Welcome to Slices of Blue Sky! On this site you’ll find my musings about a wide variety of topics — everyday home cooking, explorations of obscure ingredients, weird popular culture, and much more. There’s a small chance the archives will look familiar, since much of the content was created under the banner of Mental Masala (2005-2016) and imported to this site in late 2016.
I grew up in mid-Michigan eating a post-war midwestern diet: plenty of jello, crispy shell tacos, casseroles, and the like. It was all skillfully prepared, but came out of a fairly narrow cultural window. It wasn’t until I moved to Berkeley, California to go to graduate school that my culinary world opened up. I still live in Berkeley and enjoy cooking the excellent local produce, visiting the great outdoors, and digging for obscure information in the marvelous U.C. Berkeley libraries.
I’m a bit of a nerd and a researcher at heart, so while I’m researching and writing my posts I often go “down the rabbit hole,” digging up books and articles to find the answers to my questions (recently: is millet used to make alcoholic beverages? What is the story behind the filming of the 1970s TV show “Emergency” in Compton?).
You can also find some of my writing at The Ethicurean. I also wrote for Eat Local Challenge and Growers and Grocers, but those sites have disappeared.