Monday, 6 February 2012 | 78 comments
I take pleasure in the spareness of this season: the quiet, the grey light, the bare branches. It’s been such a mild winter so far that whenever we get a rare dusting of snow, I find myself walking around in the woods for hours.All the silence and sparseness are a bit misleading, though. I think about the secrets under the quiet white veil; the life that is there, dormant, waiting to wake up; the soil that’s teeming, always, with all kinds of micro-critters. Nature is like this, I think. She enjoys vibrance hidden beneath humble exteriors. Like seeds.And jewel-bright grapefruit. » Click to read more
Friday, 5 August 2011 | 7 comments
I’m away from DC right now, traveling for work in Mozambique. It feels strange—something of a betrayal—to be writing here, when the Yellow House has become so much about a concrete space, its modest garden, the seasons that whirl around it, and the people who make it home. By contrast, I’m in a cool, tidy hotel with far too much room for one visitor. I worry that my green tomatoes have turned red with no one to harvest them. I fret that a neighbor will email my landlady to complain about our unkempt front garden. I’m happy, though, that I brought along the pictures of this little brown cake. » Click to read more
Friday, 29 April 2011 | 10 comments
I had my recipe picked out. I was all ready to make it and tell you about my new love affair with the BBC Food website, which, unlike other big recipe aggregation sites was actually useful, well-organized, and really original because of its British flair.
Several of their recipes hadn’t failed me yet, so when I got home from the market toting my first-of-the-season rhubarb, I pulled up BBC Food and found (under the ‘Afternoon Tea’ section for spring, no less) a recipe for warm ginger cake with poached rhubarb. I was sold. I blindly gathered all the ingredients, glossed over the instructions, and got to work, visions of a soft, gingery cake with sweet-tart rhubarb syrup drizzled over the top dancing in my head.
Something occurred to me as I mixed, though. There were a lot of eggs in this batter. And not much flour. And (reading the directions, now) what the heck is a “pudding basin”?
» Click to read more
Monday, 4 April 2011 | 8 comments
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have a really healthy appreciation for un-iced cakes. (If you’re counting, that’s two out of a grand total of 12 posts on this blog dedicated to not-too-sweet cakes.) It is rare for me to meet a frosting or icing that I actually like. (Aside: Ten points to whomever can settle whether or not there is actually a difference between “frosting” and “icing”. I’ve always used them interchangeably, but in writing this post I realized that it’s rather contentious.)
Tuesday, 15 March 2011 | 11 comments
This is the first (but certainly not last) time on this blog I will profess a love for Paris. I know, I know: another food-lover who adores Paris. Yawwwn. But I don’t care. I’ve been there exactly once, during a semester abroad in Spain. Everyone tried to convince me I would be disappointed— that the City of Light was actually the City of Dirty Streets and Mean People. But it wasn’t. There were perfect croissants, well-coiffed women who seemed to have dabbed on Chanel No. 5 before breezing about town, street musicians, and beautiful buildings. Men walked home from work with baguettes under their arms, for heaven’s sake. Paris was everything it was supposed to be.