Who are you?

My name is Sarah, and I co-write this blog with my husband Joe.  I work in the translation industry here in Philadelphia, and he is an office manager in Center City.  We’ve been together since 1998 and were recently married.  Joe’s the culinary genius in our marriage– he blends flavors fearlessly, drawing on his Italian-American heritage, and he’s an artist when it comes to presentation.  I’m the food writer- I enjoy researching the historical and cultural origins of foodways from around the world, and spreading the word about Real Food and how to enjoy it without giving up all of your time and money.  I also love to cook, and together we’re quite the culinary team.

Are you on a gluten-free diet?

Not anymore.  I was recently diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  For those who are familiar with the details of these things, I test positive for antibodies to IgG and negative to the other three antibodies that are diagnostic of celiac disease, so technically the diagnosis is up in the air.  I don’t identify myself as a celiac now.  I was gluten free for four months in 2005 and wheat free for two years, and I’m easing my way back into the world of wheat.  I do make lots and lots of gluten-free recipes, and try to label them as such.  Some posts labeled gluten-free will include bread in the post, but have a gluten-free entree.  I also use spelt in some recipes, and label it accordingly.  I also label dairy-free recipes where appropriate.  For information on gluten-free and allergen-free kitchen safety, this is a good place to start.  I’d like to make this blog a useful source of inspiration and ideas for gluten-free and allergic cooks.

What cookbooks are you using?

I’ve built a little library that now includes the following:

An Introduction to Indian Cooking, Madhur Jaffrey

Lebanese Cuisine, Anissa Helou

The Chinese Kitchen, Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

The Complete Book of Mexican Cooking, Elizabeth Lambert Ortiz

The Special Taste of Florida, G. Dean Foster

The Moosewood Cookbook, Molly Katzen

The New Book of Middle Eastern Cooking, Claudia Roden

The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods, Bette Hagman

I’m Just Here for the Food, Alton Brown

Can I come over for dinner?

Probably, if you bring alcohol and give me some advance warning.


16 Responses to “FAQ”

  1. Lucy Dee Says:

    Hey, RealPotato!

    My name is Lucy Dee and I’m a black female standup comedienne in NYC.

    I caught wind of your comment on The ABW (Angry Black Woman) blog.

    Based on your worldly response on ABW, I figured you might be interested in my most recent post on Metabigotry in comedy.

    I’m trying to “get the word out,” and I decided to drop you a line.
    Perhaps, you would be interested in stopping by my spot and giving your opinion?

    Thank you again, and thanks for being such an open-minded citizen.

    My blog:
    The Quest For Comedic Stardom


  2. therealpotato Says:

    What a fascinating topic– I’ll definitely check it out! Thanks for stopping by– and good luck with your act, I hope you rock NYC.

  3. zazou Says:

    Hi Sarah!

    let’s see, why aren’t I learning Tamil…well, am trying to convince “friend” I can learn Urdu/Hindi- said friend is skeptical- although I have a base in arabic….said friend has little faith…his loss- not mine (sigh! please pass the roti…)
    Anyhoo, sorry to hear you were diagnosed with Crohn’s. I do hope you are feeling well. First ex had Crohn’s and we had no idea how to deal with it. You sound like you have it worked out. Good luck with that! Have enjoyed reading your posts on SM.

  4. therealpotato Says:

    Hi Zazou– thanks for stopping by!

    OK, that’s a pretty good reason not to be learning Tamil… cool. I also started learning Tamil just to prove to someone that I could! (OK, and to impress him.) heh. Can you write in Urdu?

    Thanks for the good wishes! I seem to be having really good luck with the medicine I’m on– I haven’t really even had the big sit-down with my gastroenterologist yet, so I could be doing things totally wrong. (And I probably shouldn’t have gone out for Belgian beer last night, but… Belgian beer!) One day at a time… 🙂

    I like your blog, btw!

  5. zazou Says:

    Why, thank you! Can’t write urdu- could write fake urdu… it looks a lot like arabic!I’, so glad to hear you’re doing well. Have not talked to ex in years so have no idea ho whe is doing, but do remember the first, very painful years. But you seem to be taking thins in good stride- so congrats! Will be blogging for real again soon- been writing for Al Jadid, so am behind, behind, behind….:<. Conditioner is pushing me to write more- bless his little, oversudded heart.

  6. therealpotato Says:

    I hope you do start blogging again! *push push push*


  7. Beany Says:

    Hi, I found your blog while searching for a source where I could buy local flour and a few of your recipes seem to use it. Since I live in Philadelphia, I was wondering if you would post where you get your local flour from. I am hoping the flour is ground and grown locally. I am trying to move my diet to one that is local and right now, flour is the biggest component of our diet does is not (I use Arthur’s from Vermont).

    Thank you.

  8. therealpotato Says:

    Hi Beany!

    I’ve gotten spelt flour from Lancaster County at the Fair Food Farmstand, which is in the Reading Terminal Market. I’m not sure of the brand name, but the website has some good resources. Good luck!


  9. Amanda Says:

    Hey Lady,
    Long time no chat but your blog is awesome–you have become quite the foody! Hope all is well and let me know when you are in DC again. I know of a great etheopian resturant!

  10. therealpotato Says:

    Hey girl!! Welcome to the Potato! I make it down to DC every now and then– would LOVE to catch up!

    Big hugs to you and Tim!

  11. Mrs.K. Says:

    Thanks for the comment…I’m doing pretty good and writing helps, as does reading comforting food blogs. Food and pregnancy go quite well together, you know. 🙂

  12. beatgrl Says:

    I came here from the Shakesville comment thread and will definitely be back for more reading!!

  13. Elizabeth Says:

    Which of those cookbooks would you recommend starting with, if I were going to start with one? And if I don’t know how to cook at all? But I really like to eat? Hypothetically speaking.

  14. Sarah Says:

    Ooh, good question. The Moosewood Cookbook is vegetarian, but it’s really accessible for someone who’s just learning to cook. There are even little hand-drawn diagrams to help things along.

    Alton Brown is great if you want to learn techniques, particularly for cooking meat. He explains everything scientifically so you really understand what’s happening when you, say, roast a chicken.

    If that feels a little too advanced, though, I once bought a friend two pots and a book called ‘Help! My Apartment Has a Kitchen!’ and he made himself lentil soup all winter. 🙂

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