Let’s make it official, shall we fall? We’re kicking off the beginning of jacket season with a roasted everything salad featuring garden carrots, plus CSA chard, beets, and garlic. read more »
Like many people out there –– whether they are quietly stoking a fulfilling career in the industry or just trying to hold down a day job while creating a little something in the evenings, or both –– I went to art school. For painting. Learning of my degree might lead a polite conversationalist to ask, “So, what do you do now?” This is usually followed by an explanation of what and how I write on the internet, which nearly always raises questions of varying levels of intrusiveness about whether these pursuits generate, you know, income?, then the equally inevitable reference to Julie and Julia, and finally my polite demurral that no, I don’t follow Julie’s career or writings so closely, but yes, of course I love Julia. read more »
Even on the busiest nights, we almost always serve up a family dinner –– in part because we believe in sitting down as a family and in part because it’s just easier to only cook once. It sounds so simple here on the screen, but in reality, finding a meal to suit the shifting tastes girls age 3 and 7 is not easy. Or at least, it wasn’t, until I realized the power of a good soup.
Like many of the best dishes, this one started with M.F.K. Fisher. I love the simple eating she advocates, and at the center of her frugal and delicious universe, is soup. read more »
I decided I’d only worry about the garden through July. After that, I let it all surrender to the squash bugs, at least one groundhog, a few squirrels, possibly a deer, and powdery mildew and blight of all manner. But even as they weather the onslaught, the tired-looking plants still spew fruit. Most of my outdoor plants have had a banner year, especially considering my gardening-in-Virginia track record. All the plants, except the fig. read more »
Our family has a range of feelings about mustard. Our younger daughter would be perfectly content to have a dinner of mustard and nothing else, while our older one won’t touch it. Brian could spend an hour browsing the mustard section of our local international food store. And I fall somewhere in the middle. But, a mustard-based barbecue sauce –– that’s something that brings us all together. The first time we a made it, it was because it was easy. The second time, it was because the first iteration was just shy of completely addictive. At its best, mustard-based barbecue sauce, also known as South Carolina-style sauce, gets some zip from mustard and is heightened by additions like apple cider vinegar, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce.
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According to the calendar, we’re right in the middle of August, though any sensory assessment would tell you it’s late September. It’s been a mild summer in Charlottesville, with only a handful of days where temperatures topped the 90 degree mark. And ever since we ticked over into the month of August, fall has been in the air. Tiny acorns are already dropping, dogwood leaves are tinged with red, while many of the tulip polars, birch, and black walnut trees have already yellowed and lost most of their leaves. The cicadas, typically deafening in the southern summer, never really reached full force. Instead, there’s the quiet hum of crickets.
No matter the time of year, I love how the changing seasons capture our attention. read more »