Wednesday, 16 January 2013 | 31 comments

A galette of winter greens

i. It is garden-planning season around here. We went a little crazy poring over seed catalogues and, in the recent thaw we had, are doing some initial digging around to make new beds. This year, I will have a bed just for my lettuces and leafy greens, which are some of my favorite things to grow. This is because they’re easy, except where slugs are involved, and because I get to have that kindergarten-wonder moment almost every day when I go out to the garden or Ben brings in lettuce for a salad. Our friend Connie likes to say that this part of the year is best for gardeners: no drought, no pests, no weeds, no deer. And in your mind, the garden is always beautiful and successful. (I believe the subtext there is, “So enjoy it while you can.”) » Click to read more

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 | 104 comments

On dinner, work, & lifestyle

When I wrote this post awhile back, trying to celebrate home cooks, it resonated with some of you, rubbed some of you the wrong way, but all in all, generated some nice dialogue. Outside of the public comments, some readers emailed me with big questions. Questions about work-life balance, questions about how one manages a full-time non-blog, non-food job and a life of home cooking. Some of you even had questions about my schedule and shopping habits, which were simultaneously flattering in their sincere (and mistaken) belief that I cook every single meal and grow a huge proportion of my diet, and embarrassing in the humble truth of my responses.

My recent college grad sister (congratulations!) related an anecdote to me. She’s at the receiving end of all those post-college let’s-talk-about-real-life speeches, and was recently given one that she found a bit belittling. “The problem with your generation,” the speaker said, “is that they don’t know the value of a day’s hard work. The young people who work for me do their 40 hours and no more. You all want to have a lifestyle.”

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Friday, 8 June 2012 | 20 comments

Cavolo nero breakfast skillet

I’ve decided I’m going to start calling Tuscan kale by its Italian name, “cavolo nero.” Despite the fact that I eat it quite a bit, somehow whenever I talk about kale I end up swallowing my words. What can you say about kale? The brassica once unknown to this country is now the epitome of “health food”; liquefied into green juices and chopped into raw salads. Also: kale chips. I am tired of hearing about your kale chips, no offense, guys. On top of everything, I feel a little sad for all the other equally wonderful leafy greens, talking about collards more than a person has a right to do. » Click to read more

Sunday, 25 March 2012 | 56 comments

Garlicky pea shoots

A few of you asked me about the little green seedlings growing, packed together, in a photo a few posts ago—they’re pea shoots. I’ve been growing them on my windowsill through the later part of this winter. I thought I’d share the process with you a bit. They are silly-easy to grow, whether you’re a city slicker or country kid, and quite pretty. It’s satisfying to have some sweet, tender greens right at your kitchen window to clip and toss into a salad or sandwich for some texture. » Click to read more

Friday, 16 March 2012 | 24 comments

What to eat on an early spring evening

Spring is really something, huh? No matter how many times it comes around, I still have a giddy, butterflies-in-my-stomach feeling when things start busting out and warming up. All winter, we’ve scurried from place to place, bundled up, a bit reluctant to spread out further than the warm, safe circles we inhabit. Then, things get crazy! Color, after a season of sepia tones. The time changes! It is still light out when I get home from work.All of a sudden, the world is a place where baby kale plants and tiny white flowers exist. You dig in the ground with a shovel, shyly, almost, testing the waters. Before you know it, you’re outside in your wellies, working in the garden and drinking a can of beer left in your fridge from a shindig that took place at your house with a bunch of kids home from college. There is an untold amount of mud under your fingernails. It feels good! You ignore the fact that your new house appears to have a giant wasp population setting up residence under its eaves, because you’re in such a good mood.
Spring, I’m telling you. Nothing like it.

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