Wednesday, 20 May 2015 | 10 comments

Skillet greens & beans with anchovy breadcrumbs

I am a big fan of my annual greens garden. Greens are easy. They come early in the season. Reward-to-risk ratio is high. This year, I direct seeded a mix of lettuces, kale, and mustard greens into a bed close to the kitchen. They come up fast and thick, and by the time we got back from our honeymoon in Maine (!), it was time to start harvesting.

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Monday, 27 April 2015 | 26 comments

A simple rye bread for toasting

To say that our budget is a little tight right now is an understatement. More accurately, and perhaps more in the parlance of our modern era, we have enacted austerity measures. I am a reasonably thrifty person, but if you buy a house and throw a large wedding within the span of three months and aren’t broke, well, you probably aren’t doing it right. (Right?! Please comfort me.)


Being a person who cooks can be empowering during times like these, not only because cooking can be more pocketbook friendly than eating out, but because you likely already have some pantry staples and freezer something-or-others stowed away that you are only going to cook if necessity calls for it. You know what I’m talking about: the brick of leftover lentil stew that you froze in 2013 with good intentions, but looks so unappetizingly brown that you don’t really have the stomach to defrost it. Or the buckwheat groats that you bought because you have an Eastern European friend who claims that kasha varnishkes is somehow actually delicious (still open to being convinced; still have not cooked it). Canned water chestnuts (seemed like a good idea?). Ten pounds of dark rye flour (long story). That sort of thing. And so the gauntlet has been thrown: no grocery shopping unless absolutely necessary. Use what we have on hand.

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Tuesday, 14 April 2015 | 17 comments

Spring stuff

I think I speak for most East Coast people when I say THANK GOD. The time for tiny green sprouting things is upon us. I spend a lot of time silently cheering for those bold enough to be popping up their heads and blooming.

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Spring at a new house: Ben and I have acres to our names all of a sudden, which is a bit paralyzing. I am a very amateurish gardener at best, but I think what I’ve learned most about growing food (well, about growing anything really) is that the planting is the easy part. Seeds know what to do, all bound up in their tiny package, just waiting for the right conditions. Knowing where to put them, knowing the dynamic of the place you live, knowing the places that soak up heat during the day and give it off at night: these are the tougher pieces of the puzzle.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2015 | 46 comments

Nigella sativa

You’re lying on your back on the hard floor of an empty house. The ancient furnace in the basement rumbles to life. It’s an unfamiliar noise, and the sound reverberating off the walls is disconcerting. Kind of like the basement is about to explode. Before you know it, it’ll be comforting, Ben told you. Right.

Yesterday, you signed papers to make the house yours. Yours, second person plural. Well, yours in trust of the bank. Yours, asterisked with a very large debt that is meant to be paid off over a span of time longer than the years you have actually lived on the green earth.

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Friday, 20 February 2015 | 22 comments

Fennel salt à la Jody Williams

I love Buvette, the West Village Manhattan restaurant by chef Jody Williams, but I have only eaten there once. Luckily, I was gifted the Buvette cookbook this past year.

French-y, well-sourced, market-driven food is everywhere nowadays, so it takes a good cookbook to actually make me care about someone’s particular spin on the roast chicken or aioli. The Buvette cookbook makes you care.

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