Umami Bites: We Chase a Partly Cloud Eclipse, Smoke Some Chicken, and Make a Greek Salad Inspired by the Sun

Smoking Chicken

Standing in the middle of Nebraska, looking at the sun through a blanket of clouds, all I could think about is how no one ever tells you what it’s like to sort of see a total eclipse. To drive a thousand miles over three days for a once in a lifetime experience that’s only pretty good. In Chasing a Partly Cloudy Eclipse Across America, I get to do my best Smokey and the Bandit impersonation, learn all about Mennonite farmers and see a total eclipse from a slightly different point of view.

There’s something that happens when you slowly smoke whole chicken legs. As they cook they develop a soft, almost buttery texture that melts in your mouth. If you’re looking for a delicious fall dinner, try making a batch of Smoked Chicken Quarters and pairing them with Creamed Corn, one of our favorite late summer, early fall side dishes.

When you’re cooking with fire this fall, try mixing up A Perfect Manhattan.  The combination of rye whiskey and two types of vermouth pairs beautifully with the flavors from grilled and smoked dishes.

Sometimes it only takes a few ingredients to make something delicious. For some of the best Grilled Asparagus we’ve ever had, all it takes is a little sea salt, olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.  The same magic happens when you combine maple syrup, Greek yogurt, and some cream to create Maple Frango, a luxurious little frozen dessert.

At its best, travel shapes us, it changes who we are and what we crave. Just ask Eileen, who’s been thinking about A Greek Salad Inspired by the Sun. It’s a simple salad that uses a light lemon vinaigrette to bring fresh veggies from the farmers’ market to life.

Travel is how I became a little less afraid of running into black bears and gray wolves out in the woods. It turns out all I had to do was spend some time drinking beer with people who like to drive trains down the freeway, get to know the root beer lady, and Hang Out at the Edge of the Boundary Waters in Ely, Minnesota.

Looking ahead, we’re working on a story about the new world of pressure cookers, e.g., Instant Pots, and would love to hear from people who already have one, what they like or dislike about them, and what questions people who are thinking about buying one have. Just reply to this email with your thoughts.

We’re also working on a bevy of fall recipes, some site updates, and planning a big trip to Hawaii, so get ready for some amazing pictures on our Instagram and Facebook pages.


Learn More

Find more recipes, tips, and ideas about these techniques, ingredients, and cuisines.




Let’s Connect


Use our tasty search to look for delicious content by ingredient, meal, technique, and more….

Let us know what you think

Let us know what you think and share your notes and ideas with other cooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *