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Simple Cooking • P O Box 778 • Northampton MA 01061-0778 • USA
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❏ SC•30 (Spring/Summer 1991). Outlaw Cook—It’s the needs of the inner child that show the way to the grown-up cook. Plowman’s Lunch—chasing bread, onions, beer, and cheese through their many permutations. Patrick Rance’s astonishing French Cheese Book and Claire Joyes’ Monet’s Table.
❏ SC•35 (Summer 1993). The Sustaining Crust—An essay on bread in peasant cooking, with such Mediterranean summer fare as the Catalan pa amb tomàquet, the Provençal anchoïade, and the Tuscan bruschetta. Plus dining in rural Italy, bread hunting in Portugal, rice cookers, and a review of Simple French Food.
❏ SC•38 (Spring 1994). Potatoes and Point—The relationship of the Irish rural poor with what was often their single source of sustenance, with recipes for champ, the classic Irish soul food dish, and the cottage version of its kin colcannon. Plus a unique sun-cooked strawberry preserve.
❏ SC•39 (Indian Summer 1994). Existential Pizza—Naples street life points the way to la vera pizza napoletana—authentic Neapolitan pizza. Plus how to make a good pizza crust and five favorite toppings. Alice Bloom writes from Provence, and Patience Gray encounters a true gourmet in Naples.
❏ SC•40 (Holidays 1994). Cornbread Nation—How cornbread became America’s soul food... and why it remains so to this day. Also, our three favorite versions—with sources for cornmeal, tips on baking, etc. Plus corn pone and corn shocks.
❏ SC•42 (Spring 1995). Khichri/Kushari/Kedgeree—The permutations of a simple dish made with rice, split peas, and crispy onion bits from India to Baghdad, Egypt, and England—where, made with smoked fish, it is a perennial breakfast favorite. Plus the confessions of a Brach’s Orange Slice addict.
❏ SC•43 (Summer 1995). The Call of the Wild Berry—Why berrying is such an integral part of Maine identity, with an account of a favorite Down East way of eating them: blueberry bread-and-butter pudding, in all its many variations. Plus a review of a new history of Yankee eating, Saltwater Foodways.
❏ SC•44 (Autumn 1995). Desperately Resisting Risotto—End-running the hype to get to a delicious, modest dish. Also, imported Italian risotto rice, a bouillon cube tasting, knife sharpening, and a memorial to Richard Sax. Reviews of Diners, Traveling Jamaica with Knife, Fork, & Spoon, and others.
❏ SC•45 (January/February 1996). Griddlecake Breakfast—The story of America’s favorite winter breakfast, with the recipe for our own buttermilk pancakes. Also, the first installment of our diner serial, Hanging Out at the No-Name. Reviews of The Great Curries of India, and Bruschetta, Crostoni, & Crostini.
❏ SC•46 (March/April 1996). Beans in a Flask—How the Tuscans cook and eat beans—and a revolutionary new bean cooking method from the L A Times. Also, the second installment of our diner tale (with two recipes), a visit to the bread store in Pavlovo, Russia, and reviews of From the Tables of Tuscan Women and A Guide to Good Olive Oil.
❏ SC•47 (May/June 1996). Spring Greens—We explore the Maine appetite for dandelions, share Tommy Lasorda’s recipe for “Beans and Greens,” and elucidate the mysterious appeal of rhubarb. More No-Name, plus reviews of Sylvia Thompson’s The Kitchen Garden and The Kitchen Garden Cookbook.
❏ SC•48 (July/August 1996). Corn Chowder—Our thoughts on—and our recipe for—a farm kitchen classic. Then, what to do with fresh-picked corn (besides eating it off the cob) and how to make real pêches melba. Plus the Professor on the ultimate cheeseburger and a review of Smokestack Lightning.
❏ SC•49 (September/October 1996). Cioppino in the Rough —We look behind the fancy San Francisco restaurant dish to find the recipe for a simple, delicious shipboard stew, made by immigrant fishermen from their daily catch. Also, at the No-Name Alec and his dog, Sasha, accept a morning stint as dishwashers in exchange for a real diner breakfast
❏ SC•50 (November/December 1996). Our Readers Write — Winning a South Dakota pancake eating contest in 1925; cooking on a windjammer; listening to Roland Kirk and eating fried catfish at the Skylark Lounge; kick-butt crême brûlée; a visit to Tubby’s Diner; and an inspiring account of an elderly cook’s last kitchen.
❏ SC•51 (January/February 1997). Quintessential Toast. The Brits, of course, perfected the method, which we share, along with toast thoughts and toast memories. Also, Matt remembers a delicious dessert of oranges, and the Professor shares his recipes for home fries and more.
❏ SC•52 (March/April 1997). “The Best Cookie in the World” —Maybe, maybe not, but it’s a terrific, unusual, crisp, buttery cookie—and almost no one knows the recipe. Also, we learn why the No-Name has no name, visit a Russian outdoor market in midwinter, and take a look at R. Crumb’s Waiting for Food.
❏ SC•53 (May/June 1997). Our first annual food book review issue—with reviews of Olives: The Life and Lore of a Noble Fruit; The Food of Paradise; Never Eat Your Heart Out; and Chez Panisse Vegetables. Also, a survey of the best vegetable cookbooks (with speculations on why these have all been written by women), book notes, and readers’ thoughts on toast.
❏ SC•54 (July/August 1997). Crustaceans and Crumbs—We go back to the 1930s to watch the crab cake break free from the bonds of gentility and become a roadhouse superstar (with recipes), watch the Professor fry some soup, and learn how to make hobz iz zejt, or oily slice, the Maltese version of pan bagna.
❏ SC•55 (September thru December 1997). Knowing Nothing About Wine—Coming to terms with a lifelong confusion about wine, learning which books help and which don’t, and discovering how to find the good stuff without paying through the nose. Also, why we left Maine and came to live in Northampton.
❏ SC•56 (January/February 1998). Our Readers Write—Reminiscence, travel, and culinary adventuring: working as a bellboy; waitressing in a diner; discovering quark; searching for real slow-cooking grits; and experiencing a potato kugel epiphany while playing in the band at an Orthodox Jewish wedding.
❏ SC•57 (March/April 1998). Last Gleaning—A meditation on the unexpected connections between hunger and character and the ways in which both can be passed from father and son. Also, lamb kidneys in the rough, the Professor’s way with puddings, cinnamon toast, and the Joy of Cooking story (part 1).
❏ SC•58 (May/June 1998). Meat Dumplings—We trace the extended family of chiao-tzu, pork-and-vegetable-stuffed dumplings, learning why the Chinese accord them a special place in their culinary pantheon and how to make them ourselves. At the No-Name we visit Greg at home. The Joy of Cooking story (part 2).
❏ SC•60 (September/October 1998). How Restaurants Mean—Yes, we go out to restaurants to eat, but as we unravel the complicated tales of two famous restaurants, Lundy’s and Rao’s, we find that this is just the beginning of the story. Also, readers share their ways with instant ramen, and at the No-Name the Professor lets us in on all the secrets of his butterscotch pudding.
❏ SC•61 (November/December 1998). Not Risott' — what dishes do the Italians make with rice when they can't face another risotto? Well, for one thing, they boil it like pasta and toss it with all sorts of tasty things; for another, they gently simmer it in milk to make the creamiest of rice dishes, ris e latt. Also a memoir of my bachelor days, "Brains for Breakfast," an episode of the No-Name, and my favorite NYC food guide.
❏ SC•62 (January/February 1999). Our Readers Write—Selling hotdogs in the French Quarter of New Orleans; pursuing the perfect bowl of pho, a bowl of noodles and fresh-cooked beef in a spicy broth; and an early morning stopover in San Francisco forty years ago with an unforgettable breakfast at Fisherman’s Wharf.
❏ SC•63 (March/April 1999). Pot on the Fire—An exploration of the unexpectedly complex character of that humble cooking implement the pot—and of how an intimate relationship with it is perhaps the defining factor of French cooking. Also, Peter Lewis on hunting morels and a review of The Paris Café Cookbook.
❏ SC•64 (May/June 1999). Banh Mi and Me—A chance encounter in a Vietnamese-American grocery store ignites a romance: a baguette spread with pâté will never look the same again. Also, Seasoning, a poet’s musings (with recipes); the Professor’s recipe for egg salad; Steve Rollert on bread baking’s World Cup.
❏ SC•65 (July/August 1999). Our Annual Food Book Review Issue—Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything; Shirley O. Corriher’s CookWise; Christopher Kimball’s The Cook’s Bible and The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook; and Amanda Hesser’s The Cook and the Gardener.
❏ SC•66 (September~December 1999). The Breakfast Chronicles—Reflections on the ideal savory morning meal, with unusual suggestions (tamales, pierogi), recipes, and meditations on the true meaning of breakfast. At the No-Name, the Professor installs a meat smoker and proposes the Bull Train Meatloaf.
❏ SC•67 (January/February 2000). Special Issue: Travelers’ Tales—Hunting with eagles and eating with Kazakhs in Mongolia; chasing down the most delicious bibinka (rice cake) in the back streets of Manila and the quintessential cracker on the island of Malta; the food markets of Brussels and Berlin.
❏ SC•68 (March/April 2000). Two with the Flu—A delicious gingery dish of Asian noodles and chicken that comforts as much as it nourishes. Also, the Professor reveals the recipe for his beef-intensive meatloaf, and we start a new column devoted to rescuing recipes too good to lose from passed-over cookbooks.
❏ SC•69 (May/June 2000). Falafel—The national street food of Israel, crunchy nuggets of ground chickpeas and spicy seasonings, served in a pita—learn why the Israelis identify with this dish and how they make it, and what they put on it. Also, a review of The Oxford Companion to Food and a visit to the No-Name Diner, where hot dogs unexpectedly become an issue.
❏ SC•70 (July~October 2000). Annual Food Book Review Issue—Richard Olney’s Reflexions, Clifford A. Wright’s A Mediterranean Feast, Patience Gray’s Work, Adventures, Childhood, Dreams, Chris and Carolyn Caldicott’s World Food Café, Michael Roberts’ Parisian Home Cooking, and Colette Rossant’s Memories of a Lost Egypt.
❏ SC•71 (November/December 2000). Bagna Caôda—We explore the history and various ways of making of this famous Piedmontese savory bath of anchovies, garlic, and cream. At the No-Name. the Professor shares his recipe for Guinness Beef Stew. And, for dessert, we uncover an unusual Piedmontese chocolate-hazelnut confection—part cookie, part cake.
❏ SC•72 (January/February 2001). Our Readers Write —George Orick takes us to a nighttime pop-up restaurant scene in Jakarta; Matthew Amster-Burton decodes the scallion pancake; John T Edge praises the lowly grill cook; Leslie Revson makes a balona sandwich; Ed Ward explores the pizza scene in Wilkes-Barre, home of the white pizza; John Whiting invents a five-minute fausse brandade … and more.
❏ SC•73 (March~June 2001). Fast Food Nation—We take a long, hard look at this best-selling jeremiad and wonder if our national addiction to burgers and fries hasn’t been shaped more by a century of nagging do-gooders than by corporate manipulation. Plus a little twist turns zucchini into prime pasta material.
❏ SC•74 (July/August 2001). Sussing Out Satay—Bits of meat seasoned in a spicy marinade, skewered and grilled over charcoal, and served with a dash of luscious but mouth-prickling peanut sauce: we seek out all the secrets. And, at the No-Name, Greg reveals the recipe for Waldo’s secret hot-dog sauce.
❏ SC•75 (September~December 2002). The Reviewer and the Recipe. The case for not testing recipes when reviewing cookbooks—other things matter more. At the No-Name, the Professor reveals his recipe for chicken-fried steak. And, from a reader, an account of a real-life outlaw cook.
❏ SC•76. Maximum Marmalade. Here at last is a way to make marmalade—orange, lime, lemon, etc.—that combines British acerbity with American deep citrus flavor. Plus fiore di finocchio, the intensely flavored pollen of wild fennel—we tell you what it tastes like, where to get it, and how to use it in your cooking.
❏ SC•77 Cod and Potatoes—One of the culinary world’s best flavor matches -- why it gets no respect and how you can make that right. At the No-Name, the Professor accidentally leaves his supper behind and sets off a frenzy of curiosity. Plus a letter from Norway, home of the midnight sun and salted mutton.
❏ SC•78 Pepper Pot Hot—An attempt to replicate Campbell’s canned pepper pot soup leads mysteriously but inexorably to an exploration of menudo, Mexico’s famed hangover cure, and thus from the suavely creamy and rich to the fiery and potently savory. The links between the two prove as compelling as they are accidental, and the resulting dishes are delicious.
❏ SC•80 The Laughing Nut—A personal exploration of the reasons for and the results of a lifetime addiction to pistachio nuts. Also, mashed potatoes reconsidered; a wintry take on briami, a Greek summery vegetable casserole; and the Professor’s recipe for a simple and delicious cottage peach cobbler.
❏ SC•81 Conflicted About Casseroles—Our own American vernacular casserole with its emblematic can of Campbell’s Soup: you can take it or leave it—or, like us, find yourself caught dithering somewhere in the middle. Plus a trip to the No-Name for a bowl of the Professor’s American Chop Suey.
❏ SC•82 Real Italians—Amato’s in Portland, ME, claims to invented the Italian sandwich; I can only vouch that they perfected it and show you how. Also, Mediterranean vegetable-intensive sandwiches; what makes a Greek salad authentic (with recipes); and a review of Mediterranean Street Food.
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❏ SC•83 Go Fry An Egg—No, make that two. We explain why it’s all right to eat eggs again, and share several ways to make them, special, with recipes from Spain, Egypt, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Also, “The Breakfast Chronicles” return with the grist on grits, sharing a simple overnight way to make them.
❏ SC•84 Mister Minestrone —We propose giving this old war-horse some respect by going back to the traditional recipes and see how craft and fresh vegetables make a spectacularly flavorful soup. Also, Alec cooks supper for the Professor, and a reader remembers her grandmother’s dish of soup and onions.
❏ SC•85 Wok Fragrant —Why real Chinese turn their noses up at Chinese-American restaurant fried rice, and what we can do about it (make our own!). Also, “Cooking Midnight,” a collection of Chinese comfort-food rice dishes, what happened to Szechuan peppercorns, and an amazing book on Asia and rice.
❏ SC•86 Pasta with Anchovies. Salt anchovies, garlic, parsley, hot pepper, olive oil—we ring the changes to fine-tune a classic pasta sauce, sharing some tasty variations along the way. Plus, a paean to fasolia gigantes, a gentle giant Greek dried white bean that is eaten as an appetizer or made into a delicious casserole. Plus a visit to the No-Name, with a recipe for Triple Ginger Ice Cream Threat.
❏ SC•87. Food Book Review Issue. In-depth reviews and recipe samplings from several interesting new cookbooks, including The Cook's Canon, The Whole Beast, The Eater's Guide To Chinese Characters, The Breath of a Wok, and A Taste of Cuba. Plus the latest on the Sichuan peppercorn ban and a roundup of the adventurous food books published by Prospect Press in Britain.
❏ SC•88. Economy Gastronomy. Some of the essays in this issue deal with attempts to make appealing recipes affordable, others deal with attempts to make affordable recipes appealing. Among the dishes described: shrimp ceviche, zucchini stuffed with savory rice, a thick potato and bok choy soup, a slow-cooked pot roast made of lamb shoulder. No-Name episode, with recipe for Hen-House Hash.
❏ SC•89. Simple Cooking Then and Now. This is our 25th anniversary issue, and in it, John looks back at what he’s learned (and failed to learn) over that time, and ponders whether the phrase “simple cooking” has any resonance for today’s cooks. Also, some recipes that traveled the distance with us, and how they’ve changed in order to stay the same.
❏ SC•90. The Plank. An eighty-year-old cookbook reveals a primitive but surprisingly superior way to broil meat in your oven (with a bonus use: making pretty authentic gyros). We also delve into the many mansions in the house that is scrambled eggs, and pay a visit to the No Name Diner, where the Professor shares his recipe for Quebec sugar pie.
❏ SC•91. African Cooking Issue. We explore the mysteries of sub-Saharan African cooking through its masterful use of a single familiar ingredient: the peanut, raw and roasted; ground, crushed, or whole. In a second essay, we investigate akara, a chickpea fritter that has won hearts wherever the African diaspora has taken it. Plus reviews of three sharply contrasting but equally interesting African cookbooks.
❏ SC•92. Random Receipts. We fall in love with a Polish potato soup flavored with dill pickles, make oat cakes from a particularly fragrant and flavorful stone-ground oatmeal from Ireland, and give hummus a new role to play at the table as the star of a main course dish made of roasted vegetables. At the No Name, we learn the connection between pea soup and London fogs, with the Professor supplying a London-cabbie inspired pea soup. As always, there are other things, including a review of two self-published Southern cooking pamphlets by a North Carolina chef.
❏ SC•93. Resuscitating Celery. Recently, I’ve come to realize that if cooking properly, celery has much to offer the cook, not only as a flavorful and succulent vegetable by itself, but as a welcome, taste-enhancing addition to other dishes, be they vegetable mélanges or meat sautés. Elsewhere in the issue, a series of small essays serve as both a memorial to my mother, who died recently, and a chance to introduce her to readers, who have not seen much of her in these pages. There are other things, too, including a forced encounter with aseptic-packaged chicken stock.
❏ SC•94. Crêpes Alone. The title captures the dual thrust of this issue's feature essay: (1) a focus on crêpes themselves as a delicious alternative to pancakes, and (2) the rich sensory and sensual pleasures that crêpes offer the solitary breakfaster. Key to both: an appreciation of the few simple ingredients required and an awareness of the virtues (and limitations) of the necessary (but modest) equipment used to make them. There is also a separate (if shorter) essay on buckwheat crêpes and an anthology of illuminating historical and contemporary quotations. Elsewhere in the issue:a review of Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, and a visit to the No-Name Diner, where the Professor produces a roll of herbswurst tablets and shares his revamping of a dish of beef and onions he encountered at Moody's Diner in Waldeboro, Maine.