Author Archives: madamescientist

Red, White and Grape: From Jumping Genes to Wrapping Leaves for Dolma

Red or White? Even King Tutankhamun (1332-1322 B.C.) prudently stashed away amphorae of both red and white wines to enjoy in the afterlife. Biochemically, a single class of pigments found in grape skin, the anthocyanins, separates the red from white. White … Continue reading

Posted in FOOD, Garden, Middle Eastern, science, Spices, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Falafel Faves and Favism

Start with dry chickpeas. Fresh bought works best (save those fossilized pellets from the back of your pantry for ammunition in case of squirrel invasion). Soak the chickpeas overnight in generous excess of water and they will reward you by becoming pleasingly plump and doubling in quantity. One cup dry chickpeas should be plenty, two will feed a crowd. Continue reading

Posted in FOOD, Humor, Middle Eastern, science, Travel, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Of Sweet Onion Jam and Patriarchal Hegemony

What, you may justifiably wonder, does onion jam have to do with the patriarchal hegemony? Nothing, of course. Unless, you count yourself as a member of my mad menagerie. Still, if you’re looking for some delicious comfort food that’s out … Continue reading

Posted in Baking, Family Life, FOOD, Humor, Vegetarian | Tagged | 5 Comments

Diwali: Then and Now

⌘ Picture a little girl, shaken awake in the pre-dawn darkness by her mother, shivering before a “head bath” with a pail of steaming hot water from the big copper water heater in the kitchen. Squeaky clean, her hair dried … Continue reading

Posted in Diwali, FOOD, Indian food, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Pumping up Pumpkin Pie

My postdoctoral advisor, Carolyn Slayman, could strike fear into us by the deceptively mild statement..”Wouldn’t it be nice..?” We all knew what that meant. At least another couple of months of experiments, if we were lucky. Twenty years later, I … Continue reading

Posted in Dessert, science, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Springing into Green: Collards and Chard

There is a brief window in spring when my Maryland garden is lushly verdant. When the so-called lawn springs joyously forth, requiring Benny and his boys to mow maniacally over it every five days. When the bunnies boldly brave the … Continue reading

Posted in FOOD, Garden, Indian food, Spices, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Test Driving a Tagine

Tagine. The very word conjured up a magical mirage of Marrakesh and Casablanca, dashing Berbers and belly dancers, hookahs and saffron-laced spicy stews.  I gazed at the overpriced albeit charming hand painted glazed clay artifact in the Williams Sonoma store, … Continue reading

Posted in FOOD, Garden, Moroccan cooking, Spices, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | 2 Comments