May 20, 2006
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Research Assistant

Michael Ruhlman's The Reach of a Chef arrived, hot off the press. It's tons of fun.

Ruhlman says that you should toast spices, not throw them raw into your food. This morning I was preparing the spice rub for duck confit (see below for the rest of the duck) and so I toasted the coriander seed and the allspice (but not the juniper berries) before grinding them. As I was doing this extra work, I realized that I have some research work I can't find time to do.

This time it's art history: I need a quick survey of ways that painters and graphic designers have found for using words as compositional elements. Especially people who use a lot of words. It's not a big project. Maybe just a couple of hours. There's not a ton of money in it. But I bet there are people who'd think a couple of hours of Internet research or library scrounging would be a lot more fun than scooping ice cream or babysitting. I don't need a full-time research assistant, but I sure could use some occasional help. There must be a sensible business model for this....Email me.

In other news, Meg Hourihan, one of the Blogger founders, has decided to convert megnut to a food blog and will devote herself to full-time food writing.