Socializing/Cooking Articles
Mourning for Lu Lingzi (15 Apr 2014 08:16pm)
I have a natural tendency towards political incorrectness. So I bristle a bit at turning victims into heroes, as we have on this day, one year after the cruel bombing of the Boston Marathon. The truth is that people die tragically every day and I just can't bear the burden of caring more than I do i...
Cautionary Comment on Inspiration Story (02 Apr 2014 09:53pm)
I'm not one for inspirational stories. In fact, I hate them. It's really because I grew up in the United States. Now, for most people, this would mean that I would have grown up to believe in the greatest American myth: the will to success. This is the idea that you can do anything if you try hard e...
Great Deals on Black Pets! (31 Mar 2014 12:46pm)
I have only been the primary caregiver to two cats: Pulitzer and Deadline. They were both black cats with small amounts of white. That's probably just a fluke, because I'm not a racist when it comes to cats. I judge them on the content of their personalities not the color of their fur. But apparentl...
Keep Inside, It's St Patrick's Day! (17 Mar 2014 11:04am)
It's St Patrick's Day! Time to get sloshed on some distinctly non-Irish beer. Of course, if we are to believe Ballykissangel, the Irish don't drink much Irish beer. One thing's for certain: Americans don't much care for Guinness, although they do up their consumption on St Patrick's day. I saw a st...
A Little Valentine's Day Reality (14 Feb 2014 12:42pm)
I am a cynical son of a bitch when it comes holidays and romance. So Valentine's Day is a big day for me. In 2012, I wrote The Blood of St. Valentine's Day. It was about the two (or three) saints who the day is most likely named after. And it turns out that they were both brutally murdered, like mo...
Thoughts on the Super Bowl (02 Feb 2014 01:50pm)
I am out of town, thus the great slowdown in posts here. But I am not so unplugged as to not know that it is the biggest day of the year for Americans: Super Bowl Sunday. Here in the Bay Area, people are disappointed because two weeks ago, the 49ers lost in the last minute of the game against the Se...
Man Swims With Dead Tiger Shark! (20 Jan 2014 04:34pm)
Have you ever seen the alien autopsy video? There's very little actual video and whenever you got close it went out of focus? I have the same feeling about "daredevil" Shaun Harrington and his supposed close-call with a tiger shark. (See the video below.) The only time we see the shark under water, ...
The Tea Totaler (18 Jan 2014 03:07pm)
All evidence to the contrary, I don't drink much. But I am not a teetotaler. That's an interesting word. Originally, it referred to the 19th century movement of people who followed teetotalism—an explicit abstinence from all alcohol. It started at the same time and was more or less the same th...
The Anxiety of Never Being Good Enough (14 Jan 2014 03:52pm)
The combination of depression and anxiety is really great. A powerful combination! Recently, I came upon, John William Keedy's Anxiety-Themed Photo Series. Mostly, I think the photos are kind of lame—at least from the perspective of my anxiety. I don't think that Mr Keedy really gets the kind ...
The Night of the Meek (24 Dec 2013 09:09pm)
It's Christmas Eve, my friends! And tomorrow would have been Rod Serling's 89th birthday. And I think that everyone should spend a half-hour and watch the best Christmas television show of all time, the 11th episode of the second season of The Twilight Zone (47th overall), "The Night of the Meek." I...
Lose Your Soul at Graton Casino (15 Dec 2013 08:19pm)
Over in my area, they recently opened up a big Casino, Graton. I was enticed to go and check it out tonight. It was not much of an enticement. Being a great lover of statistics, I find most forms of gambling mystifying. I assume the electronic games have winning percentages that are mandated by the...
My Creepy People Models (03 Dec 2013 10:28pm)
To some extent, I think that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a load of crap. But then, I think that of just about all tests. Still, these tests can be really helpful in understanding oneself. I test as an INTP (introversion, intuition, thinking, perception). As I've gotten older, that "thinking" ...
Tradition Is Turkey's Last Hope (28 Nov 2013 03:13pm)
People sometimes ask me why I cook with chicken so much. I think it is a stupid question. You might as well ask why someone eats bread or rice. Chicken is the easiest meat to cook with because it has relatively little flavor. Other meats need to prepared in such a way that compliments their distinct...
Thanksgiving Without Cynicism (27 Nov 2013 12:28pm)
Well folks, I'm pushing today. There is so much to do. First, I have to write my normal stuff for today. And then I have to write at least my morning stuff for tomorrow. And, I have all this cooking today. As usual, I'm going to my older sister's place for Thanksgiving. I'm not in charge of cooking....
Frank's Personal Hygiene Tips (11 Nov 2013 06:02pm)
It has been a while since I've written about germs and my generally strong feelings about the subject. It's strange, because I am not what anyone would mistake for a clean freak. But I think I have a good perspective. And I feel even more superior after having read, Everything You Know About Your Pe...
Exact Potato Soup Recipe (25 Oct 2013 06:54pm)
Almost four years ago, I posted one of my "mom's recipes" for cream of potato soup. This references the fact that my mother didn't use recipes. So whenever I would ask her how to make something she would only be able to give the most vague recipe. But over the past year, I have worked out an exact r...
Life May Be Simpler Now (25 Oct 2013 10:31am)
Paul Waldman wrote a good one yesterday, The False Glow of Remembered Childhood. It's about how everyone looks back to the days of their childhoods and says, "Those times were simpler!" But that isn't true. As he notes, in a general sense the times were not simpler. They were simpler for you. Why? ...
Fred Henhouse, RIP (29 Sep 2013 10:21am)
On or about Sunday morning 29 September 2013, our favorite chicken Fred Henhouse died. Her mangled body was found in the next door neighbor's yard. Only last night, I heard her make her nightly trip to the truck where she had taken to sleeping on top of the muffler. I was concerned because she made...
Chipotle's Scarecrow (12 Sep 2013 05:26pm)
The following commercial for Chipotle Mexican Grill is really great. I say this in terms of pure entertainment; it is a work of art: sweet, sentimental, smart. But it is also great advertising. Look: I understand. It is actually an ad for some Chipotle game, which is itself an ad for the restaurant....
Matt Yglesias Is Right: Outdoors Sucks (23 Aug 2013 09:51pm)
Sometimes, Matt Yglesias makes me proud to be a nerd. That was the case last week when he wrote, The Case Against Eating Lunch Outside. (Note: I believe his original title was, "Eating Lunch Outside Sucks; Stay Inside.") He's completely right, of course. I am definitely an inside person. There are...
Empathy and Socially Acceptable Cynicism (22 Aug 2013 09:12am)
Slate has an advise columnist Emily Yoffe who writes a column Dear Prudence. As advice columns goes, it isn't bad. And I have to admit, I get drawn into the articles more than I would like. Today's was fairly typical, Help! My Father Is Dying of Lung Cancer From Smoking. Didn't He Get What He Deserv...
A Woman's Work Is Never Done So You'd Better Pay for Dinner (21 Aug 2013 08:40pm)
I am entering dangerous waters. You see, I am a man. And other than the whole testicle thing (Bad design, God!) I'm fairly happy being a man. You see, as much as I may not be some kind of testosterone fueled idiot, I am, in my way, quite dominant in relationships. Or more to the point, in the only ...
Put Away Corporate Robot Things and Love the Tap (14 Aug 2013 04:58pm)
According to the Water Information Program, the human body is more than 60% water. Blood is 92% water. The brain and muscles are 75% water. An average human can survive for a month or more without food, but only perhaps a week without water. Water rocks! According to the United Nations, 11% of the w...
Sunday Afternoon with Tomatoes, Mushrooms, and Peaches (04 Aug 2013 08:55pm)
I've always wanted to be one of those people who could just take whatever food is on hand and make it into something wonderful. Today, I sort of did that. I had about a pound of mushrooms that were getting close to that slimy state. The next door neighbor gave me a bunch of tomatoes and one was alr...
Car Shows and White Power (09 Jun 2013 03:22pm)
As many of you know, my familial obligations require me to do things that, in a social vacuum, I would never do. The best example of this is attendance at action films with my older brother. But another example of this is my going to car shows with my father. All of my childhood—which included...
Fuck Monsanto! The Kids Are Alright! (03 Jun 2013 08:50pm)
On my way out of Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve last week, I came upon this car. And I knew I had to get a picture of it. I agree with the sentiment, but that isn't the reason I was photographing it. I have a great interest in people who are ostentatious about their political beliefs. As ...
Mirrors and Bad Lighting on Curiously Clever (18 Apr 2013 07:01pm)
Andrea just wrote an interesting article at our other blog Curiously Clever. In it, she discusses the Dove company's attempts to brand itself as "not anti-woman." As we all know, much of the media is focused on making women (and increasingly men) feel bad about themselves and in need of beauty produ...
Imported Honey Likely Fake (26 Mar 2013 12:54am)
One of the most charming things I've ever heard about Prince Charles is his interest in the local food movement. I haven't thought much of it myself. In general, as long as my food doesn't have a bunch of pesticides in it, I'm pretty happy. But a lot of recent reporting about food has made me wonder...
St. Patrick We Never Knew Ye (17 Mar 2013 04:59pm)
I've waited until late on St. Patrick's Day to ruin it for you. I know: you don't give a shit about the holiday except that it is an opportunity to get drunk and remember that, "Wow! The Pogues are a really good band!" But here's the thing: we know next to nothing about St. Patrick. In fact, 17 Marc...
Play Valentine's Day Well (14 Feb 2013 11:26am)
I have some advice for the men out there, but I think it would be good for the women to read on as well. When I am in love (which I now think of as a kind of virus that should be avoided at all cost), I am very much into buying random little lover's gifts. And I am especially fond of flowers. In f...
A Nice Cup of Tea (13 Feb 2013 10:12am)
Every morning I get up and anxiously think, "What am I going to write about on Frankly Curious?" And this morning was no different. There are a few things on my mind. I'd like to counter this reasonable sounding but wrong idea that raising the minimum wage will hurt job growth. And I'd like to discu...
Changing Beer Tastes (And Non-Tastes) (10 Jan 2013 08:11pm)
MSN Money sends us to an article telling us about 5 Beers Americans Aren't Drinking. That's the kind of title that is hard to resist—at least if you are a beer drinker, or even more, a beer snob. Which I am. According to the article, sales of "traditional, full-calorie beers" are declining. A...
A Good Idea for Better Latkes (12 Dec 2012 01:01pm)
Over at Slate, L.V. Anderson tells me, You’re Doing It Wrong: Latkes. First things first: no I'm not! The truth is that Anderson and I agree on the nature of the perfect latkes. She explains that people who claim that latkes should be nothing other than potatoes and salt are apparently mistaking th...
I Heart GO (05 Dec 2012 05:13pm)
I shop a lot at Grocery Outlet. They have amazing prices. Also, they have puppet spokespeople, and you know how I love puppets. So I'm at Grocery Outlet recently, and they are selling a Lois Prices bobblehead. And she is holding a sign that reads, "I [heart] GO." That seems very strange to me, but ...
Hookup Culture Not So Much (16 Nov 2012 12:17pm)
Fucking in the abstract is not that interesting. Much as it may surprise some men, foreplay is not a bribe to pay to get to the coitus. The process normally goes: guy sees a girl (if only in his mind) and gets horny. It doesn't really work the other way around. This is because sex is part of relatio...
Hahn Winery 2011 Pinot Noir (03 Nov 2012 04:40pm)
I am no expert on wine. I just enjoy it. Unlike most things in my life, I have never tried to learn about wine and what makes it good. But I've drunk enough of the stuff to form some opinions. And my newest opinion is that Hahn Winery's 2011 Pinot Noir is a really good wine and a great price. What ...
This Is Halloween! (31 Oct 2012 08:38am)
Halloween is my favorite holiday. It's cool. There are great movies to watch. People dress up in costumes. And the cobwebs in my house are totally in. Everybody scream! This is Halloween! ...
Sex Tonight (19 Jul 2012 11:08pm)
There are two bits of sex in the news that I think I had better address. The first is the man with the world's largest penis. Jonah Falcon, the man with said penis, was stopped at the San Francisco International Airport by TSA agents for the bulge in his pants. Apparently, there was no foreign objec...
Happy Father's Day (17 Jun 2012 11:17am)
You may remember that for Mother's Day, I posted this really great video Thank You Mom. So I went looking for something similar for Father's Day. The results were poor. All of the videos celebrating Father's Day were not only explicitly Christian, they had a very traditional view of fathers. Even w...
Mauvais Rêves (12 Jun 2012 01:41pm)
My friend Toni told me about a recent dream. She was driving in her car with John Waters, the iconoclastic creator of such films as Pink Flamingos and Serial Mom. This was very exciting for Toni, because she really likes him. Maybe because of this or maybe just because it is what anyone would do whi...
Potato Pancakes (07 Oct 2011 10:07am)
I love potato pancakes, and I consider myself something of an expert on them. Most people are not aware that there are two kinds of potato pancakes. First, there are the traditional—What will we do with these left-over mashed potatoes?—and then there are those we make from scratch as an ...
Bloody Burger (31 Jul 2011 09:26pm)
When it comes to a steak, cooking directions are clear. Rare, a steak is warm but uncooked in the center. Medium, it is pink in the middle. And well-done, a steak has no pink whatsoever. The reason it is safe to eat a rare steak is that disease is primarily limited to the surface, so as long as the ...
My Own Private Ballykissangel (23 Apr 2011 09:38am)
I was at the bank yesterday, and Juan, who has remembered my name from the day I met him (although it took him two days of reminding that he must call me "Frank" and not "Mr. Moraes") asked me, "Do you have any plans for Easter?" "Is it this Sunday?" I asked like the stupidest man alive given that ...
Mom's Home Frozen Cooking (30 Jan 2011 04:24pm)
Back in 1948, Don Callender started his business Marie Callender's—named after his dear mother—to sell pies, wholesale, to restaurants. Eventually, of course, he turned it into a chain of restaurants and finally into some of the finest frozen food you can buy for less than two dollars. I...
Two Days to Go! (01 Jan 2011 11:12am)
[Note: this is a deeply personal reflection about my life. I think that it is of general interest, but it doesn't deal with the nuts and bolts of the world that is the mainstay of this site. It is a story that I fear many people share to one extent or another—either from my perspective or that...
The Archie Leach (25 Jul 2010 02:21pm)
Tonight I am making Oven-Roasted Chicken Thighs with Carrots and Yukon Gold Potatoes from the March 2009 issue of Bon Appetit magazine. Or something like it; my oven is not nearly big enough to deal with the six servings of this recipe. So I am kind of winging it the way I often do when I am into my...
Bang Bang's Chicken (25 Jul 2010 02:15pm)
Jill Dupleix presents a dish she calls Bang Bang Chicken—a name I like because of the character Bang Bang in film The Brothers Bloom. I made it for the second time last night, because William came over and when I was out at the grocery store, I couldn't think of anything else to make; this is perhap...
Easy Refried Beans (22 Feb 2010 06:55pm)
This recipe creates tasty, very slightly sweet refried beans. It is a bachelor's recipe; the kind of thing that a man who knows nothing of cooking can make. All you need is: Two Tbs Vegetable Oil One Onion: coarsely chopped Two 15 oz cans of pinto beans Some pepper Put the oil in a skillet and tur...
Cream of Potato Soup (24 Jan 2010 11:23pm)
Cut up potato(es) and a half a stick of butter and add it to a medium-sized sauce pan on a lowish temperature. Stir occasionally as you cut up onion(s), carrot(s) and celery stalks. Saute until the whole mixture is kind of mushy. If it gets too dry, add some olive oil—it adds a subtle taste t...
Mom's Recipes (24 Jan 2010 08:41pm)
My mother was an excellent cook; she had her own restaurant for about a decade. There were several dishes that I wanted her recipes for: Chicken Cacciatore, her chili, and especially her Potato Soup. My attempts to get these recipes always went something like this: "Can I get your Potato Soup recip...
Cream of Tomato Soup (06 Jan 2010 08:49pm)
I have been looking for the perfect cream of tomato recipe for about ten years. I think I may be close with this one. Originally, the recipe was from Cooks Dot Com, but I have made some major improvements to it. Here is the base recipe: Ingrediants Two (2) tbs butter One and a half (1.5) c chopped...
Merry Secular Christmas (29 Dec 2009 02:47pm)
I agreed to make dinner for five on Christmas day—not so much because I wanted to, but because I wanted to have prime rib for dinner. It turned out to be twelve people, but the bigger problem was that I created a four-course menu and had a wholly unsatisfactory kitchen. It was stressful and th...
No More Butcher Knives (11 Nov 2009 04:06pm)
Do I ever have egg on my face! For years, I have been extolling the virtues of the butcher knife for culinary purposes. No kitchen is complete without one of these knives; or so I thought. Just today, after years of pestering my sister about the lack of a butcher knife in her kitchen, it came to a h...

Total Articles: 53