Bread And Butter: A Culinary Chronicle

Wednesdays during Access Utah
  • Local Host Lael Gilbert and Jenn Ashton

Join us every Sunday before The Splendid Table for Bread and Butter: A Culinary Chronicle with food writers Lael Gilbert and Jenn Ashton.

Learn about our distinctive approach to food, cooking and eating in the West. We’ll explore a variety of topics from food waste to kitchen psychology, locally grown foods to quinoa being the new “Big Mac.”

Baking Powder Vs. Baking Soda

Mar 18, 2020
a glass jar containing baking soda


Baking powder vs. baking soda. Even experienced cooks sometimes get confused … I’ve had a few bumbles. They look the same. And they’re both leavening agents, used to help baked food rise. Leaveners are a foundation of baking … without the puff, a loaf of bread is a brick and a pancake turns into a tortilla. We require gases to be incorporated into dough or batter to give things a soft texture and make them fluffy and appealing. (it’s not always air, by the way, more often it’s CO2)


Green Chile - Do You Love It?

Mar 18, 2020
Enchilada pie recipe with green chile highlighted
Tawnya Gibson

Green Chile Green chile (that’s chile with an ‘e’ on the end. Never an ‘i’.). Do you love it? Do you hate it? Are you completely indifferent or are you not even sure, exactly, what it is? Do you have a moments pause when you wonder if people are just talking about green bell peppers and why are they so special? Completely understandable.

Food Tracking

Mar 5, 2020


I track things.  In various ways, through planners, notebooks and journals I track anything and everything in my life and the life of my family.  I have notebooks filled with dates and book lists, TV shows to keep track of and weight over time. Appointments and travel and my innermost thoughts are all represented in my stack of notebooks. 

To Haggis Or Not To Haggis

Feb 5, 2020
Christopher Pelletier

This program is a reboradcast from May 6, 2019.

Haggis. You’ve heard of it, though, if you’re like me, that’s about as far as it goes.

A Meditation on Bread Making

Jan 30, 2020


If there was one smell my son could bottle and then marinate in for the rest of his life, it would most likely be the yeasty smell of rising bread.  There is a look he gets on his face when he walks into the house as rolls or loaves are rising that is akin to nirvana.  Or, at least, that’s what I assume that look is as it’s the same one I get when I see, or even think about tacos.  Or cheesecake.


Right On With Leftovers

Jan 30, 2020
Alan Levine - Flickr


This program is a rebroadcast from April 19, 2019. 

I’ve been thinking about leftovers. Not the stubborn remnants of the casserole that turned out a little questionable even on the first go-around. No, I’ve been thinking of welcome leftovers. The curry that improves with time, giving bold spices the chance to marry and settle down. The chicken salad that tastes better the next day.

Ice Cream In Winter

Jan 20, 2020




My husband feels very strongly that where we live produces the best ice cream. Anywhere. I’m loathe to disagree, my husband being a connoisseur of all things sweet and me…not so much. Don’t get me wrong, while I’m not a crazy ice cream fan, I do like itand I do have my favorites and, on one recent occasion had a true and verified religious experience with a scoop of honey lemon ice cream on a sugar cone that I would without hesitation kill for a repeat of any day and any time. Just lead me back to it. Soon. And often. But I can usually skip it and I have even had it go bad in my freezer before.

Why Does Lamb Taste So Weird?

Jan 20, 2020


UPR has a state-wide audience, so here at Bread and Butter we try not to fixate on specific food venues. Because why would we torture you folks in Richfield and Vernal with the news that there’s a restaurant near here that serves mouthwatering Barbacoa quesadillas with hand-made tortillas cooked to a toasty crisp, melt-in-your-mouth shredded pork, dark brown candy-like caramelized onions and a side of tangy and colorful jalapeno sauce. That wouldn’t be nice.

On Baking Bread

Jan 3, 2020
Seven round, lumps of rising dough with a rolling pin sitting next to them.

Jenn and her husband Tom discuss baking bread this week on "Bread and Butter."

What Makes Holiday Food So Special?

Dec 20, 2019
A duck roast sat on a table with side dishes



I’m old enough, now, that my holiday memories have that gauzy filter planted firmly over them.  I recount, fondly, stories of Santa riding the local fire truck up and down the streets, siren and lights blaring, a few weeks before Christmas.  I remember the bag of mixed nuts and boxes of cherry cordials and orange sticks that would magically appear under the tree every Christmas Eve.  And then there was the food.

Pumpkin Pie In April? No Way!

Dec 13, 2019
nutmarketca / Pixabay

Food writers Jenn Ashton and Lael Gilbert discuss the odd behavior of only eating certain foods during the holidays. 

What's Up With The Current Devotion To The Instant Pot?

Dec 12, 2019

Food writers Lael Gilbert and Jenn Ashton sit down and discuss the modern-day obsession with the Instant Pot. 

The Thanksgiving Matrix

Nov 27, 2019
Ulrike Leone / Pixabay

Lael and Jenn are joined by a special guest to discuss something "peculiar and remarkable." Without giving too much away, it has to deal with a special kind of food planning referred to as "The Matrix." You'll have to listen in to the discussion to find out more. 

The Season We Feast

Nov 25, 2019
Element5 Digital / Pixabay

It’s that time of year again! The season we feast! We’ve chosen certain days to spend interminable hours thawing turkeys, swearing at pie crusts and refining our bread making skills … all in order to allow our friends and extended family to gather and stuff themselves silly.

'Caramel Is All The Good Within This World'

Nov 15, 2019
mrobenalt / Pixabay

I don’t have a big sweet tooth.  I never have.  I didn’t even like chocolate, the ultimate sugar cliche, until something shifted after I was pregnant.  And I still, after 45 years on this planet, believe chips are a fine meal replacement – especially in the corn or tortilla families.  

Do I Hafta??

Nov 15, 2019

I’ve realized, by hanging out with people who don’t know how to cook, that I really can competently make my way around the kitchen. I’m a home chef, not a pro. But I’ve realized, by watching the way my teenagers slaughter apples with a chef’s knife and massacre a brownie mix … a brownie mix! How hard could it be? … that over the years I’ve actually become pretty handy to have around, culinarily speaking.

Jars Of Grease

Nov 1, 2019
piviso / Pixabay

I have two medium glass jars of leftover bacon grease sitting on my kitchen counter, nestled in between my bottle of olive oil and my vintage avocado green floral motif butter dish.  I never assumed I would be the sort of person who strains and saves bacon grease to use in my cooking, but, really, now, it’s low on the list of broken assumptions I’ve amassed in my decades on earth. At least I can assuage this assumption with the knowledge that it’s really my husband who does the straining and the pouring.  I simply benefit from the full jars.

The Pressures Of Canning

Oct 11, 2019

Do the benefits of canning outweigh the drawbacks?

S. Hermann & F. Richter / Pixabay

For a recent segment, Lael and I played a ‘Name that Utah City with a Food Name.’ If you missed it, check out this link. Listen to the clues and see if you can guess the Utah cities. There are a few more Utah towns or cities we couldn’t fit into that round; but, they deserve just as much love and culinary attention.

A Tour Of A Costa Rican Chocolate Farm

Sep 27, 2019
Alexander Stein / Pixabay

In Costa Rica this summer, after two idyllic weeks of traipsing through cloud forests and relaxing on warm beaches, I still hadn’t had the chance to tour a chocolate farm. This had definitely been a priority on my pre-trip agenda, but I had procrastinated … mostly because I’d hyped the experience up so much in my head, I was afraid of disappointment. 

hirosho9 / Pixabay

"Did you know you would be a game show contestant today? We’re going to play Utah Cities with Food Names. I’ll give you some clues. Each answer is a city in Utah and the city has food or a food substance in its name."

The Age Old Practice Of Pickle Fermentation

Jul 19, 2019

Last summer, lurking in a corner in the dark of my basement was a vat of tiny warty cucumbers from our garden, now drowning in a salty brine of peppercorn, dill, garlic and grape leaves. It was my first ever experiment in fermentation. I faithfully checked the vat daily, ensuring the vegetables stayed submerged below the brine-line and to skim any scum from the surface where the saline content wasn’t high enough to prevent undesirable microbial growth.

Wikimedia Commons

Lael - So Jenn, last week I was thinning out my kitchen cupboards.  They are full of stuff, but if I could only have 10 essential tools in my kitchen, what would I choose? It's kind of the desert island question, if you had a kitchen on the desert island.  Here they are, you tell me what you think.  I’m going to start at the end.

What Are Your 'Kitchen Essentials?'

Jul 5, 2019

Jenn - So Lael, recently you shared with us your top 10 essential items for the kitchen.

Lael – I did

Jenn – It was a great list.  I got to thinking, we have some sophisticated listeners on Utah Public Radio, and maybe they have a lot of those items.  So what about a list, maybe just a top 5, of some essential tools that you may not have in your kitchen.  Well let’s jump in and see.

Nothing Satisfies Like A Good Spring Clean

Jun 20, 2019
Karolina Grabowska / Pixabay

Every year or so at my house, it rains plastic containers. I reach up to the top shelf to stack those last few plastic containers and lids, but there is just no more room, and they come pattering down to the tile floor. That’s always the signal, as reliable as spring crocuses, that it’s time for the annual kitchen cleanse.