Grocery stores often label the popsicle aisle “Frozen Novelties.” In a world of extreme buffalo chicken pockets and microwave breakfast sandwiches with waffles for bread, being singled out as a field of food notable for novelty is a big deal. Luckily for those of us who like to push limits, there’s a vast expanse of popsicles entirely unexplored by the giants of ice pop manufacturing, probably due to their own uptightness and that of our legal system. We’re talking about boozy popsicles. [Read more…]
Our family started the holiday weekend with pancakes and a walk along the river. Last night, we went to a cookout. Today, July 4th itself, projects to be gloomy, so we’ll enjoy the sun breaks, get some charcoal, and do our best to grill up a feast. This time of year, dinner mostly serves as a way to get to dessert – I live for seasonal fruit and delight in all the delicious summer possibilities. [Read more…]
My first job in New York was in Washington Heights, almost at the top of Manhattan and about an hour by train from my place in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. That long commute made for a tough morning routine. No time to brew a pot and check the news before I hopped on the subway. So I had to settle for a burnt cup of “coffee” from a food cart, a habit that I reluctantly continued later when I worked in the Flatiron District. Then, one day, right there on 6th and 22nd, the Van Leeuwen ice cream truck appeared. My immediate concern wasn’t ice cream, it was coffee, which they also sold and it was good! Not burnt, freshly brewed espresso with quality cream. I was in love.
On weekends, Brian and I would head to the Van Leeuwen ice cream shop in Greenpoint with the kids. Their ice cream is indisputably amazing. [Read more…]
Until last Thursday, I had exactly four trophies to show for my time on earth. Runner-up and then winner of the school speech contest in fourth and fifth grade, and two from the Enid’s Apple Pie Contest, also runner-up and then winner, which I secured well into adulthood. But now, there’s a shiny orange Le Creuset pepper mill in my collection; on it hangs a tag that says: Brooklyn Supper, Winner Editors’ Choice, Most Delicious Food. You guys – we won! [Read more…]
Sour cherry season came a little early this year. May was incredibly warm – excellent cherry growing weather, I guess. I’ve yet to find a market source for sour cherries in Virginia, but it doesn’t matter because I have friends with five sour cherry trees in their backyard. We had big plans to head over to their yard with the family to pick cherries and hang out, but our oldest came down with what turned out to be strep on Sunday, and my twee photo shoot dreams disappeared. So, just like last year, Brian headed out solo for the cherries, this time with a big bag of greens from our garden to trade. [Read more…]
Almost daily now, small storms push over the mountains. Most miss town and head off to the northeast, but every few days, one hits. The slightest bit of rain bends the heavy peonies down to the ground so they rest on the grass or sidewalk. Petals of all shades are scattered across the neighborhood. The air is muggy and floral, but not yet too hot. The garden is vibrant and happy, with whatever pests that lay ahead still plotting their plan of attack from underground lairs. [Read more…]
Tomorrow is the last day to vote in the Saveur Blog Awards. It’s been an incredible month, but I’m starting to feel like Cinderella at 11:55, afraid it’s all about to disappear in a poof. In two days, I may find myself alone with a pumpkin and some mice, so I’m having one last celebration. Being a finalist (for Most Delicious Food, no less) is a dream come true. Seriously. It’s been a long road – learning to take a decent picture, to write like “myself,” and to come up with recipes I think you’ll love week in and week out. Each time I hit publish and your thoughtful comments, likes, and shares start rolling in, I feel so lucky to have you here, reading and appreciating my work. [Read more…]
March was in-sane around here. Every second of the month felt scheduled. It was wonderful and fun and exhausting, and I am so glad it’s over. In contrast, this weekend has been wonderfully peaceful. On Saturday, Brian cleaned the house while I planted the garden. The girls enjoyed the quiet, too, playing with Duplos and reading books. The rest has done wonders to restore my sense of well being. In March, I was drowning. But halfway through April, the beauty of spring and mild weather have gone a long way to restore my sense of optimism. [Read more…]
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Springtime is a time of waiting. Waiting for strawberries and asparagus. Waiting for the first short-sleeve day. Waiting for lamb. Waiting for grill weather. To make all that waiting go faster, our family of four always makes a trip out to local farms to see what we have in store. We love the lambs, calves, and kids, plus all the newly planted summer crops and the spring produce almost ready for the farm stand, such as chives, spring onions, mint, nettles, and fresh lamb. As the first foods of the season are just coming to life, so do the leaves and flowers back in the city. Brian and I make sure the girls take notice of all this , so they’ll understand and appreciate the hard work and patience it takes to grow and produce good food. [Read more…]
Over dinner, she asks, “If you could be anyone, who would it be?” Before she and her sister were born, I might have entertained the idea, but now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Understanding the improbability of it all, she says that I can have them and Brian and still be someone else. I say, “Someone rich, I guess.” But then I can’t think of anyone rich or brilliant I’d really want to be. I can’t think of another life I’d trade for my stressful, messy, chaotic one. (Surely, some more intensive thought might turn up the ideal life – if only based on location; in the moment, though, this is how is was.) [Read more…]