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 »
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Let’s get this out of the way for the vocabulary sticklers, this isn’t exactly what the Accademia della Crusca would define as a “frittata” because it’s an egg dish prepared over potatoes, which are not a frittata ingredient. Many of you are probably taking off your glasses and saying, “it sounds more like a tortilla de patatas to me,” but we included vegetables in the eggs which is not traditional in the Spanish dish. In the end, we went with “frittata” because in the US, “tortilla” usually refers to the thing on the outside of a taco, so it’s confusing to talk about the other kind. read more »
August? Already? This summer has been too busy for my liking, and so this month we’re looking to slow things way down. Current plans include: swimming, lazing in the sun, eating outdoors, catching fireflies, and showing the girls the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In the city, fall comes on slowly –– the urban heat effect pushes off the turning of the leaves until late November. But here in the country, the change is sudden. This is my call to action; there are peaches to slurp and watermelon seeds to spit. I haven’t made it in yet, but I’m planning a dip in a swimming hole or two. And maybe just a little more sangria, for good measure. read more »