Yesterday we had our third March snowstorm. What was predicted to be a dusting, changed to an all day, several inches type of affair. And somehow, blessedly, school was not cancelled. With the house to myself, I spent the morning watching the snow fall and cooking up some spring comfort food (even if the weather begged to differ). read more »
I’m prone to think myself an expert on too wide an array of topics. Brian’s similarly afflicted, so in this way, and the fact that we’re both not the dollars and cents types, we’re a bad match. Or at least, he’s not the absolute yin to my yang. One way we both learned we knew much less than we had thought we did was moving to Virginia. In Brooklyn, artisan products and farm-fresh produce (that you buy from the farmer) are available almost any day of the week at one of the city’s Green Markets and also at local specialty shops like the Bedford Cheese Shop or the Meat Hook. Not only that, but because vendors range from Vermont to southern New Jersey, we enjoyed a particular food’s season longer as it stretched up the eastern seaboard. Here in a small city in central Virginia, vendors aren’t exactly flocking, so eating locally has a far more strictly defined meaning. That’s one of the main reasons we were thrilled to have signed up for a CSA. (Have you sent in your check yet?) read more »
After returning from my morning rounds today, I cranked the oven to full blast, threw a big pot of water on the stove, and set about making this roasted carrot and beet salad. While I washed and peeled and chopped, I watched the birds (now out in force and doing their bird thing with no mind for the human world) and went over my to-do list, the top of which is getting signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Last year, we moved here right at the tail end of sign-ups, and just let it slip. But as the growing season progressed, Brian and I realized we’d made a huge mistake. Not only do CSAs do much to support local farmers as they begin their seasons by providing financial security no matter what the summer brings, CSAs benefit members too. 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 »
On cool nights in Brooklyn, I loved laying in bed with the windows open. I would drift to sleep and sometimes be startled out of it by the conversational mumbles of the late dinner crowd coming out of the restaurants and planning their next moves, the nightly din-to-shrill crescendo of the bar out back, and the wall of taxis laying on their horns as they came down Havemeyer on weekend nights at twelve thirty, and again at two. When the loudest sounds ebbed, I’d hear bits of conversation, laughing, music floating by, and would sit in bed and love that I could hear all this life happening from right there in my bedroom. And if the moon was also shining in the window, as it did this time of year, well, what else could you want?
The Virginia nights offer a different symphony. read more »
Today, it’s undeniable. The maple trees, still green last week, are quickly turning orange. In fact, all of the trees have begun to take on a hint of ochre. Sunlight has starting shining in from the southern-facing windows. Our back yard, having enjoyed full-on sun all summer, is now darkened by shadows most of the day. Autumn is unquestionably my favorite season, but I’m not quite ready to jump in this year. Living in a new place, a not NYC kind of place, has me worried about what the winter’s going to look like. I imagine it will be quiet, probably too quiet, with plans cancelled due to bad weather, and parks and trails abandoned for long stretches. read more »