Growing Tomatoes in Iowa

Almost anything grows in Iowa, especially tomatoes. You can buy seedlings, which are sold in every nursery, or you can start your own. When I first moved to Iowa in the nineties, few but the… Continue reading

On Mushrooms

I’ve always loved mushrooms, from the canned mushrooms of my childhood, which were pretty much all that was available forty years ago in Montana, to the fresh champignons that are now found in any… Continue reading

Russian caviar in Iowa (European Flavors in Des Moines)

1150 73rd St, Windsor Heights, Ia 50324 In Grinnell we refer to European Flavors as “the Russian store,” since it is one of the only sources in Iowa for good Russian products, from… Continue reading

Mexican Rice

This is an old recipe that I learned from my mother, who took it out of one of the first Mexican cookbooks our family encountered (in 1970s Montana). I’ve varied it in a… Continue reading


Fresh dill is one of my favorite herbs. I didn’t start to use it until I had traveled in Russia and Poland, and began to cook recipes from the Slavic kitchen. What I remember… Continue reading

Persis Indian Grill in Des Moines

PERSIS INDIAN GRILL6925 Mills Civic Parkway, suite 142 While there are several Indian restaurants in Des Moines, I’ve not found one that has become a standard in my trips there. That changed… Continue reading

Pheasant Quenelles in Consommé

Over the years I’ve tried a lot of pheasant recipes, and this is one that I like because it utilizes the entire bird (with something left over for other dishes), and offers an almost foolproof… Continue reading

Zamora Fresh Market in Marshalltown

4 E Main St, Marshalltown, IA 50158 Marshalltown is home to a thriving and growing Hispanic community, many of whom came from Mexico to work in the meat-packing industry. Over the years a number… Continue reading

Snake and Eggs

Wild game was a real draw when I first moved to Iowa, and the abundance of pheasant in particular was something that made a move to the rural midwest something more palatable. In… Continue reading

Iowa Asparagus

One of my favorite things about spring in Iowa is the arrival of asparagus, which grows all over the place. Old-timers (I’m counting myself one of those) will remember one of the early… Continue reading