Friday, 20 December 2013 | 38 comments

Dennie’s molasses cookies

Four Decembers ago, my friend Jonathan and I went camping. (If you know both of us, this is only mildly absurd.) We went to Assateague—you know, the island where the wild ponies are?—and the freezing rain started on our drive there. It didn’t stop as we pitched our tent. It was so windy we couldn’t even get a fire lit to heat water for coffee. After one night, our spirits weren’t totally dampened, so we went hiking on the beach. We got back, freezing, wrapped ourselves in sleeping bags and ate cheese and apples in the tent. Jonathan produced some Ziploc bags full of his mom’s molasses cookies. The rain turned to snow, and we decided to leave, cutting the trip short.

We took a lot of pictures on the trip—Jonathan sitting on some driftwood as grey, winter-storm surf rolled in, me running on a beach that looked like the craggy surface of the moon with the grey sky hanging low—so it looms large in my memory. The whole affair was brief and completely miserable, but somehow we both remember it as this pinnacle event of our lives.
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Tuesday, 30 April 2013 | 41 comments


After considering taping a “dirty hippie” sign to my forehead and being done with it, I thought instead we’d talk a little about making your own kombucha, because it accomplishes the same effect. Maybe you’re a little more open-minded to me, but I had always written off kombucha as a vinegary punishment beverage to be served alongside tasteless vegan lentil loaves or plain brown rice. Worst of all, any mention of kombucha always seems to be accompanied by (at best) half-baked and possibly dangerous claims of health benefits. Here is a direct quote, for instance, that I obtained by Googling “kombucha health benefits”: “In the first half of the 20th century…Russian scientists discovered that entire regions of their vast country were seemingly immune to cancer and hypothesized that the kombucha, called ‘tea kvass’ there, was the cause.” That’s some science for you, folks. You heard it here: kombucha does not immunize you from cancer. Okay, glad we got that out of the way.
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Friday, 25 May 2012 | 61 comments

Herb-infused clara con limón

What seems like eons ago, I studied in Valencia, Spain. Spain agreed with me. It wasn’t hard to settle into a life of afternoons on the Mediterranean, late suppers and later nights out, wide avenidas, weekends in the countryside. Oranges grew in the streets. Things were older, slower. » Click to read more

Tuesday, 9 August 2011 | 6 comments

Plum-rosemary fizz

Back in DC! And happily ensconced in my kitchen once more. I’m still feeling a bit jetlagged, so for right now, I’m leaving you all with this pulpy, resin-y sweet soda I’ve been mixing up with some over-ripe plums.More developed posts—some of them east and southern Africa-inspired!—coming soon. » Click to read more

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