Oct 15, 2013

Blog Recommendation: Michael Ruhlman

I have recently developed a love for Michael Ruhlman.  I originally discovered him via the iPhone app Ratio, but have not yet picked up the book that it is supposed to accompany.  And It wasn't until very recently that I started reading his blog. There are recipes, cocktails, food rants, and all sorts of fun stuff. It's a very easy read, the photography on the blog is fantastic, and I often learn something while reading it.  The perfect combination!

I was originally just going to share it on the Puritan Therapy Facebook page, but there were too many posts to really pick just one.  So here is the list of where I think you should start.

  1. America- Too Stupid to Cook: Ten thousand times yes! Over the decades marketing has convinced us that many life tasks are just too difficult.  Cooking is not hard.  Cleaning (while obnoxious) is not hard. Sewing is not hard. But marketers have spend millions of dollars and many years trying to convince us otherwise, so that we will buy whatever it is that they are trying to sell.
  2. The "No Nitrates Added" Hoax: Another giant "boo!" to marketing. The moral of the story, if you don't understand how food works, you can easily be manipulated by deceptive marketing.
  3. Food Fascism: This is one that I experienced myself when I was in Portugal doing my massage training.  I was the black sheep because, not only did I not aspire to be a macrobiotic vegan, but I actually ate RED MEAT! (I would also like to point out that even if you are smoking "organic" cigarettes, it's still highly likely you will end up with a smoking related illness... but I digress)
  4. Bacteria! Run Away! Run Away!: This article even has delightful images drawn by Alton Brown! This article addresses the concerns about washing chicken. While I am much more prone to agree with Harold McGee with regards to the chicken stock argument, there is definitely an overreaction with regards to "germs", at least in the US. 
  5. Cook Your Own Food Eat What You Want Think For Yourself: Where common sense trumps the most recent news story of what common food will kill you this week.  See, for example, the poor, maligned egg.
  6. Friday Cocktail: The old-fashioned with homemade bitters : This gets me on multiple levels.  I do love me a good cocktail, but I also like knowing how to make random things.  I may now need to try making bitters...
  7. In Love with French Onion Soup: Lastly, here is one of his food recipes, to give you a taste (pardon the pun) of what they are like.  I have not tried this recipe, but it holds up to what I have come to believe about very old school peasant food recipes.  It is very simple, does not have a lot of complicated ingredients, and does not involve a lot of fancy techniques.  It reminds me of challenges on shows like Top Chef where the chef has been asked to make the judges "last meal".  Inevitably the chef who wins is not the one who composes a highly technical and complicated plate.  The one who wins is the chef who makes the requested dish like their grandmother would make.  Simple, comforting, and well executed.
Not that Michael Ruhlman needs any help from me to gain readership, but I like to promote people who I think are doing good things.

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