Thursday, 22 September 2011 | 12 comments

Equinox

A quick tribute to the waning hours of summer: In the past few days, I’ve heard so many people mention that the seasons—-not any particular one, just the mere fact that they exist and they change—-are the one of the best reasons to live in the mid-Atlantic.So in that spirit, a commemoration, of all the sweat and steamy humidity, wildflowers, picnics and tromps, foliage, dusty bare feet, and those sweet, bountiful fruits we should be canning, freezing, and fermenting like crazy right now. I’m wringing every last drop out of these days.PhotobucketPhotobucketSee you in autumn.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011 | 19 comments

My beloved few

I’ve been reading m.f.k. fisher a bit obsessively lately. (Less successfully, I tried to emulate her style in the summer heat, wrapping Heidi-esque braids around my head. Instead of looking ’40s-understated-glamorous, I just look silly). A coworker watched me unwrapping some foccacia bread at lunchtime awhile back, and as we got to talking about making food, asked if I had read Ms. Fisher. I hadn’t. It took me a long time to actually get down to doing it. And, like most recommended things that we put off looking up or reading or trying, I now wonder how I ever lived without it.

I still think that one of the pleasantest of all emotions is to know that I, I with my brain and my hands, have nourished my beloved few, that I have concocted a stew or a story, a rarity or a plain dish, to sustain them truly against the hungers of the world.

When I first read those lines, they clattered, loudly, to the floor of my head, rattling around with that truthfulness that you can never verbalize yourself, but as soon as you see the black-and-white words, becomes incredibly clear. It’s been a strange, sad year for me, to be honest. I have clung to simmering, baking, growing, gathering, and providing with an urgency that exceeds my understanding. That sense of urgency was behind the creation of The Yellow House. It continues to drive me, on the days when I rush home from work to use my hands, as I prod my tiny, alkaline, city backyard bear fruit, and as I wheedle and cajole friends to at least come over for a glass of wine and dinner before we head out to bars.
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Tuesday, 13 September 2011 | 8 comments

Deconstructed baba ghanoush

I have a bad habit of buying produce just because I like the way it looks. These slender, twist-y little Japanese eggplants caught my eye at the farmer’s market. At home, I put them in a basket on the counter, and they stared at me for a few days, too pretty to just chop into coins and panfry, but not big enough to make, say, eggplant parmesan.I love baba ghanoush, but wanted something that would honor the unusual form of these eggplants, rather than roasting them down to smoky mush, like baba ghanoush recipes generally instruct. » Click to read more

Thursday, 8 September 2011 | 4 comments

Housekeeping + a quick thought

I received a nice email today asking if I could kindly set up email subscription to The Yellow House. The answer is obviously of course. I’m flattered that someone asked. Luckily, it turned out to be very easy to do, and there was no wailing or gnashing of teeth involved, for which I’m grateful (you may laugh, but many of my journeys into the seamy underbelly of this website end up in gnashing of teeth. Until Chuck comes home and magically fixes everything in literally five seconds and three keystrokes; it’s astonishing).Getting that email made me think about a few things, though. First, thank you for reading. I started posting here pretty strictly for myself, but it turns out there are a solid few of you who actually like what I create in this little space. That means a lot. Secondly, keep those emails coming. I love that someone saw something she wanted, reached out to me, and let me know. Hopefully, some of you will benefit from that. Imagine what would happen if I could get feedback from more people! The possibilities are endless. Also, I just really liked it. So email me. Mostly, though, you can now see all the options to follow The Yellow House by clicking on the “Follow” page in the sidebar. Okay, that’s all.

Thursday, 8 September 2011 | 19 comments

Sweet corn polenta with tomato-basil vinaigrette

It’s a pretty egregious omission on my part that we find ourselves in late summer and I have yet to feature sweet corn here. Luckily, I find myself in possession of some (Thanks, Del!), so we’ll remedy that quickly. As the granddaughter of a Midwestern farmer with an enormous family, my childhood summers are full of corn memories. In the summer, we’d be shooed out to the porch to shuck mountains of sweet corn. Picture five-gallon buckets full of corn shucks and silk and detritus. it was a lot of corn. And we weren’t the first generation to be corn-fed, either. We grew up on stories of our parents battling it out in corn-eating contests. We ate corn all year ’round, canned by my grandma in big quart-jars, and brought up from the cellar all winter. To this day, I still don’t like canned corn from the store, because nothing tastes like the kind of corn that was literally picked, sliced off the cob, and canned in the same day. » Click to read more

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