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Food For Thought

KNKX Public Radio

Stories related to food in Seattle, including Dick Stein and Nancy Leson's weekly commentary Food for Thought. Food For Thought is produced by KNKX Public Radio.

Stories related to food in Seattle, including Dick Stein and Nancy Leson's weekly commentary Food for Thought. Food For Thought is produced by KNKX Public Radio.


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Stories related to food in Seattle, including Dick Stein and Nancy Leson's weekly commentary Food for Thought. Food For Thought is produced by KNKX Public Radio.








Food for Thought: Buns O' Fun

Given today's rampant hoarding of hot dog buns, I thought it only prudent to try making my own. King Arthur Flour's Chicago-style bun recipe, pictured above and linked below, yielded Best of Show results. While our flour supplies hold out, Nancy Leson and I are using our shelter in place time to bake. We've aired lots of baking shows over the years. Here are some of our favorite recipes from those shows.


Food for Thought: Restaurants step up to do their part

Though sit-down service is banned for now, many area eateries are doing what they can to keep staff employed. In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy Leson tells what they're doing to cope with the times.


Food for Thought: Stock-up suggestions with legs

Nancy Leson and I are beating the 6-foot social distancing rule by many miles for the CoviDuration by recording via broadcast-quality phone line. I'm alone in our Tacoma studios and she's in her bedroom closet in Edmonds. “The quietest space in the house," she says. "So we won't be interrupted by sirens, doorbells and dog barks." In this week's Food for Thought, Nancy names the stuff she's trying to keep on hand to stave off culinary boredom and shares a good suggestion from one of our...


Food for Thought: Nancy's enamored of enamelware

This story originally aired Jan. 17, 2018. "Stein, some women spend money on shoes and jewelry. I buy pots." And Nancy Leson has the cookware to prove it.


Food for Thought: Kiddie Food Memories

This story originally aired March 7, 2018. In this week’s Food for Thought, Nancy Leson and I dredged up our earliest memories of food. Nancy recalls wolfing an entire stick of butter. I tell how years later I learned what my grandmother’s “special” soup was really made of. All that plus shopping for live chickens, Nancy’s lima bean phobia, wax flakes in the milk and collapsing straws in this week’s Early Food Memories show.


Food for Thought: Torchin' it up in the kitchen

I wouldn’t say I’ve always hated my broiler. Only when I have to use it. Which is why I dread the recipe that ends with "Finish under the broiler."


Food for Thought: An even better Sichuan cookbook from the same author

Nancy Leson’s raving about Fuschia Dunlop’s update to her classic cookbook “Land of Plenty.” “I’ve been cooking a lot out of 'Food of Sichuan.'"


Food for Thought: The mayo-mania taste test

Even I’m surprised that a mayo maniac like me never bothered to make it myself. But after years of reading how the commercial version was such a pale, pathetic shadow of the homemade, I thought I’d give it a shot. Especially since the recipe I found claimed it was not only foolproof, but could be made in two minutes.


Food for Thought: Medical authorities forbid Nancy Leson to cook

Some people get the cold shoulder. Nancy Leson got the whole shoulder. A complete right shoulder replacement. Now she has to convalesce. Bad enough she’s not allowed her customary daily half-hour on the speed bag. The real bummer is that, for the next month, she’s forbidden to cook! I checked in with Ms. Leson to see how she’s holding up during her month in the No Cook Zone.


Food for Thought: Why they call It 'horse' radish

Nancy Leson asked me how the horseradish got its name. It's not because of its resemblance to a certain part of a horse. And it's not because horses like to eat it – the stuff's actually poisonous to them. The "horse" in horseradish is just an antique adjective describing anything large or strong. For my taste, the stronger the better.


Food for Thought: Make your own fresh pasta

I didn’t want to do this topic. When Nancy Leson suggested we talk about making fresh pasta I scoffed “Nahhh. Nobody wants to make fresh pasta, and even if you do want some you can just buy it at the store.” Her reply, in the form of a link to a YouTube video convinced me to make some fresh pasta myself.


Food for Thought: You never sausage great ideas

Nancy Leson and I both love sausages of all kinds. We keep them on hand for quickie weeknight meals and for some recipes better suited to a weekend cooking project. We agree that it's better to buy sausage in links than loose. If you need the sausage loose, you can always have the fun of squeezing it out of the casing like meat toothpaste.


Food for Thought: How to 'Aunt Pat' a hamburger

The buzzards circling over the restaurant gave me pause, but we went in anyway. I figured we were all in search of the same thing, namely dead meat, so I looked at them as a kind of endorsement. Like seeing a line of semis parked outside. In a moment of hubris, I ordered a Wretched Excess burger. You know the kind: six inches high and packed with extras. A burger that if you tried to pick up and eat the usual way would dislocate your jaw. "DeGroot," I told my wife. "I've gotta Aunt Pat this...


Food For Thought: Kitchen chaos tamed

At the end of this encore segment I brag to Nancy about my intention to bake a giant Cheez-it -- and made good! Here's a link to the story about a Cheez-It the size of an LP cover . A man and woman meet in a bar and get along perfectly — same sense of humor, same favorite authors and movies, food, music; they're a perfect match. Naturally, they wind up at her place that very night. There on the living room floor he sees a dead horse. "My God," he exclaims. "A dead horse!" "Well," she shrugs,...


Food for Thought: Dos and don'ts for dining out

"All the chefs think they know how to season your meal," complains Nancy Leson about the disappearance of salt and pepper shakers from restaurant tabletops. That's never bothered me. Mainly because I think the chefs do know how to season my meal. But for those who want it saltier, Nance has the solution: Bring your own. That and other restaurant-going tips and tricks, dos and don'ts in this week's Food for Thought.


Food for Thought: Cheap but good gifts for cooks

My holiday gift list is limited to just one. Every year I present the Lovely & Talented Cheryl DeGroot with the same fabulous 110-piece socket set (American and metric!) in its handsome presentation case. I love the way she completely hides her excitement when she unwraps it. She’ll return it the next day, but I know it’s only so she can have the fun of getting another next year. Here are some gift suggestions from Nance and me for the cooks on your list who already have socket sets.


Food for Thought: Baking the 'impossible' pie

When someone asks me "Do you like a challenge, Dick?" I start looking around for the exits. So what was I thinking when I tried to make Stella Parks' "Impossible" pecan pie pie – a baking project even its creator warns against attempting. The recipe was originally in the draft for her BraveTart pastry cookbook, but the editors thought it too difficult for inclusion. Parks famously refuses to publish the recipe. She doesn't want to deal with the desperate questions and moans of anguish from...


Food for Thought: Cooking from Molly Stevens' new 'All About Dinner'

Nancy Leson recently got to interview one of our favorite cookbook authors, Molly Stevens at Seattle's The Book Larder. Our copies of her previous books, " All About Braising" and "All About Roasting " are splattered with grease and gravy stains. Can there be higher praise for any cookbook? In this week's Food for Thought, Nance and I talk about the recipes we've made from Molly's new book and some of the great tips she offers – including the best way to crack an egg. Hint : Not on the edge...


Food for Thought: Dick and Nancy's super soups

This story originally aired Nov. 10, 2018. It's getting to be soup season, and both Nancy Leson and I have our favorites. In this week's Food for Thought, Nance and I trade favorites from childhood, our go-to's at restaurants, and the homemade must-haves.


Food for Thought: Iffy kitchen gear we're glad we got after all

Sometimes my mind has a mind of its own. Especially when I purchase a kitchen gadget that I know I can't really justify but just...want. Nancy's the same. Even so, sometimes going against our better judgment turns out to have been pretty good judgment after all. In this week's Food for Thought we offer our personal examples.