Earlier in the week, we shared this story and recipe with readers over on Food 52, and are now happy to share it here. Chow chow is a great recipe with which to bridge the seasons, and it makes delicious use of green tomatoes (which I happen to have in spades).
Let me start by saying that my Nana was an incredible baker, responsible in some part for every pie I’ve ever made, and I will forever regret not cooking more with her when she was alive. Alas, I was a difficult tween. I include this preface because, for a post on an heirloom recipe from my family, I’ve made something from my husband’s. Like most who lived through the depression, Brian’s grandmother, Mama E, was thrifty and smart and capable. She died a few summers ago, and I’ll always remember that even though she was terribly ill, she had a well-tended little garden on her back porch. Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean you can’t do a little canning. read more »
Blue crabs are serious business in Virginia. I spent my high school years in Spotsylvania County, which is not on the Chesapeake, but is close enough to boast a few crab shacks and quite a few roadside vendors who do a brisk business. So, while I’ve eaten plenty of crabs, mostly steamed, it’s mainly been as a guest rather than a host. When we decided to make crabs for Elizabeth’s birthday party, I was simultaneously excited about taking on something new and a little gun-shy, haunted by the memory of a Lobster that Would Not Die a few summers ago. But, since all household tasks involving killing creatures larger than flies fall within my purview, I took a drink and got to work. 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 »
How do you like to cook? Is it the process or the end result? Are you inspired by the ingredients in their raw states, or only after they’ve been transformed? For some reason, this soup got me thinking about that stuff. Blogging has changed how I cook, and sometimes I worry that it has slowly made food feel like work. This dish took me back to my cooking roots and made us all a little happier. read more »
Barbecue is a kind of food that people can get real fussy about. Read user reviews for any barbecue place and half of them are complaints that things aren’t being done “the real way.” People get that way about Mexican food, too. And, embarrassed as I am to admit it, I’ve been that fussy person. read more »
One of my lesser New Year’s resolutions was to eat more cooked greens. For whatever reason (somewhere between an aversion to extra dishes and a hatred of soggy greens), I’ve never really cooked my greens. Until now. So far, I’ve blanched and sauteed, and without a soggy green in sight, I’m loving the results.
Besides, if you never cook your greens, you’ll never get potlikker. read more »