Thursday, 5 September 2013 | 26 comments
We’ve rounded the corner into September, and I have that funny feeling in my belly, like I need to be sharpening my pencils or catching up on the list of summer reading. Even though all the little kiddos in town are back to school though, it is still summer, and we’re still getting a lot of tomatoes. Are you tuning out? Have I talked too much about tomatoes lately? Oh well.
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Thursday, 8 September 2011 | 19 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
Thursday, 11 August 2011 | 15 comments
There’s really not much I can say about tomatoes-in-summer that hasn’t already been said. Recently, though, I’ve become fixated on the smell of tomato leaves and stems. The prickly-vegetal scent permeates the hands of any gardener working with the plant, or any marketgoer lucky enough to find tomatoes on the vine. A few weeks ago, I stuck my nose into a glass of rosé wine, and the most startling green-tomato scent overcame me. I didn’t want to drink it—I just sat there, smelling, over and over. Seriously: essence of strawberries and tomato leaves in that glass. I won’t soon forget it.But today we’re dealing with the fruit hanging on those stems and leaves, and specifically, those big, meaty types of that fruit that, to be honest, I generally avoid. They seem like sandwich tomatoes, and I don’t need tomatoes in the summer for a sandwich, for goodness sake! We have much more important tomato work to do. For this recipe, though, you’ll need them. » Click to read more
Thursday, 17 February 2011 | 11 comments
I love spicy food. I love Indian food. I love chilies and cumin and coriander and garlic and I love how often, in Indian cuisine, all that spice is topped off with a cool, tangy yogurt raita to take the edge off. But—and I know I’m not alone in this—I am very intimidated by Indian-style cooking.
Ingredient lists a mile long and potentially hard-to-find items are commonly-cited as reasons to avoid cooking many Indian dishes. But for me, the turn-off is that Indian cooking simply doesn’t come intuitively. Cooking for me is a pretty sensory and non-stressful experience. I fudge the amounts of ingredients. A lot. Louise and I recently joked that we just read the ingredients lists in recipes…or sometimes, only the recipe name itself. Yet I wasn’t raised cooking Indian food, and that intuition simply isn’t there.
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