Friday, 27 May 2011 | 7 comments

Peach crumble oatmeal

The star attraction at the farmer’s market this weekend should have been the appearance of the first strawberries. They were there, jewel-bright and aromatic and further cementing my opinion that some produce tastes so much better in season that it’s a crime to eat it otherwise. Instead, though, people crowded around the apple stand, oohing and ahhing over an enormous pile of peaches.

“They’re from our friend’s orchard in South Carolina,” the apple lady explained. The peaches were sitting in the sun and the smell wafted throughout the market. Everyone milled about and stocked up, feeling a bit drunk on such a summery scent when we’re still getting used to spring.

But like most forms of intoxication, being peach-drunk at the market comes at a price the morning after. For me, I wandered into the kitchen the next day and was struck with the peach-hangover realization that I had about a bushel of perfectly ripe fruit that would not get eaten before going bad without some serious effort.
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Thursday, 19 May 2011 | 16 comments

Smoky lemony chickpea crostini

The internet is a beautiful and terrible thing. Sometimes you stumble upon a site that just stops you in your tracks, making you compulsively visit it over and over again, regardless of the fact that the content hasn’t changed (but you’re hoping it will! Maybe this time…click…nope). That’s how it was for me this week when I discovered the online presence of Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

It’s hard not to be drawn in with a site design as gorgeous as this one. But on top of that, the business itself has eerily similar qualities to the vineyard Ben and I dream about owning someday: attuned to the earth, kind to its workers, seasonally-oriented, and tied to a farm-to-table restaurant. Virginia is a nascent (but growing) wine region, so for young wine lovers like us, it’s nice to see more established business models that fill niches other than those we see here.

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Friday, 13 May 2011 | 2 comments

Tender greens soufflé

Is it already boring and passé to be cooking and eating asparagus, rhubarb, ramps, and green garlic? Is everyone already tired of spring? I’m only asking because I’m troubled by the sheer quantity of recipes I’ve seen lately focusing on tomatoes, a decidedly non-spring ingredient.

There are a lot of folks in the wonderfully overlapping fields of food, garden, cooking, writing, wine, and beer (and even some other areas, but I won’t get too philosophical) whose recipes and narratives I respect so much more than my own. These humbling individuals range from little sister Louise, who knows more about growing her own food than I probably ever will; to icons like Julia Child.
green garlic
Somewhere in between the familiar and the legendary fall my favorite food bloggers, who manage to present graceful, accessible interpretations of the life lived around food. These people get it. They’re on my wavelength. They’re able to put shared sentiments and passions down in words and recipes much more creatively/wittily/compassionately/intelligently than dilettante-me. That’s why every once in awhile, when I read an article or recipe that seems not to jive with that shared sentiment, it’s jarring.

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Thursday, 5 May 2011 | 10 comments

Back-to-basics boule

A few years ago, Louise discovered no-knead bread and our lives were never the same. If this sounds dramatic, then clearly you’ve never been to a party we’ve co-hosted. We bake bread in a sneaky effort to get someone to comment positively on it—and then proselytize bread-baking to anyone that we can get to sit still for a few seconds. (It works best if we strategically serve the bread after guests have had a few glasses of wine first.)

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