Tag Archives: cooking

Gratitude: Adventurous Eating



Bitter melon is very bitter, but I suspect cocoyam doesn’t taste like cocoa.

It’s time to recommit myself to a lot of things, including this blog. Even though nobody seems to care or notice that I haven’t drawn a comic in over 3 weeks, I remind myself that this blog is for you. It’s for me. You just happen to be lucky enough to read it. There are going to be some Dragon Comics soon.

For this gratitude, which was supposed to go up last week, I was thinking about all the foods in the world I haven’t tried. Like a lot of kids, I was a boring and picky eater with a very limited repertoire. A lot of people would still consider me picky—I largely avoid grains, particularly wheat, and white sugar, and won’t eat anything made with ground or preserved meat, or most fast or junk foods—but I’m fairly open to trying new things, especially if they come from older and healthier cuisines. Lately, we’re obsessed with West African cuisine, particularly fufu and peanut sauce. It’s delicious, and if you haven’t tried it, especially with goat, you’re missing out on some of the good things in life.

For a little pick-me-up it’s fun to go to new grocery stores, especially ones run and patronized by immigrants. There are 100s or 1000s of fruits and vegetables you’ve never tried, with which other people are familiar, and now that we have the internet there’s no excuse not to try them. In all honesty, I tried the bitter melon a few different ways and it was too bitter for me, but I’m glad I tried it. You never know what you might enjoy. The cocoyam I’ll try to work up into something tonight.

My gratitude is for the existence of and will to experience countless new foods.


Dragon Comics 140

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Or unmelted cheese, I would imagine. Any cheese, really.

Another little slice of life here in Dragon’s Cave.

By the way, the trick to homemade mozzarella sticks is to freeze the cheese after you’ve breaded it but before you fry it. Otherwise, it melts before the outside gets crispy and loses its shape and leaks out everywhere. Of course, some people like that sort of thing.

The experimental breading is basically just pakora batter without the spices: garbanzo flour, water, and salt. Very tasty. Makes light and fluffy mozzarella sticks. Pleasing to children and other cheese-eating organisms.


Need to Know Basis

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Ned Flanders: That’s the loudest profanity I’ve ever heard. 

I sort of covered this territory before: When Good Moms Go Bad, but @#$&#*!!! does this drive me to the edge. But after I drew that comic I learned that I’m not alone. And it’s not like there’s something inherently wrong with the question. It’s not like you can ask them to stop asking. But I wish they would stop asking. For one thing, I feel that a reasonable person can usually answer it themselves just through a few moments of being observant. For another thing, what difference does it make to you now? You’ll find out when I serve it to you, and until then, it has no impact on your life. I’m working. Please stay out of my circle of influence.

And I swear the other day, I did get, “Why can’t we have x?” in response to my answer. We can’t have x because I’m not making x. I’m making the thing that I’m making. Not everyone wants to eat macaroni and cheese 7 nights a week.

If you cook for kids regularly, you get it. Otherwise it’s probably not relatable. Although maybe cursing loudly on a mountaintop is universally relatable.

This comic could use a lot of shading and other things but I didn’t start it until very late and I don’t have much left in my hands at this hour. We did take a lovely drive through the mountains, through a monsoon. The photos ought to be resplendent.

I’m OK with the Events That Are Unfolding Currently

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This is not me and this is not my problem. Because I’m smart. I took all the batteries out. 

Smoke detectors save lives. But also, I have never had my life saved by a smoke detector and have never set one off doing anything other than ordinary cooking, and eggplant seems to be the worst culprit. For a long time, I only fried in olive oil, which has a low smoke point and is not recommended for frying, but it still happens with coconut oil. And if there’s one thing you want to do while you’re frying massive quantities of food at high temperatures, it’s walk away from the stove and spend 5 minutes trying to shut off a wailing alarm hung several feet above your head.

We had a super-hilarious experience last spring at my brother’s for Passover. My sister-in-law is a nurse who works 12-hour overnight shifts 3 days a week, so her sleeping schedule is both wonky and important. Preparing for the holiday, my mom was frying eggplant one morning, several hours after my sister-in-law had returned from work and finally gotten to sleep around 9 a.m or something. Of course, the smoke alarm goes off. And then a second. And then a third. My sister-in-law is a really sound sleeper, but the ceilings in that place are wonderfully high, and we could find no ladders. Standing on a chair, The Man could not reach the ceiling to silence any of the devices. We opened all the doors and windows but all 3 of these things were wailing for what felt like 30 minutes. I didn’t time it. But it was a while. My sister-in-law was very confused when she finally woke up.

But, safety first, kids!

I like the look of dawning realization on the girl’s face in panel 3. And I think I got mild confusion down pretty well in panel 2. I can be taught.



I’m all about needless complication, especially when it comes to my snack food.

This is the real way to make popcorn in my book. You take a pot with a lid, add a generous dollop of oil, drop in one kernel, close the lid, and turn the burner onto high. Then you wait. When the first kernel pops, you open the lid, dump in the rest of the popcorn, close the lid, and shake the pot vigorously until it all pops. You can’t let it sit on the heat once the popping stops or it will burn, but 100% of the time, some kernels don’t pop until you open the lid.

That’s my story for today, as the Rabbit says.

What are you doing, Dragon? Part 4

Not to brag, but when the Man read this comic, he laughed out loud, and he considers himself a real arbiter of comedy.

Don’t try this at home. Unless you are a fire-breathing dragon. And your home is asbestos.

There’s one more Dragon comic in the works for tomorrow; probably not quite ready to commit to daily webcomics, although I hope to do so someday. But this has been a very encouraging experiment, and Friday’s comic will not be the end of Dragon’s quest to draw.