Kitchen Favorites: Cheese Plane

Three generations of Norwegian cheese planes remain favorite tools in my family—including the one I’ve used for more than 40 years. Learn more at
It’s been a busy few weeks of workshops and projects, so I’m finally getting a chance to share my latest piece for The Spruce Eats. This was such a fun story to write, because it combines my love of a tool that sees daily use in my kitchen with a bit of family history that let me reach back for memories from my childhood and beyond. It’s funny how sometimes the smallest things can stick with you the longest—like this cheese slicer that I’ve been using for more than 40 years.

I was able to work on this story while I was visiting my family, so I had a chance to shoot the generations of Norwegian cheese planes that remain favorite tools. In my mom’s kitchen, you’ll find my grandmother’s cheese slicer. The one I grew up with has moved to my kitchen, and a Norwegian cousin kept my sister in the loop by gifting her a lovely silver cheese plane for her wedding.
Learn about choosing and using a cheese plane


Making Friends with Ferments

I’m excited to be teaching a free workshop, Making Friends with Ferments, on March 4 at the 8th annual Free the Seeds. Learn more at
One of my favorite spring-transition traditions in Montana is Free the Seeds, a free, daylong seed giveaway and workshop fair that teaches about real seeds, real food, and real skills. I’ve been teaching workshops at the event for several years and am excited to be back in person for the 8th annual Free the Seeds on March 4.

As I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon, my Making Friends with Ferments workshop is just 1 of 27 on the day’s schedule for this year, with the others ranging from garden plants and skills, to keeping bees and chickens, to topics aimed at this year’s theme: cultivating community.
Learn to make more about making friends with ferments

Apple-Sweetened Yellow Onions

When pickling, red onions are just as readily available as yellow ones for colorful combinations. Learn more at
I have to admit: Before I wrote The Complete Guide to Pickling, I rarely thought about pickling onions. Onions land in just about every jar of pickles I make, from Spring Asparagus Pickles and Salt-and-Vinegar Winter Squash, to canned Honeyed Bread-and-Butter Chips, to Southern-Style Pickled Shrimp. If I wanted slices of pickled onions for a sandwich, I just fished them out of one of those jars.

But part of the fun of pickling onions is that red onions are just as readily available as yellow ones, making it easy to create colorful combinations. Lime-Pickled Onions, with thinly slices of red onion immersed in lime juice, become a shocking pink. Red Onions in Wine Vinegar turn a deeper reddish hue. For Fermented Red Onions, weighing down the onion rings with a red beet doubles down on the brightness. I even use red onions, and sometimes just their skins, in other recipes for an extra shot of color.

The pickled onions I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon keep their pale, nearly translucent color, but apple cider vinegar and a little bonus sugar make them a bit sweeter than these more colorful versions.
Learn to make Apple-Sweetened Yellow Onions

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Homemade sourdough pita deserves homemade hummus, which you can whip up in minutes with ingredients in your kitchen. Learn more at
You can’t go wrong with the classic pairing of pita bread and hummus. Although hummus has become popular enough to earn cold-case space in most grocery stores, your homemade Pillow Sourdough Pita deserves a homemade spread. Fortunately, you can easily whip up a batch in minutes in your kitchen, as I share this week in my Twice as Tasty column for the Flathead Beacon.

For maximum flavor and creaminess in my hummus, I use roasted garlic, a little Homemade Yogurt, and home-cooked dried chickpeas. My hummus is still ready in minutes because I always have a stash of roasted garlic and fresh yogurt in my fridge for all sorts of uses. Then I’ll cook up a large batch of beans for a couple of meals and throw in an extra 2/3 cup of dried beans to pull out for hummus. But for spontaneous hummus, I always have a can or two of low-sodium chickpeas in my pantry.
Learn to make Roasted Garlic Hummus