Practically Edible is a blog exploring eating well, with “well” being defined as interesting, healthy, moreish food in copious quantities washed down with the appropriate beverage!
My name is Randal; I’m the author of CooksInfo.com, the largest food encyclopaedia on the Internet. Since its launch in 1999, I have endeavoured to restrict CooksInfo.com to facts (just the facts, ma’am, just the facts) as free of opinion from me as is humanly possible. With PracticallyEdible.com, I’m rolling back the curtain to reveal my opinions on things, and what actually happens after I finish researching or photographing something.
I’m hoping to share with you my successes and failures for easy, healthy and interesting kitchen tricks and treats. With any luck, you’ll like and enjoy a few of them. But you’ll also get my (sometimes tortuous) reasoning because above all else, I am a Thinking Cook. My all-time favourite food book is “Physiologie du Goût”, 1825, by Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
I’m really hoping to get cooking / thinking / research challenges from you. I’m a weird combo because I can do food research in 9 languages but I swear I am as down to earth as they come. If I need time to find the answer, I will be honest and tell you it needs time. If I never figure out for myself what the answer might be, I will be honest and say that, too.
Practically Edible is the food blog that thinks about food: mind you, thinking doesn’t always mean that an answer arrives in time for dinner on the table, ha!
(If you’re interested in fitness, I’m also the author of www.nordicwalkingfan.com.)
I’ve always believed in a practical, liveable approach to cooking, but my thinking in the kitchen has grown and changed.
I had taken so many courses on how to cook, but when I became a Weight Watchers for Men member in 2013, it was my first ever course in how to eat. Weight Watchers, which forbids nothing but, with their Julia Child-like approach to food, gives you the tools to enjoy everything at the right time in exactly the right quantities, was just the right tool that my batterie de cuisine was missing to make sure my cooking stayed both healthy and full of joie de vivre.
I’ve since come also to believe that we as cooks do really need to wrestle back control of the amount of salt and refined sugars in our foods. And, as odd as it may seem, I’ve come to see my new found passion for Nordic Walking as an extension of my cooking, because it’s through that powerhouse sport that I earn the leeway to indulge in gorgeous French classics such as beurre brun and goose-fat roasted vegetables.
This blog is dedicated to the four people who most formed my cooking.
- My grandmother, Grace Oulton from Nova Scotia, who didn’t believe in separation of chores between boys and girls and so made me wash and peel when it was preserving time, knead dough when it was bread time, and who sacrificed many wooden spoons to teach me the blessings of paying attention;
- Sally Gomery from Montreal, a lifelong soulmate from Trinity who infused her cooking with a meaningfulness, passion, intellect and spirituality and confusingly introduced me to both Laurels’ Kitchen and Brillat-Savarin at the same time;
- Debrann Barr who has taught me so much, who crooks an eyebrow in just the right way to bring me back down to earth, with whom I have cooked with side by side for nearly 20 years now analyzing and debating over a glass of wine;
- My Dad, who taught me how to make a mean hash and the world’s best baking powder biscuits, boiled dinners and down-east Maritime breakfasts.
And to all my friends who keep on sharing weird and wonderful food tips and photos and articles with me.
p.s. And a shout out to Kathleen McBride, fellow foodie, author of SweetSmart, and my graphic design angel.