Dick Stein

Midday Jazz Host

Dick Stein has been with KPLU since January, 1992. His duties include hosting the morning jazz show and co-hosting and producing the Food for Thought feature with the Seattle Times’ Nancy Leson. He was writer and director of the three Jimmy Jazzoid live radio musical comedies and 100 episodes of Jazz Kitchen. Previous occupations include the USAF, radio call-in show host, country, classical and top-40 DJ, chimney sweep, window washer and advertising copywriter.

His most memorable KPLU moment: Peeling Alien life form from Erin Hennessey’s face after it leapt at her from the biohazard refrigerator he picked up cheap for the station at an FDA garage sale. Dick is married to nationally noted metalsmith, jewelry designer and cowgirl “Calamity” Cheryl DeGroot.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Tom Douglas Did Not Disparage My Mother's Meatloaf

Tom Douglas in front of his Lola restaurant.
Nancy Leson

...Even though he should have. When I described her recipe on my old Jazz Kitchen feature, he swallowed hard and forced a  smile and an "...interesting." Then we both cracked up. 

And now, the authentic eat-it-if-you-dare recipe.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 18, 2013

To Peel a Whole Head of Garlic, Just Shake it Up, Baby!

After 30 seconds of shaking, this garlic bulb is mostly peeled
Nancy Leson

Nancy shares Martha Stewart's trick for peeling a whole head of garlic.

This week, Nancy Leson demonstrates Martha Stewart's clever method for peeling a whole head of garlic.  Nothing could be simpler. And not only is it easy and fun, it (wait for it...) really, really works!

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Plied (with) Green Tomatoes

Nancy's (mostly) green tomatoes
Nancy Leson

Nancy makes Dick eat her green tomato preserves.

I like everything made from tomatoes.  I just don't like the tomatoes themselves.  Or anything containing identifiable parts of them. 

Yet when Nancy Leson plied me with some of the  green tomato relish she'd made, I had to admit I liked it.  

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed September 4, 2013

She Sings the Cookbook Electric

Before: Nancy arranges ingredients for Lark Restaurant's Manila clams.
Nancy Leson

Nancy and dick discuss paper vs electronic formats for cookbooks

This  Food for Thought installment is half about on-screen cookbooks and their various apps and half about clams.  In dreaming up a headline I started with Do Clamoids Dream of Electric... but that was as far as I could get. Which may be just as well. 

Anyway, Nance thinks that cooking from a screen is the way to go.  Even if  you don't agree, but you do like clams, read on.... 

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Food for Thought
11:03 am
Wed August 28, 2013

And the Haiku Contest Winnahs Are...!

From left to right, Mike Yanega, Dick Stein, Stephanie Fisher, Nancy Leson, Jody Dills.

Thanks to all who contributed an amazing 481 haiku to the contest. There were so many clever and inventive entries that Nancy and I are gladder than ever that we didn’t have to judge. But you did.

Here are the top three:

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Foodf for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 21, 2013

Stein to Leson: Fig-geddaboudit!

Urban fig farmer Bill Farhat.
Nancy Leson

I won't even go near a Fig Newton, but Nancy loves them so much she even makes her own as seen in the second picture above.  

I'd always thought that other than my ex's potted Ficus, figs only grew in the Middle East. Who knew that a-figianados of the fruit were cultivating them right here in the Pacific Northwest.  Everyone, apparently, but me.

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Food for Thought
10:26 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Nancy Wishes She Had More Space for Dishes

Nancy's kitchen dish cabinet
Nancy Leson

Nancy scores a yard sale cabinet for her Desert Rose

For some folks, a dish is just the landing pad you sling the hash onto.  Not so for Nancy Leson.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Cold Food, Hot Contest

Welcome to my 'fridge. L-R: Half-Sours, pickled radish, preserved lemon, pickled shitakes.
Stein

Cold soup, cold pickles and the hot new Food for Thought haiku contest.

With hot weather comes cold food. In this episode of Food for Thought, Nancy Leson offers a cold soup made with grapes, cream cheese and cucumbers among other things. I talk about those pickles up there. But wait—there's more! Be very excited because you're just...

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Seattle Chefs, Eateries Featured in Novels

Nancy poses with her suggestion for me should I disdain her novel reccos.
Some guy. Some Guy Photos

Nancy Leson talks about some novels which mention Seattle area chefs and restaurants.

My Food for Thought co-conspirator Nancy Leson says that Seattle restaurants and chefs are mentioned in quite a few of the novels she's read recently. Not surprisingly, Tom Douglas and his restaurants are mentioned in several.

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed July 24, 2013

Ms. Fizz Scouts New Seattle Sodas

Two of Nancy's favorites
Nancy Leson

Nancy tells Dick about new sodas on the Seattle scene

We've  gone far beyond Coke vs. Pepsi around here. My Food for Thought co-conspirator Nancy "Ms. Fizz" Leson has a real jones (no pun intended) for Rachel's Ginger Beer.  Just hearing her talk about it makes me want some, too. Even though my favorite soda flavor is...

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Dick Quacks up for Salt-Preserved Duck Eggs

Salty duck egg with squid on fried rice.
Stein

Dick tells Nancy about the salt-preserved duck eggs he put up.

In addition to being delicious, salty duck eggs offer more than 1,000,000 percent of your USDA daily sodium requirement. And their virtues don't end there.

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Food for Thought
5:35 am
Wed July 10, 2013

Nancy Leson's amazing cherry-pitting secret revealed!

For Leson, life is several bowls of cherries
Nancy leson

All about cherries including Nancy Leson's method for removing cherry pits without a cherry pitter

Say goodbye to broken nails. Bid adieu to those earsplitting pneumatic cherry stone extractors. Give the old heave-ho to the danger and expense of specially trained cherry-pitting Komodo Dragons. 

Now there's a safe, easy method for removing cherry pits, says Nancy Leson. And it's probably not what you think. 

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Food for Thought
5:05 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Grind your own homeburger

Nancy's husband Mac's old-school grinder
Nancy Leson Seattle Times

Nancy Leson shares some tips on home-ground hamburger

According to my Food for Thought pard  Nancy Leson, the #1 reason to go to all the trouble of home-grinding your own 'burger is because it will taste way better.  

Reason #2? It's really not all that much trouble. Plus you'll know exactly what's in it. Which, she suggests, might include bacon or chorizo. Which can never be bad.

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Food for Thought
5:00 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Eat like it's 1855: A time-traveling culinary adventure

What the well-dressed gastronome was wearing circa 1855
Ft. Nisqually Living History Museum

Dick tells Nancy about the food he sampled at the 1855 cooking contest at the Ft Nisqually living History Museum.

I've received many invitations to judge cooking contests which I always decline with thanks. I've just never felt comfortable doing that. 

But when Chris Erlich, the Event Coordinator for the Ft. Nisqually Living History Museum invited me to a sampling of authentically-prepared 1855 Washington chow, I couldn't resist, especially since I got to wear a real-deal 1855 outfit.

That's right. The only difference between me and a real ham is that a real ham can be cured.

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Food for Thought
5:21 am
Wed June 19, 2013

These Sichuan ribs will melt your head

Stein and Kniestedt get what they were asking for.
K. Kneistedt Hair on Fire Productions

I knew that  recipe was dangerous the moment I saw it. Six Thai peppers? A half cup of chile oil? And that was just the start of the hot stuff. Naturally, I couldn't wait to make it. 

Because he'll eat anything (except tofu), I invited Weekend Edition host Kevin Kniestedt over to have some. We were in agony. And we couldn't stop. Maybe you'd like to try it.

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