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, 26 January 2012 | 19 comments

Cracked pepper skillet cornbread

A funny thing that DC-area people do is get together to watch political events, like election results coming in, or debates. (I didn’t realize this was not ordinary until recently.)Years ago, watching some election results roll in with my friend Del, it happened that a candidate that I loved won. We ran excitedly around my then-apartment, looking for something with which to celebrate. The only toast-able liquid was a bottle of gin.Guys, taking shots of gin is really just not a good idea, for a lot of reasons, but in this instance it was especially inappropriate because 1) it was bottom-shelf gin and 2) Del doesn’t even like gin. But we were undeterred, convinced that we needed something to mark the event. I measured the gin into those tiny tumblers, and we tipped it back.And here’s the part I’ll never forget: Del, the trooper that she is, screwed up her face and shook her head a little bit. Then she opened her eyes and looked at me calmly. “Tastes like election day,” she said.
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Sunday, 2 October 2011 | 52 comments

Collard cobbler with cornmeal biscuits

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

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