Chicago Style Hot Dog Recipe & Hammond Organ Jazz

Good Hammond organ jazz oozes at mid tempo, like mustard out of a bottle. You can hear the instrument’s memory filling the room; the weeds growing through the sidewalk cracks of the industrial wasteland where it was born; the soundtrack it provided for games of kick the can played under a rattling L train; the…

‘Aunt June’s Candied Yams’ Recipe & Little Richard

The music Little Richard Penniman made in the mid-fifties was a crazed jittering sugar rush—sweet candied yams with marshmallow eyeballs popping. Tutti Frutti, Lucille, and Rip it Up turned the heads of every would be flamboyant front man or woman to follow: James Brown, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Elton John; they all looked up at…

Moons Over My Hammy Recipe & Wacko

A punk rock tornado ripped through a Denny’s in Long Beach, CA last December causing two thousand dollars in damage. Because the Algorithm knows me so well, a video appeared on my social media feed. I was supposed to be working but I clicked. It begins with a baby boomer in a cowboy hat pacing…

Pataconas w/ Hogao Recipe & Gaby’s ‘El Meneaito’

Menaito Mania hit Colombia hard in 1992. By the time my family arrived for Christmas vacation that year the Reggae en Español thumper had the whole Magdalena River percolating. In Honda, Tolima at my Abuelita’s nochebuena party, young and old were sliding to it, at a friends hacienda my uncle was drinking aguardiente to it,…

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 is the chef/owner of the incoming TANMA! Ramen and Bar in Kingston and a radio DJ on her show Noodling with Youko; she 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…

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…

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…

Paella Recipe & Camarón de la Isla

Nothing will ever match my first wood fired paella. 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…