Recipe: Slow cooker Thai chicken curry

The secret to making coconut-based curry in a crockpot is to add most of the coconut milk at the last minute. If you pour the coconut milk in at the beginning, the long exposure to heat will cause  the liquids and solids to separate. If you prefer your food on the spicier side, double or triple the amount of curry paste. … Read more

Recipe: Banana chocolate chunk muffins

Banana bread is probably the quick bread I bake most often. It’s the perfect use for overripe bananas – the riper the better. If I don’t have time to make banana bread when the bananas turn brown, or don’t have enough for a full batch, I peel them and throw them in  a container in the freezer until later. (The … Read more

Potato Spice Wine

  I took inspiration for this recipe from M.A. Jagendorf’s Folk Wines, Cordials & Brandies: Ways to Make Them, Together with Some Lore, Reminiscences, and Wise Advice for Enjoying Them. It makes a white wine with a bold taste. The heat of the ginger gives the illusion of a higher alcohol content. This property mellows with age. Ingredients 2 gallons water … Read more

Fix ventilation problems in your bathroom for free

I recaulked by bathtub a few weeks ago and decided to clean the bathroom fan while I was at it, figuring a clean bathroom fan would exhaust the fumes more quickly than a dirty one. I’ve cleaned the vent cover but never the fan itself. The fan blades were each covered with about a quarter-inch of dust – enough to almost … Read more

A hack for renewing old, gross grout

The grout next to my bathroom sink was looking a bit piqued. I decided to  clean it the way that everybody on the internet says to: by using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Afterward, it looked even worse: I guess the bubbling from the hydrogen peroxide loosened too much of the old grout. I wasn’t about to start a  complicated re-grouting project. I am … Read more

Recipe: Fall harvest meatloaf

I’m not a big fan of traditional meatloaf, but I thought I’d give it a try, substituting homemade apple chutney for the traditional ketchup or tomato sauce. I like how it turned out, even though the apple flavor is barely detectable. It’s flavorful and rich, with just the right amount of spice. In future batches, I’d like to try adding chopped cranberries. … Read more

Recipe: Slow cooker Greek green beans


More of the green tomatoes that I brought in before the last frost have ripened, so today I decided to make Greek-style green beans with tomatoes and feta in the slow cooker. This recipe is adapted from the Green Beans Athena recipe in The Essential Cook Book by Caroline Conran, Terence Conran and Simon Hopkinson. The cookbook says it’s a tradition … Read more

Winter’s here. Brew up some warmth.

“You can make wine out of anything but a rock!” So says Appalachian winemaker John Bulgin in The Foxfire Book of Wine Making, and my experience says he’s right. Being the frugal person I am, I’ve never been fond of paying beaucoup bucks for beverages. So when I’ve wanted wine, I’ve made it.* In spring, I’ve raced my neighbors’ lawnmowers … Read more