Main Courses

The Best Bean Burger, Well So Far

The first rule for vegans ought to be, “Forget about trying to fool carnos with meatless analogs.” A “realistic” homemade meatless hamburger has too much prep and unexpected ingredients (beets for bloodiness), while the new generation of store-bought patties is highly processed and unexpectedly expensive. But happy childhood memories of frankfurters spring from the mouthfeel […]

Birdberg Blotter

Reopening Birdberg Blotter

© 2006 Ben S. Pollock If Twitter had been up in February 2006, these listings from a mirthological police blotter log would have been tweets. But that social medium came about weeks later. The ivory-billed woodpecker, unofficially considered extinct, had been spotted the previous two years in rural Arkansas. Ivory-billed woodpeckers wouldn’t tweet, those peckers […]

Body, Home, Street

Obituary for Jan Soderstrom

Jan Carol Altman Soderstrom, of Winston-Salem, N.C., died April 7, 2021, at the age of 71, of cancer. She was born May 22, 1949, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the late Howard Altman and Joanne M. Pollock. She was an educator. Jan was raised from early childhood in Fort Smith, Arkansas, by Joanne and Ben S. […]


French as in Red

My Beloved and I, on the far side of middle age, recall bottled French as a deep red and savory salad dressing, maybe a hint of sweetness. Groceries these days have moved French dressing below or way above eye level on shelves so it must be out of fashion. Those Frenches are way too sweet […]


Vanilla and Chocolate V’Ices

Given that ice cream, gelato, sorbet or even “nice cream” are indulgences, here is an alternate name. As nice cream usually refers to a banana-based treat, I’m going for “v’ice” — short for vegan ice. The vanilla mock ice cream is adapted from Silk’s recipe. The chocolate version is from King Arthur, which is based […]


Pando Pan Loaf

Years ago I did sourdough for a spell but moved to other recipes, ending up at the no-knead school. All the talk about sourdough baking during the 2020-21 novel coronavirus-2019 pandemic, and pockets of time from working at home, led me to return. King Arthur Flour has been my touchstone on sourdough this time out, […]