How I Cook a Pork Chop

Here’s how I cook a pork chop. It’s a mix of methods I’ve collected over time. The basic outline is: Use good meat Salt and wait Sear, roast, and rest Meat It’s a cliché, but you really do need to start with good meat. Most often I walk down the hill and get bone-in loin […]

In Praise of “In Praise of Shadows”

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows (陰翳礼讃, 1933) is a book I wish I’d read before visiting Japan in 2017. Something I didn’t understand until reading Tanizaki’s book is that empty rooms weren’t empty. On entering the interiors of some ancient temple buildings I recall thinking the rooms were bare, stark, even unsettlingly empty in a way […]

Ballad Measure, Emily Dickinson, and Gilligan’s Island

Ballad measure, or common meter, is a stanza of four lines. The 1st and 3rd lines have 4 beats and the 2nd and 4th lines have 3 beats with a silent 4th. Here’s Emily Dickinson in ballad measure: Because I could not stop for Death –He kindly stopped for me –The Carriage held but just […]

A Blog, or: 10,000 Noiseless Typewriters

I wanted to name this blog something more exciting than “blog.” So I went looking around for synonyms and then wandered over to the Google Ngram viewer to see if usage of “blog” was declining and, yep, it is. But who are these people blogging int he 1920s/30s? The earliest usage of “blog” cited by […]