Lael Gilbert

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.

rawpixel / Pixabay

There is an abundance of inspiration on how to eat well from the big world. Every culture does it just a bit differently – from favoring an emphatic slurp over a bowl of noodles in Japan to the taboo in Italy against mixing seafoods like calamari with cheese. 

The Pressures Of Canning

Oct 11, 2019

Do the benefits of canning outweigh the drawbacks?

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. 

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.

“I’m Not THAT Allergic To Peanuts”

May 29, 2019
Iva Balk / Pixabay

Last month we hosted a dinner for a group of high school students … most of whom I’d never met before they appeared, ravenous, in our driveway. It was perfect weather that day not to allow 25 teenage boys inside the house. Soon the grill in the backyard sizzled juicy Angus hamburgers, salty franks and a few well-seasoned black-bean burger patties. A folding table was loaded with buns and condiments, plates of crisp veggies, creamy red potato salad, a huge plate covered with tiny squares of dense fudge … chocolate and peanut butter.

Equator And Spicy Foods

Apr 26, 2019

You may not know it, but when you choose between roasted red potatoes and curried rice for dinner, you are participating in a fascinating culinary phenomenon happening on a global scale.

Crumpets vs. English Muffins

Mar 29, 2019

In the United States, we enjoy many brilliant British exports … fish and chips, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Benedict Cumberbatch. But, we don’t have crumpets.


Climate change affects more than just the weather and news cycles. Vast ecological changes are creeping upon us … like a slowly rising proof. And our food, so dependant on a narrow range of factors – including temperature, rain and changing ecosystems – is under the grim auspices of this slow threat. 


If your doorbell rings this time of year, there’s a fair chance that it’s a neighbor, bundled in layers, bearing a cellophane-wrapped plate of homemade caramel or frosted cookies. It’s the season for these folks to make their way around the block, balancing plates and towing kids, sharing piles of chocolate dipped pretzels, almond cookies and gingerbread. It’s the Neighbor Plate, the Utah equivalent of caroling – with less crooning and more calories.

Tomato Ketchup: Oh The Varieties

Oct 27, 2017

Ketchup comes in more varieties than most people know, and is likely the most American dish there is.

Mushrooms: An Under-appreciated Food

Oct 27, 2017

Homegrown mushrooms can be an excellent addition to many meals, and tend to be an under-appreciated food.