Time to reflect on the year that has passed, a good one with much productivity here in the Ruhlman household! As our hobbled economy slouches toward recovery (and a fractious House of Reps hides behind a corner, stick in hand, waiting to trip it up), we remain staunchly optimistic! And I would like to publicly thank my amazing wife, without whom none of this could happen. Thank you, Donna!

Herewith, a bit of personal horn tooting, highlights of this year’s work, followed by the Top Ten most popular posts of 2012. Best wishes to all for a healthy and fruitful New Year filled with great food and great cooking!

Ruhlman’s Twenty: 20 Techniques, 100 Recipes, a Cook’s Manifesto won both the James Beard Foundation Award and the IACP award for general cooking.

Brian Polcyn and I published Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing, a follow-up to our 2005 surprise best-seller Charcuterie (maybe too successful, as we’re already seeing signs of charcuterie overload!).

Donna and I, with the help of many, published The Book of Schmaltz: A Love Song to a Forgotten Fat, a single-subject cookbook for iPads in the iTunes app store.

And I’m proud of my essay-long memoir, How I Became a Food Writer Without Ever Wanting to Be One, a Kindle Single called The Main Dish available for all devices.

Top 10 Posts for 2012

Food Fascism

Culinary Intelligence—An Emerging Trend?

How to Sell a Cookbook: Part II

Ghostwriter Dustup

Friday Cocktail Hour: The Manhattan

So You Want to Write a Cookbook

The Hidden Health Hazards of Lettuce


The Perfect Martini

Corned Beef: It’s Never Too Late!


(GIVEAWAY: Edamam is featuring my bread app (for iPads here or Kindle Fire here) and my bread recipes this week. Follow their contest on twitter @edamam.)

And this just in! Update: A blogger named Reese M. intends to blog and review each technique in Ruhlman’s Twenty, as she described yesterday on her site, Miss Bookish Girl, yesterday. I’m wishing her good luck and am eager to read about her experience as she is my ideal reader, a bookish girl by her own account who cares about cooking. Good luck mysterious @MissBookishGirl!

© 2013 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2013 Donna Turner Ruhlman. All rights reserved.


10 Wonderful responses to “Top 10 Posts 2012”

  • Mike

    I liked the Ghostwriter Dustup as I wondered if I’m somehow related to Amy (last name) who helped write the recipes! I’m stil wayyy backed up on books but your Ruhlman’s Twenty is high on the list.

  • Marshall

    “As our hobbled economy slouches toward recovery (and a fractious House of Reps hides behind a corner, stick in hand, waiting to trip it up), we remain staunchly optimistic!”
    Perhaps, but obviously not apolitical. You often say that food and cooking bring us together. I wholeheartedly agree. The cliche is that one should never discuss religion and politics at the dinner table, especially one that has so many “guests” sitting around it.
    Obviously, it’s your site and you are free to express yourself as you deem necessary.
    I just happen to think that an otherwise great recap list of the year could have been presented without the offhand, and frankly, unwarranted, snark.

    • ruhlman

      I’m furious at all parties of government. It angers me that a small agreement on tax cuts is called a “victory” for Obama by the NYT. That is harmful reporting and editing as far as I’m concerned (even tho innerbelt assumption). We all need to be allied or we will destroy ourselves. This is not a sporting event between two political parties. My daughter tonight, 17, said this country “needs a dictator.” I looked her in the eye told her to name a dictator, any that came to mind. The three WWII dictators did. I said, You want that? She said, Nothing gets done in this country.

      What do your kids say?

  • Marshall

    I don’t have kids, but if I did, I would have done the same thing. Where the hell did the assumption come from that a dictatorship is the answer? Disabuse her of that idea post haste 🙂 What angers me, is that 77% of all taxpayers will have their taxes rise, because the “payroll tax” cut expires. This of course, affects the “middle class” that the President seemed so eager to shield from tax increases. It’s a shell game. What pisses me off is that members of both parties think we are just stupid sheep that will go along with what they deem necessary…and when we do not, because we are not stupid, we are castigated as being “extremist”.

  • Marshall

    Call me crazy, call me a nut, but you are on the list….how dare you write books that show people how to make sausage that, gasp, is not regulated by the USDA?
    Charcuterie got me in to making several things….Salumi makes me want to make more things. Luckily here in northeastern Ohio I have access to fantastic pork, and the basement maintains a good 60 degrees/70% humidity year round.

  • Marshall

    I completely agree with your allied comment. We can be on totally different sides of the political spectrum, but I think, we agree, that “politicians” or the sport of politics will be our ruin. You always talk about choice and making time to cook and bonding with friends and family. That’s a pretty “conservative” viewpoint. I don’t see you demanding that people do that, or that they only eat certain things, or that if you eat certain things you are evil..(well, except for processed foods). This just proves your point that divergent people can agree on the basics of life. Politics is not a basic of life.

    • ruhlman

      yep, the basics of life. back to em. all of us. french saying, “alone, you die.” together? not. Cheers and thanks for your words.

  • Allen

    Checking my 2013 post Mayan calander, still has Fridays on them.
    Where’s the cocktail post?

    You detoxin?
    Going to monk school?

  • Victoria


    I have to say that for me “The Best Homemade Bread” was my favorite post of 2012. I have made that bread a lot of times since you gave us the recipe in September. It’s easy, beautiful, and delicious, and if you don’t refrigerate it overnight – the way you show in the video – you can make it in one day, which is a big plus. It’s excellent with soup or stew, used for a sandwich, and toasted and buttered with a perfectly poached egg (thanks to your AMAZING spoon) perched on top. I also blitz it in my food processor without the crust to make soft, fresh breadcrumbs when I need them for my favorite meatballs. It’s a real keeper of a recipe and in my more-than-once-a-week rotation.

    Happy New Year!


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