Tuesday, 14 May 2013 | 43 comments

Farro with braised radishes & their greens

I entertain the big questions with frequency but allow them to slide away unanswered with equal frequency, which is one of the 3,798 reasons I should probably never bear children into the world. This is a roundabout way of getting to my point, which is Dear Stephanie, I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Stephanie wrote me the kindest email weeks ago asking lots of questions, mostly answerable, except for one: How do you do it? » Click to read more

Monday, 23 April 2012 | 60 comments

Beer blini

I’ve been on a memoir kick. My extended commute gives me ample time to read, and without realizing it, books by extraordinary women have floated to the top of the pile. First, it was Madeleine L’Engle’s A Circle of Quiet (any other Wrinkle in Time fans out there?); then, Tina Fey’s Bossypants (I cannot get over how fiercely funny and smart this book was); and most recently, Julia Child’s My Life in France.I don’t know about you, but when I picture Julia Child, I picture either the dual tomes of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, or a tall-but-hunched-over, older lady on PBS. I’ve always understood that she’s legendary, and even perhaps understood why, but never did I imagine I’d be so captivated by a recounting of her life. » Click to read more

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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Friday, 29 April 2011 | 8 comments

Ginger cake with poached rhubarb

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”?
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Saturday, 23 April 2011 | 2 comments

Roasted radishes & radish greens with dill

Radishes–the pink or red ones, at least– rank high on my list of prettiest things sitting in a farmer’s market stall. Even if I didn’t like radishes, I feel as if I’d buy them and attempt to find a way I could palate them, just for the rosy pop of pink greeting me when I opened the fridge.

 

But I do like radishes. Which is fortunate, because you know how people always warn, “Never grocery shop on an empty stomach”? For me, I think the advice should be, “Don’t shop on a cold, drizzly day in April when you’re starved for color.” Because I took home three big bunches of the season’s first pink radishes, damp from the rain, dirt clinging to their leaves. And I’m pretty sure it was more for how they lit up the grey day than because I wanted to eat radishes every day for a week.

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