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 »
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 »
Pretty soon after we moved from NYC to Virginia, Brian and I installed raised beds in the backyard. Brimming with a sense of accomplishment and pride, we filled them with dirt and began planting tiny tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, peppers, zucchini, squash, and herbs. Admittedly, that was kind of a lot for two two by four foot beds. No matter! I wanted a garden! I thought we’d be living off of it come August. But the rainy, then humid Virginia summer had other plans. 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 »
Last night, as Brian was putting the girls to bed, I stepped out into the dusk to water my modest garden. Like a lot of gardeners, I usually water at night so the plants have plenty of time to take up the moisture before the sun rises again. I can count on at least four mosquito bites, but I don’t mind because I am so taken by the roar of the cicadas. My research tells me they are loudest at the hottest time of the day, but I find there’s a certain fever pitch just as the sun is starting to set.
Anyway, as I was standing out there watering my garden I began thinking about all the changes we’ve been through. For a while now, I’ve wanted to check in and let you know how things are going here. But I’ve been waiting, I guess, for everything to settle. And last night, in my yard, watering my garden (and then thinking, “I have a garden!”), I realized things had. read more »
This weekend I had a lesson about the things food cannot do. Sometimes, no matter how many pancakes, or sweet apples, or pieces of homemade fried chicken and coconut pie there are, things are going to go off the rails. Tired and cranky can trump even the crispiest breading, even the flakiest dough. Sometimes, kids are gonna be kids and there’s nothing you can do about it. read more »