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I am not a scientist but lately I’ve been fascinated by food science and from time to time I enjoy nerding out on chemistry with my friend Matt. Last night I called him for a stereochemistry 101 lesson.

In a nutshell, seterochemistry explores how atoms in molecules are arranged. On one hand, molecules can be exact replicas so if you superimposed one on top of the other, everything lines up perfectly. On the other hand, those molecules can also be like… well, our hands: they’re mirror images of each other and do not line up when you place one on…


Sweet potatoes are in peak season in Fall and early Winter. I had never baked a pie before and wanted my first home-made, from scratch pie to be a sweet potato pie. I crowdsourced favorite sweet potato pie recipes from home bakers in my neighborhood and combined them into one. Adapted from Chris Kimball and Rose McGee’s sweet potato pie recipes, pie crust from Marcy Goldman and Chris Kimball. Give yourself about five hours total so you can slow-roast the sweet potatoes.

This recipe works best if you like heavily spiced pie and have patience and time to take it…


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Today I opened the windows. The stale air inside our home disappeared and clean air renewed the empty spaces in the house. The air purifier didn’t even flinch while our new guest filled our home. I turned it off.

Today I fasted. The air was pristine and I craved the outdoors. Not knowing how long it would last, I filled a water bottle, grabbed my dog’s leash, and rescued my trail running shoes from the closet. They hadn’t seen the sun or felt the ground in weeks. There was no time for breakfast, there was only time to head to…

Andrea Castillo

Author of Seasonal, a newsletter that explores the Bay Area food system, one fruit and vegetable at a time: http://seasonal.substack.com/

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