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 »
My first Brooklyn apartment had a distant view of the Chrysler building. You had to climb out the kitchen window and stand on an adjacent roof to see it, but still it was there. Brian and I would sit out there in the evenings, filled with all the optimism that young love and any kind of view of the NYC skyline inspires, and dream our dreams. We planned to take the city by storm. We’d also talk about having kids and all the things we wanted for these potential humans. read more »
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Consider yourself warned, I’m going to talk a little bit of trash on Thanksgiving. It’s hard for me because holiday-wise Thanksgiving is second only to Christmas in my heart. The thing is though, I hate rules. And Thanksgiving has so many. You HAVE to serve this or that. It’s tradition. I love tradition! But I hate cold casseroles. read more »
Concord grapes at the farmer’s market have always been a herald––true fall has arrived. The clear fall sun unmediated by any humidity, a crisp autumn breeze, and the scent of Concord grapes in the air is perfect. That intense Concord fragrance casts a serious spell, one that has led many to purchase far more concord grapes than they have any chance of deseeding.
So forget the seeds. In fact, forget work altogether. Winter will be here soon enough, and this is your last chance to sit in the sun and toss back a couple of these Concord lime vodka collins. read more »
A couple of weeks ago I celebrated my birthday. Because we now live in a house with a yard, I was thrilled to plan the epic dinner party of my dreams. As it turned out, it was more like the simple dinner party of my dreams, which is actually just thing for an August evening. That night, rain fell for a while early, but the skies cleared and our friends sprung into action setting up tables, chairs, and citronella candles. We started with these peach shrubs; then by tiki and candlelight, had a lowcountry boil for dinner (look for a recipe next week) and for dessert, lattice-top peach slab pie. There’s almost nothing better than a cookie sheet full of pie, especially one made with fragrant yellow peaches in all their summery perfection. We served the peach pie with lemon verbena ice cream, and ate as storm clouds blew through and stars appeared. read more »
Summer’s grace has descended here in Virginia. The seventeen-year cicadas are gone, but regular old ones hiss from the lush green trees, fireflies dot the evenings, and the first fruits and vegetables are ripening in our tiny garden. We’ve had a stretch of rainy days, and that’s felt right––a sort of nature-imposed time of reflection just ahead of the season of sweltering abundance.
And the tomatoes have arrived. read more »