipes. For someone from south Florida (hardly known for its Southern fare), Robin's cooking astonishes me because she has mastered many Southern dishes as if she were a fourth generation resident of Georgia, north Florida, or Alabama. Her chicken is a prime example.

Her fried chicken recipe (which follows) may look simple, but d&mn, it is tasty....among the best I have tasted.


Place lard and bacon fat (or peanut oil) in skillet to a level one-inch deep. Heat to smoking point.

Prepare flour and corn meal in equal parts for dipping. Season mixture with 1 tablespoon of Bell's Poultry Seasoning, salt, and pepper.

Dip chicken into flour/seasoning mix to cover all sides. Shake off excess.

Place gently in pan and cover to keep oil from splattering.

Cook for 10 minutes and turn over. Try to only turn the chicken once.

Cook for 10 more minutes and remove chicken to paper towels or flat paper bag to drain.

Serve hot.


The American Medical Association Family Health Cookbook
The American Medical Association Family Health Cookbook
by Brooke Dojny
Edition: Hardcover
Availability: Out of Print--Limited Availability
59 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars I DON'T TRUST DIETITIANS TO BE ARTFUL WITH FOOD, June 30, 2009
Frankly, many cookbooks of this type that are written by dietitians or doctors produce recipes that are more clinical than tasty. I expected that this one would be one more in that style.

Boy, was I surprised and impressed with this cookbook. The recipes are easy enough and ambititiously touch on the many cuisines that make up our American melting pot. Plus, all the ones I have made are very tasty.

Southern cuisines, for example, are often left out of these cookbooks, but not here. The Yogurt Corn Bread is an ace of a recipe and lead me to believe that these authors know how to say "ya'll" and cook that way too.

This is a superb cookbook that not only has consistently excellent recipes but also has cooking tips that are well beyond what could be expected from the American Medical Associaton.

Bravos to the AMA for putting out this cookbook. Buy this cookbook. It is a steal of a deal.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New local web sites

Gainesville is quickly becoming a leading community for sustainable, healthy agricultural goods. It is important that we all patronize the pioneers for healthy food in our community.

In my links section, I have added the new web site for Ward's Market. Long overdue, I am delighted that Ward's is making its presence known on the internet. Also, the Sun reported on two sites that I recommend to you: www.gainesvillefarmfresh.com and www.gogreenalachua.com.

Again, patronize local markets, vendors, and farm stands. The vitality of our community depends on a healthy relationship between purveyors and customers. Do your part.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Heat Sinks: a thought from my buddy in Alabama

My good friend, Chesley, in Tuscaloosa, AL is an engineer and approaches barbecue with dedication, perseverance, zeolatry, and methodical thinking. Over the last few years, he and I have corresponded about a sauce that we both love and how we might come close to duplicating it. He has also shared grill set up ideas that have intrigued me. 

He applied one idea to his two barrel grill/smoker. In the cooking chamber, he placed fire bricks to serve as a heat sink to sustain and even out the temperature fluctuations. Pizza ovens often do something similar.  I look forward to using the same technique in other barbecue/smoker applications to see if I can improve their performance.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wonder where your food comes from?

Check out the Global Grocer tool from Food and Water Watch in my list of links or copy and paste the following into your browser: www.foodandwaterwatch.org/food/global-grocer. You will be amazed at how much food is shipped over herculean distances. 

No wonder we are deep in hock to oil-producing countries. We have the carbon footprint of King Kong on steroids.  

Buy locally!

Three newly discovered web sites I like

Today's New York Times Dining section is once again a treasure trove of new ideas and approaches to the world of food and its preparation.

WWW.MIDTOWNLUNCH.COM is a great site for the off beat, streetside food vendors in New York City. 

WWW.HERITAGERADIONETWORK.COM is an in-depth audio approach to food. Great stuff. Digs deeper than the best of the foodie podcasts and e-mail newsletters. 

WWW.CUPCAKESTOP.COM intrigues me. How can any passer-by resist buying a cupcake?