Monday, 29 June 2015 | 10 comments

Black raspberry coffee cake

Wild berries are pretty incredible. Most berries are resource-intensive to farm commercially, so we’re used to an expensive product from the supermarket that’s only kind of okay, taste-wise. Then, all of a sudden, nature says, “Here they are: they’re free, they taste more interesting, you didn’t have to work for them, and they are available in great quantity, for one week only. Go!” It’s a little overwhelming and makes you want to drop everything and eat some berries. This may be why yesterday evening, I found Ben in the backyard ostensibly working (he had a wheelbarrow with him, after all), when he was actually taking handfuls of wineberries to the face.

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Monday, 15 June 2015 | 8 comments

An omelette to feed a few, with Zuni pickled onions & greens

Oh, early summer. Nothing in the garden but greens and radishes and potential. There are some strawberries and rhubarb kicking around the markets, definitely exciting, but not really dinner. Some bolting arugula and peas and zucchini blossoms. But we’re still waiting for the onslaught.

It’s warming up here, but it’s not unbearable yet. June in Virginia is a slow slide from spring into a green, thick humidity that practically vibrates. We’re still getting some breezy, non-swampy days, though. Even though all the magazines are telling us that it’s GRILL TIME NOW, I’m still cooking inside quite a bit, cleaning out pantry and freezer.

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Monday, 30 June 2014 | 36 comments

Herbed squash gratin

Sometimes life gives you lemons. Sometimes life gives you a behemoth summer squash on your doorstep.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2013 | 28 comments

Peach & cornmeal upside-down cake

i recently read Rebecca Solnit’s The Faraway Nearby. The book is not about food, but nonetheless begins with the story of a pile of apricots that arrived at the author’s doorstep from her ailing mother’s home. Solnit spreads them on a sheet, observing them in various states of greenness, ripeness, and decay, too many to eat at once. She likens her pile of apricots to the Impossible Task of fairy tales: the water to be carried in a sieve; the pile of seeds and grains to be sorted in a single night. Doing something with all those apricots before they went to waste became more than just a matter of practicality, it was a puzzle to solve, the feat that proves you’re worthy enough to marry the princess, the story that allows Scherezade to live another day. » Click to read more

Thursday, 9 August 2012 | 20 comments

Capellini with roasted eggplant & peppers

Our friends got married up in gorgeous Vermont last weekend. I picked bucketfuls of black-eyed susans and queen anne’s lace, jack-knifed off rocks into not one, but two swimming holes, sipped whiskey-with-ice, and crashed under a full moon.The happy couple invited folks to come several days early and help with prep, which was a nice way to save on cost and do-it-yourself and a good way for guests to get to know each other. By the time you’ve chopped vegetables next to someone for several hours, you feel like old friends when it comes time to party. (Also, the fact that there were so many of us coming early to help is a testament to how great these two are.) » Click to read more

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