Articles / The Choreography of Cooking

The Choreography of Cooking

Published November 1, 2023

Plus: Being delighted by squash, what “heritage” means, and I get interviewed

This Week’s Marksisms

For the Love of Squash

I get almost as excited about winter squash in October as I do about tomatoes in July. I can’t get enough of it.

Yesterday I took this Glynwood-grown (thank you, Jarret) koginut, and pre-baked it, not whole but in 3/4-inch slices. (I cut through it vertically; it was small enough to do it while raw, but please, if you do this, be careful because you need a lot of pressure and if that knife slips or recoils … that can be bad.) These I baked casually, slowly (around 350 for about an hour, turning once), with nothing but salt, in a non-stick skillet (I highly recommend this one). I cooled those slices on a rack, then dredged them in spice-mix-spiked blue cornmeal and sautéed them in olive oil. So great.

What Does “Heritage” Mean?

Maybe we don’t have to hate flour tortillas after all.

Also, it’s not whether seeds are heirloom or not, it’s whether they have desirable characteristics. Sure, many old seeds do. But you gotta let seeds do their thing.

Food with Mark Bittman: I Get Interviewed

Today on Food, we revisit a popular episode from a year ago: Kerri and I talk to Kate about the revised edition of How to Cook Everything Fast, the myth of mise en place, learning a method of cooking that will last a lifetime, and Noodles with Minty Scallion Sauce and Sliced Chicken. The recipe from today’s episode, Spinach Carbonara, can be found here.

Follow Food with Mark Bittman on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Overcast | Pocket Casts | Amazon Music

Trying to Evade the Truth

The content below was originally paywalled.

I was lucky, in 2007, to be steered by a friend to Livestock’s Long Shadow, an FAO report that revealed that industrial production of animals was/is a major contributor to greenhouse gas generation; it changed my life, it helped me redirect the focus of my work, it was a revelation. But it almost didn’t happen; that report, not surprisingly, was undermined at every turn.

Related: A similar story happened with methane emissions.

And Now, More Football

Feedback was encouraging enough for me to throw you a little more.

With the help of my younger daughter Emma (a Bengals fan), I was able to figure out why I currently hate the Bengals. But first you have to realize that although I’m a terrible fan, a total front-runner, I get grudges, not only like “I hate the Eagles because I rooted for the Giants when I was little and they were the enemy” grudges, but even less rational grudges. I liked the Bengals when they were a bold, pass-first team, back in the ‘80s and90s, and then I became indifferent to them. (Quick, name a Bengals QB between Boomer and Burrow.) But now I hate them and, after a conversation with Emma, I realized why: Joe Burrow is a Golden Boy, what with that cute floppy haircut and arrogant look, and I don’t like Golden Boys. Go Chiefs.

Speaking of the Chiefs, if your starter has the flu, play your backup; that might pay off in the long run, and you’re going to lose, anyway. Mahomes looked awful. What’d he throw, five interceptions? Come on. Go Lamar—who continues to look awesome. And he didn’t even run that much this week. Were they holding back on demonstrating how great this guy is playing?

Some people have commented that this was the worst weekend of football in a long time, what with the Giants-Jets game being hilariously bad, and what with the majority of early games being finished by backup (or third-string) quarterbacks, and what with most teams behaving carelessly.  But hey, the initial rush of excitement of early fall is gone, and the season has become so long (it was twelve games long, plus one playoff game, when I was a kid) so these are the dog days. A bad day of football is still better than a good day of baseball. IMHO.

See you next week!