- Great Taste - 20131031- Seth Kugel and Judith Choate

Seth Kugel“The Frugal Traveler” for The New York Times, Seth Kugel, is our guest during the first half of this week’s show.    After graduating from Yale and Harvard and doing public service work, Seth began writing pieces for The New York Times in 1998.  In addition to the Times, Seth has written for O, the Oprah Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Food and Wine and numerous other publications. 

In June, 2010, he took over the “Frugal Traveler” blog for the Travel section of The New York Times.  His first “road trip” lasted 13-weeks as he made his way mostly by bus from São Paulo,Brazil to New York City.  Seth is on the road about 50% of the time, and I'm certain you'll discover his insights fascinating and useful next time the road beckons.  You can find Seth's articles at www.nytimes.com/frugaltraveler.

I try to keep up with Seth's coming and goings and over the summer he embarked on a trip to explore the USA “Heartland.”  His August 14 column, “Eating in Iowa:  Farm-Fresh, Fried and Frugal,” not only drew me in immediately, but numerous listeners to Great Taste sent me the link attached to a “Can you believe he was in Iowa” email.  Reading the article I admit feeling a bit of a pleasant shock when I came across this paragraph:

“Back to lean and green: Fairfield, home to the Maharishi University of Management, which calls itself a “home of consciousness-based education,” has more than its share of vegetarian cafeterias and restaurants. I went to the Golden Dome Market and Cafe, near (but alas, not in) the campus’s two golden domes. The vegetarian buffet ($7.50 a pound) yielded some saag paneer, a bean taco loaded with vegetables, some tasty artichoke lasagna and a piece of fresh peach blueberry pie.”

Listen to the show for more of what the “Frugal Traveler” had to say.

Judith ChoateIn the second half of the show I had the pleasure of speaking with James Beard Award winner, Judith Choate.  Judy along with her sons Michael and Christopher, is the author of the new book, An American Family Cooks.  The book is part cookbook, part memoir, and the photographs, taken by her husband, Steve Pool, invite the reader to become a part of her family.

During Judy’s 50 years as a chronicler of a wide variety of culinaria, she has written, ghost-written, and co-authored over 100 books, but An American Family Cooks became a special project.  In this book she shares not only her kitchen memories, but also many family recipes.

“I was born in the Midwest, my mom was the first child of immigrants,” Judy told me.  “I grew up with women who cooked and canned, and that stayed with me my whole life and, fortunately I’ve been able to pass that along to my kids, and, hopefully, to my grandchildren.  I hope it is a sign of old-fashioned America.”

Our conversation ranges from her style of cooking and its influence on her kids, practical rules for kitchen ease and success, how to spice up a chicken dish, bread-baking, and the importance of the family eating together.

Judy’s book contains over 100 recipes.  What’s most important is An American Family Cooks is a cookbook you will actually use and the backstory to each recipe makes it a treasure.
An American Family Cooks
An American Family Cooks
By Judith Choate with Michael and Christopher Choate
Published by Welcome Books