Posts Tagged ‘Columbia Tribune columns’

Start smart in this new year

January 10, 2012

My Tribune column from today:

When it comes to new beginnings, getting off to a strong start means everything. Whether you’re in a new job, relationship or town, those early days set the tone for what will follow. Stay sharp, and you’ll be motivated to keep it that way; get sloppy, and you’ll fall into bad habits. It’s the same in the kitchen as it is in life in general.


A dozen best bets to ring in the new year

December 14, 2011

My column listing twelve ways to eat better in 2012 ran in last night’s Tribune. Many things were left out (Lonnie Ray’s, Patric Chocolate, etc.) but hey, you can only do so much with 600 words. Note: For some reason my “Best bets” for drinking better coffee got dropped. It should have recommended Lakota’s espresso beans and Kaldi’s Coffee.

Many of us will enter the new year ready to throw off some baggage from the previous 365 days, but we’ll also be adding it right back in the form of resolutions. These guilt-inducing self-promises take many forms — exercise more, read more books, learn French — but few will focus on eating better. And by eating better, I mean in the sense of eating for pleasure, for taking greater enjoyment from something most of us do at least three times a day. Here are 12 things — restaurants, products, concepts — that will make your year of eating a better one.


Erupting pasta volcano of death: a recipe

April 20, 2011

I was chatting with someone the other day about eggs and pasta – and how to best turn one into the other. Though a committed food-enthusiast, she’d never tried to make pasta at home. One thing led to another, and that led to today’s Columbia Tribune column (and the first-ever use of “erupting pasta volcano of death!” in a recipe).

As a device for conveying food from plate to mouth, mankind has yet to improve upon the noodle. The fork is handy, sure, but carbonara would still be carbonara without it. Rice, ground corn and sliced bread have their place as well, but it can be argued that each might be better served as a noodle in the first place. No matter its origin or makeup, whether Chinese, Italian or otherwise, noodles are a nearly perfect food.


Ring in spring at the market

March 23, 2011

A sure harbinger of high winds, rain or snow (all three?) is the opening of the main Columbia Farmers Market at the ARC this weekend. Riffing off of the bucatini carbonara post a few weeks ago, my column this week takes a look at a few things that will be available early in the season and some ideas for what to do with them.

Update: Right on cue, is predicting a high of 43 degrees and rain Saturday morning.

Crucifers should get some respect

November 10, 2010

My column last week was on some ways to use some of our more maligned ingredients – Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc. Also see this recipe for spicy cabbage stir-fry which ran in the NY Times after I’d turned in my column. Looks good.

Note: My trial run on this dish (pictured above, with new Canon Digital Rebel!) featured eqal weights of sprouts and dried pasta…it seemed a bit much on the former, so I dialed it back in the recipe below. But feel free to experiment or suit to your own tastes.


Anthony Bourdain, still “Medium Raw”

September 8, 2010

My column in the Tribune this week is on Anthony Bourdain, his new book, Medium Raw, and his upcoming visit to St. Louis.

Thanks to Evan Benn of the Post-Dispatch for lending a portion of his interview with Bourdain.

Crazy week? Then roll out the koftas

July 14, 2010

My column today spreads the kofta love to the Tribune’s readership. And if you don’t want to make them yourself, Olive Cafe does a really nice job.

When pig heads fly

February 24, 2010

Photo by Nick King of the Columbia Daily Tribune


I started writing a Sycamore column about two months ago, but it quickly became clear that there was far more to tackle than a measly 600 words allows for. Marcia was a good sport and let me hop over to the main page for a week. The resulting cover story was in tonight’s Tribune. You should be subscribing (Wednesdays and Sundays at the very least), but if you absolutely insist, the story is available online.  

A few notes: 

  • I thought “When pig heads fly” was a grisly, off-putting headline. My wife thought it was great. What do I know? #marciawin
  • If that’s wine Jamie Smith is drinking in this picture I’ll give up pork for a year. In fact, if anyone has a picture of Jamie drinking wine I’ll give up pork for a year.*

Jamie Smith is drinking beer. And photo by Nick King of the Trib.


  • It’s pure coincidence that this story ran the week the Beard semifinalists for Best Chef: Midwest – sans Mike Odette – were announced. It’s possible that every other chef on the list simply got a little better over the past year. But doubtful. Mike has inarguably stepped up his game…it’s just a sad fact of awards that someone worthy always gets left off. I know he’ll take it in stride. Lucky us.

* – No, not really.

A good time for Missouri wine

January 28, 2010

My wine column in yesterday’s paper:

Like many students of the University of Missouri, my first exposure to the wines of the Show-Me State came courtesy of Les Bourgeois in Rocheport.

Packed into picnic tables or standing in small groups in the baking sun, we would wolf down glasses of Riverboat Red or Pink Fox, concerning ourselves with neither the merits of the wine nor the prevailing laws regarding underage drinking. The wines were cold and available; nothing else mattered.


A tale of true grit(s)

January 21, 2010

Our first memory of corn is invariably of gnawing it off the cob typewriter-style, hot butter running down our chins in a cathartic, napkin-soaking release. However, manners aside, eating corn on the cob is barely scratching the surface.

Suitable as fuel, feed and food, Zea mays is a workhorse of the plant kingdom, and at least in North America, it has been for a very long time. Corn served a number of important uses for the continent’s original inhabitants. Madeline Matson writes in “Food in Missouri: A Cultural Stew,” the Osage people “boiled or roasted on the cob, or dried after cooking for storage.”


Year’s best cookbook: ‘Momofuku’

December 17, 2009

My column this week was on – what else – “Momofuku”. Seriously, you can cook with this book…and if you just want to give it a looksy, Daniel Boone Regional Library has a copy.

“Let’s be real: You’re never going to cook from ‘Momofuku,’ by David Chang and Peter Meehan.”

So began an Associated Press review of the “Momofuku” (moe-moe-FOO-koo) that ran in this section last week. The reviewer went on to say the book is worth a look anyway, but still, the message seemed to be, “Don’t bother trying out the recipes in the best cookbook of the year, just look at the pretty pictures and move along.” Please.

I knew this lede — snappy though it might have been — to be hogwash.


Guilt, grades, great sausage on the Hill

October 15, 2009

My Tribune column, on the Hill and its variations on Italian sausage, is here.


Stimulating news for Columbia

March 4, 2009

My latest column in the Columbia Daily Tribune. For the record, it has been completely hacked to pieces (not by Marcia, but during production) and is a mess on the Trib site and in the paper. Here it is as originally written.

The Columbia Farmers Market has really gotten around over the years; six moves to five different locations by my count. They’ve moved so often customers could have been forgiven if they stopped showing up. But they haven’t. In fact, more people showed up last year than ever before: up to 5,000 customers on a good day.

Makin’ bacon

February 4, 2009
The finished product, fresh out of the smoker. The maple version is on the left, regular to the right.

The finished product, fresh out of the smoker. The maple version is on the left, regular to the right.

This week’s column is on making bacon. Seriously, try this. It’s so easy and so, so good. And how about the Trib’s new site design? It has a few bugs but it’s very clean. I like clean.


Act now to eat later

January 21, 2009

My column on what to do now to eat well this summer is up on the Trib’s website.

One note: Westphalia Vineyards has loads of vine cuttings they’ll give you as well. Tim Pingleton, the production manager there, brought in a paper bag-full for me on a recent trip to Columbia (but came after I’d turned my column in). Thanks Tim.


Bread machines knead a second look

January 7, 2009

(My column in this evening’s Tribune. And for the record, I did not provide the headline.)

Like the Dallas Cowboys and liquid nacho cheese, there exists no middle ground with bread machines.

Partisans whip them out every day to restock the breadbox with earnest cheer (“What about rosemary bread today?”); others relegate them to a dark corner of the basement where they wait, forgotten and forlorn, with only the distant freedom of a garage sale to look forward to.


2009: The Year in Food

December 24, 2008

My column in the Columbia Daily Tribune’s food section today:

Predicting the future is always a tricky business. And with American taxpayers bailing out one venerated industry after another, predictions might not be worth the surplus Merrill Lynch letterhead they’re printed on. Still, we will all continue to eat -most of us at least three times a day. Here’s a guess as to what will be on our plates in the coming year.


Beating the farmers market blues

December 10, 2008

My column in the Columbia Daily Tribune today:

Sunken, distant gaze. Grumbling stomach. Aimless fridge-staring. It sounds like it could be an emerging eating disorder? But no, it’s the farmers market blues; and I’ve got them bad.

For the last eight months, my counters, pantries and refrigerators have groaned under the weight of fresh local meats, vegetables and eggs. Buying local helped keep our neighbors in business and us well-stocked with flavorful, healthy food. And then suddenly, cruelly, the tents were packed up and the vendors dispersed, not to be seen again until late March. What’s a guy to do?


Small-town pork goes to the big city

November 26, 2008

You know you’re looking for a small town when you try to find the place on a map and strike out on Google. Apparently there’s a Myrtle up by Kirksville, but it’s not the one Mark and Rita Newman live in. Their Myrtle is in Oregon County, down on the Arkansas border. Go a couple thousand feet south from their place, and you’re in the Natural State. Not that the seclusion bothers Mark at all. No, he’s happily turning out 100 hogs a week for some of the best restaurants in the country. You might not be able to find Myrtle on every map, but the world has found Myrtle just the same.

The rest of the story, also in today’s Columbia Tribune, after the jump:


While you were gone…

November 17, 2008

My first column – titled with great originality, “Show Me Eats” – ran in the Columbia Daily Tribune. My parents immediately ran out and bought every copy of the paper so you may have needed to read it online. Strangely enough, the column prompted little to no increased traffic to this site. Maybe boring navel-gazing and chestnut soup recipes aren’t edgy enough to elicit any reaction. Fine. Next week it’s downtown Columbia parking and actually eating the free breakfast at hotels.


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