Iowa Cheese Sandwich Recipe & Bob Dylan’s New Morning

July 19, 2019 It’s my last day at the Iowa City Writing Festival. I’m inflamed—brain and gut—from seven days of suckling on Iowa City’s greasiest spoons and absorbing writing guidance till saturation. I arrived last Friday, July twelfth, and spent the evening searching for authentic Iowa City. There are nine central blocks with eighty-two places…

Youko Yamamoto Picks: Oyakadon Recipe & Eiichi Ohtaki

Youko Yamamoto, chef/owner of the former Gomen Kudasai and the incoming TANMA! Ramen and Bar in Kingston; and DJ on Noodling with Youko; recently came over and prepared her selection of Oyakodon w/Eiichi Ohtaki. She told us how this association was born out a moment of embarrassment in front of her best friend’s cool older…

Belgian Frites with Andalouse Sauce Recipe & Total Science

In 2001 I found myself in a swirling neon centrifuge of euro club-kid culture—the final act of separation between my mind and the rhythms of American teenage life as I knew it. My father and I moved to a quaint Belgian town named Waterloo (famous as the site where Napoleon had his final tantrum). I…

The Legend of ‘Champ’: Eyewitness Accounts

  Champ——the prehistoric god of the lake— didn’t bestow Lucas, Alex, Mario and I with any good luck on our ice fishing trip trip last February. We left without fish or new lake monster sightings to add to the record. Perhaps in the age of smartphone cameras, she’s been laying low. In the late eighties/early ’90s though……

Pickled Pike Recipe & Stan Rogers

A briefing just popped up on my phone from the New York Times. It reads, “It will be colder in the Midwest today than in Antarctica.” Terms like polar vortex and instant frostbite are broadcasting from Zoraida’s radio upstairs. All of this frostiness has me reflecting on an ill-fated ice fishing trip I organized last February…

Fisherman’s Eggs Recipe & Andres Segovia

This pairing is inspired by the 1958 movie version of the Old Man and the Sea, starring Spencer Tracy (I never read the book. So what?); The old hazy camera tech makes it feel like a memory and the story deals with the willingness to risk annihilation in order to achieve something, be something, or…

Flamenco Food Vibes

Here is a documentary from Tao Ruspoli that features, Juan Del Gastor, my flamenco teacher in Sevilla. He comes from a long line of Flamenco Gypsys that includes gods like his uncle Diego Del Gastor. I got some hilarious cooking lessons similar to the one Ruspoli is receiving in the video. Del Gastor has a…

Paella Recipe & Camarón de la Isla

One weekend, when I was twelve and my family lived in Spain, we took a road trip out to the farmhouse of some family friends in the dry Spanish countryside near Pamplona. When we arrived there was a stout old man standing over a fire, roughly shoveling heaps of shrimp and vegetables the massive pan on top. I watched all the…

Buttermilk Pancake Recipe & Willie Nelson

Don Fonda was a king in the realm of pranks and wisecracks.  He would spin yarns to us grandkids about his days working at the telephone company—like the time he switched around the gas gauge and the speedometer in a co-worker’s truck, or the time he drove a fussy trainee deep into the Adirondack Mountains, looking at him suggestively the whole way, and then finally…