Monday, 17 October 2011 | 9 comments
Right now is that golden time of year where we’re all completely excited about winter squash and root vegetables and other things that signal autumn. I’ve been cooking long enough to know that this will inevitably wear off when it’s actually cold, and we’ll all be a little sad and tired of things that turn taupe or brown or burnt orange when roasted or mashed. But despite that knowledge, I’m not immune to the guiles of autumn vegetables.In fact, this is my dining room table after coming back from the market recently. I am so not immune to rhapsodizing about squash that that big basket you see was actually full of other things, and I had to walk home with a sweet potato, a butternut squash, and two enormous turnips under one arm. Embarrassing. It’s a bit disconcerting, being revealed to the public as someone who cradles turnips on her way home. People stop you on the street (I am not making this up), asking what they are and if they taste like potatoes. If I were the kind of girl who carried, oh, I don’t know, a bouquet of sunflowers as I walked on Saturday morning, people would smile, perhaps, at the lovely picture I made in the early fall sunlight. But, no. I’ve always been more the grubby turnip-toting type. » Click to read more
Sunday, 2 October 2011 | 45 comments
As a gardener, this time of year is just plain nice. My autumn garden has barely been put into the ground, so there’s no real stress involved yet. But there are still fruits coming in; you just have to be alert enough to pick them—-a few errant cherry tomatoes, some dried bean pods lingering, and one stubborn yellow squash vine that is convinced it’s still July. The dark horse winner of my garden this year has been collard greens (the variety is “Champion”, so perhaps I should have expected that?).I’ve been eating these collards for awhile now, but they just keep on coming as I harvest them. There are only so many ways to eat greens, you know? » Click to read more
Thursday, 8 September 2011 | 16 comments
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
Tuesday, 23 August 2011 | 6 comments
I had a nice little anecdote to go with this post, but then an earthquake hit (?!). Now, I think I can distill the message down to a few simple statements: Make this, don’t stick to the recipe too much if it stresses you out, and drink a glass of wine with it, because wine is a beautiful thing and, um, earthquake. I’m grateful the situation was mild enough that I can make light of it, but I would be lying if I said that it didn’t unnerve me just a little bit. I had never heard of mahogany rice until very recently. The little natural foods grocery near me is going through a remodeling which will downsize available space, and in saying hello to one of the managers last week, he looked at me, sighing, and said, “You’re not going to be very happy.” He was in the process of sticking angry yellow “Discontinued” stickers on each and every bin of bulk grains and spices. » Click to read more
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 | 39 comments
I know, I know: enough with the squash already, woman! My only response is to humbly ask that you remind me, next year, in the event that my gentleman friend and I plant separate gardens again, to not both plant summer squash. On paper, in my garden notebook, it seemed a great idea to proudly only include native, heirloom varieties in my own garden, turning my nose up at the plain ol’ crooknecks Ben was planting. Now it’s summer, and I’ve got a changed heart and an armful of squash.
So! More squash.
» Click to read more