Linkage 1.31.15

For those of you who are like me grieving the ending of Parenthood, here’s a guest column at the Hollywood Reporter by showrunner and creator, Jason Katims. It leaves a little hope at the end that we might visit the Braverman family again someday.

I found this article on women’s issues and the Crock-Pot really interesting.

If you haven’t seen this yet, you should: NASA has Released the Largest Picture Ever Taken

And this:

Never-Fail Soup #1: Cream of Turkey and Wild Rice

Look at that — It’s going to be incredibly cold this week in every eastern part of the country that isn’t Florida. Why not make some soup to make your hunkering down that much more pleasant?  Here I give you one of my never-fail recipes for soup.

If you came to our house the week after Thanksgiving, you’d find this simmering on the stove, because I always make it to use up some turkey leftovers and broth. It’s filling and delicious — and if you’re using leftovers and homemade broth, it’s pretty darn cheap.

NOTE: the original recipe (below) serves four. I usually triple it.

ANOTHER NOTE: my people are not mushroom people, except for one child who I’ve sufficient corrupted to join me on the pro-mushroom side of things. So I either chop them really small (the kids still notice, but they eat them) or leave them out.

AN ADDITIONAL NOTE: If you’d rather steer clear of the rice mix due to price or ingredients, just substitute a raw wild rice mixture and adjust the cooking time to make sure the rice cooks through. I usually just use the mix — we almost always eat plain brown rice otherwise so I justify it that way.


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pkg wild rice mix (I usually use Uncle Ben’s)
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots and shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add flour, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes more.

Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add rice (yep, throw in the seasoning packet too) and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until the rice is tender. Stir in turkey (or chicken), sour cream and parsley and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes more.

(based on a recipe found at Eating Well)

Book Review: Fannie’s Last Supper

I read Fannie’s Last Supper earlier this year, after having ordered it on a whim from those “Get Yourself a Little Something” screens on Amazon.

(sidenote: Can we talk about how evil that screen is? They just pluck things from your wishlist and sit them up there right when you’re in the middle of buying something. Terrible.  And effective, in my case.)

This book is the brainchild of Christopher Kimball, host of America’s Test Kitchen and other PBS cooking shows.  I have a few of his Cooks Illustrated cookbooks, which are well worth owning.  Basically Christopher was doing challenging cooking before the Food Network came along and glammed it up.  He explores the science behind things and tries to improve upon old standard recipes.

This challenge was months in the making: a full twelve-course Victorian meal served on one evening for Chris, his wife, and some friends, using period methods and tools.  The book takes apart every step they went through to get to a workable menu.  For a history and culinary nerd like myself, it was great fun.  I also know more about cooking a calf’s head than I ever thought possible.

Not to be missed is Christopher’s final chapter, in which he reflects upon the process and results.  Some funny things occurred: the chefs, after some time getting used to it, actually preferred the giant beast of a woodstove for cooking to the gas range in the other room.  There were other ways in which the painstaking preparation, planning, and execution were satisfying for those involved in a way that modern cooking can’t supply.

PBS also made a film of the evening, which I have yet to see.  The trailer is below.  More info at the Fannie’s Last Supper website.