I typically find relief in January. There are no parties to attend or gifts to buy. The children have made merry and are happily back at school. Without the clutter of Christmas, our little house feels clean and airy. The brilliant January sunlight streams through the frosty windows beautifully. But I also find myself nostalgic and a little fumbling as I set a course for the new year. [Read more…]
I’ve spent the past couple weeks wrestling recipes. My kitchen has been the scene of dry pie crusts, rubbery custards, and ho-hum chicken. However disappointing, these are the reasons we test recipes. They develop and evolve, and each iteration is an improvement. It took some work, but in each case I eventually finished with something I really love and can’t wait to share.
The unexpected twists and turns of recipe development combined with photography-unfriendly storm clouds threw my weekly posting schedule off. I needed something good, pretty much immediately. Something that didn’t need to be worked and reworked. As it often does, inspiration came from ingredients – the season’s first batch of Brussels sprouts and an unexpected basket of quince at the grocery store. [Read more…]
This week has been all about recovery. Something about the first gusts of bone chilling wind, the time change, and plain old exhaustion, have had me in bed every night by 10pm. Extra blankets have come out, even if it’s just so Brian and I can still sleep with the windows open.
I like the change. And the wind is even better. It’s cleansing –– blowing away whatever’s built up or unwanted. With each gust, a colorful rain of fall leaves pour down and a faint howl wraps around the house. Cozy times are in full effect, and I am so completely all in. [Read more…]
Not so long ago, I worked in an office. The kind with little cubes and a computer monitor too small to display the spreadsheets I needed to use and a chair hierarchy that provided peons like me a work week of spinal pain and florescent lights hovering way too close. On my last day, I had only a small tote of things to collect. After nearly two years, I hadn’t moved in. I wish I’d thought to take a picture. It would be a great reminder as I try to balance mothering and writing and creative food and family food, that even on the worst days, I’m better off than I was in that awful gray cube. [Read more…]
Consider yourself warned, I’m going to talk a little bit of trash on Thanksgiving. It’s hard for me because holiday-wise Thanksgiving is second only to Christmas in my heart. The thing is though, I hate rules. And Thanksgiving has so many. You HAVE to serve this or that. It’s tradition. I love tradition! But I hate cold casseroles. [Read more…]
The other day, Brian got off work early and we took a trip to park with the girls, including a pretty magical hike. We meandered according to the whims of our toddler, spotted lots of deer, and took in the just-changing season. I learned on a recent trip to Vermont that they call it stick season –– the time after the leaves are gone but before the first snow falls. Up there, stick season is a time to prepare for the winter ski season and take care of things at home. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, with only occasional snow, stick season just means winter. Happily, we’re still enjoying mild, completely gorgeous weather, making it a pleasure to be outside, leaves or no.
But I’m also ready to head inside. Reflection, cooking, and quieter times all sound pretty great. In the kitchen, I’ve been doing a better job of digging into the fall produce. Today’s project: Brussels Sprouts. [Read more…]
The internet is full of big, amazing people. People whose cakes are frosted perfectly, people whose children don’t spill yogurt down the front of their shirt at lunch, people who stroll around the city and don’t even care that their suede shoes are getting ruined in the puddles because it’s not a big deal to buy another pair. We are not those people. There’s something in the air lately–real life, real blogging, real talk, real food. I like that. Especially because I don’t stand a chance of ever being one of those big, amazing types. Our life is messy, hopelessly real, and very far from perfect. [Read more…]
As I stumbled through the produce section of our neighborhood grocery store on a recent frigid morning, I was hunting, however groggily, for something special. And then, there they were, sweet limes.