Blogging can really ruin your desire to cook. February, too. During the past few weeks, I’ve had a string of recipe fails –– both the blogging kind and the oh-shit-dinner’s-disgusting kind. (The former is my job, so fails are part of the process, but a ruined dinner is just heartbreaking.) No matter what I’m making, the blog looms large. I’m constantly taking notes and snapping pics, just in case the recipe I’m winging turns into something I want to develop for this space. But after so many painful fails, I needed to give the blog less mental space when I was in the kitchen. [Read more…]
Home decor, especially kitchen appliances, can last a long time, so even though I was born after the heyday of burnt orange and pea green, the palette persisted well into my childhood. Even now, overly warm wood stains, yellow undertones, and dimly lit television shows all send me running for aesthetic cleansing. This may be why I have such difficulty embracing the hues of October. Besides the pervasive orange-ness of the season, to embrace all things squash or pumpkin is to admit defeat. For me, winter squash signals the end of the growing season, meaning everything from now until April is either a storage food or from someplace else. [Read more…]
Grilled fish is one of the purest pleasures of summer. The immediacy of it all –– fresh and simple –– makes for the very best kind of eating.
High on my personal list of skills I’d like to learn is fishing. I used to fish with my dad all the time, but one day in the peak adolescent years, sticking the hook through the minnows’ mouths was too much for me and I swore off eating any animals for 13 years. Now that I’m back to more omnivorous ways, the ability to catch my own supper is something I’d really like to reclaim. The dream of fishing goes hand in hand with my desire to become some kind of backwoods canoeing badass, but I think the canoe thing will have to wait until next summer. For this one, I’ll be perfectly content with trout straight from a Virginia stream. [Read more…]
Our family took a quick trip down to North Carolina this weekend to celebrate my brother-in-law’s graduation (with honors, from his doctoral program –– NBD). It was pretty wonderful to drive the lush country roads that link Charlottesville to Chapel Hill. Our trip coincided with the first heat wave of the year, as well as a host of spring thunderstorms, so as we motored along the backroads, the distant thunderheads contrasted with the deep green of southern trees in May. [Read more…]
It might just be because the combination of a breezy May evening, medium-rare spring lamb, tender haricot vert, and a Thai-spiced coconut milk broth make for a straight-up amazing dinner, but last Sunday an unheard-of civility descended on our family table for a precious few minutes and it was the best. If you make this dish (and you should), I can’t promise it will work the same kind of magic, but at least you’ll know your tastebuds will be rewarded handsomely. [Read more…]
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Our oldest daughter (who is doing well, by the way –– thank you nice people for the thoughtful comments and messages) refers to the time when Brian and I grew up as “the olden days.” And though it is kind of brutal, in some ways they were –– back then cartoons were on Saturday only, phones had cords, and your parents had to rush to the bank on Friday afternoon or you’d have no way of getting cash until Monday. In my own youth, I at least had the courtesy to refer to the olden days as my grandparents’ time; you know, before TV or rockets to the moon and stuff. [Read more…]