What Shall We Have to Eat?

I won’t bother with the excuses, but yes, I’ve been away a long time.  The gist: my first book, Breakfast: A History is complete and will be published in May, and I’ve got a couple more irons in the fire that I’ll share when I have news. The future of this here is a little uncertain, but I can probably at least commit to blogging from my phone using artfully grainy Hipstamatic photos on a weekly basis.

What I’m really excited about right now (besides the fact that OH HOLY SHIT MY BOOK IS AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER!!) is a supernerdy bill of fare that I’m working on! Gone are the days when I linger in front of the cabinets and fridge wondering “what the hell am I supposed to make for dinner tonight? Guess it’s pasta again!” or text Scott at 5:15pm to meet me and Zephyr at Sunshine Tavern in 20 minutes!

Menu planners aren’t just for 19th century housekeepers and war-era homemakers anymore! My secret: substitute cold tongue and biscuits for taco night! The impetus for this decision to eat from a menu plan is driven by the half-cow in my freezer (not to mention the whole tuna sitting on my shelves in half-pint jars). I can always deviate to allow for guests, eating out, or seeing something gorgeous at the market. But so far, so good.

Here’s January:









Vegetable French bread pizza


Panko-breaded tuna cakes and rice pilaf


Roast lemon chicken with carrots and cumin-scented pilaf (use leftover rice)


Chicken pot pie with biscuit crust


Corn chowder with biscuits (use leftover chicken/carcass)


New recipe: Momofuku


Pork chops with cider apple sauce

sweet corn fritters



Misoyaki salmon with rice and cucumber salad


Spaghetti with meat sauce, green salad, garlic toast


Shepherd’s pie with mashed parsnip crust (use leftover meat sauce)


Tofu red curry with rice noodles


Pressure-cooker split pea soup with ham and biscuits


New recipe: I Know How to Cook


Roast beef, peas and carrots, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy*


Hot roast beef sandwiches, French fries, salad


Baked potatoes

w/broccoli, cheese, bacon, yogurt


Barbecue chicken sandwiches with sweet potatoes and greens


Lentil soup with kale and roasted butternut squash, baguette croutons


Macaroni and cheese with ham and broccoli



New Recipe: Silver Spoon


Baked beans,
Brown bread, Mixed pickles, Biscuits*


Meat loaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, peas and carrots


Taco Tuesday!

Roast pork with brown gravy, cabbage roasted in drippings, mashed turnips, apple sauce*  

Orzo with linguiça and clams in pepper-tomato broth


Pepper steak with creamed kale and baby potatoes


New Recipe: Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking

* From What Shall We Have to Eat (Mrs. Clarence I. Burr, 1893), with minor adjustments (typically to add vegetables and remove starches and tongue).

So, this is what I’m up to.  I’m not sure what it means for V&S. A little more historical cooking? More stuff about breakfast? More about my next projects? We’ll see.

About Heather

Heather Arndt Anderson is a Portland, Oregon-based food writer and culinary historian. She is the author of Portland: A Food Biography (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014), Breakfast: A History (AltaMira, 2013) and a contributing writer to the magazines Narratively and Remedy Quarterly.
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