Last weekend’s sudden freeze was right on time, but caught me off guard anyway. I’d given up on the tomatoes, but was still holding out hope for the only watermelon to survive the groundhog and my fall plantings – most of which are just tiny seedlings peeking up from the soil. I also had big plans for the figs growing in friends’ yards. Now, I’ll just have to take comfort in the pumpkin, gourd, and squash army I’ve amassed. [Read more…]
The Saunders Brothers’ orchard is tucked right up against the Blue Ridge Mountains in Nelson County, Virginia; even with gray clouds looming, the views are stunning. Brian, the girls, and I visited their farm market and orchard on a rainy Saturday a few weeks back as part of an article for Saveur, tracing Whole Foods Market’s local produce from orchard to store. [Read more…]
I have a list of beloved recipes for fall, the holidays, and beyond, and pretty much stick to them, especially when things get busy. Also, I don’t like change. Even so, sometimes an idea or book comes along that changes my ways and pushes me to re-imagine even my very favorite things. Samantha Seneviratne‘s The New Sugar and Spice: A Recipe for Bolder Baking is just that kind of thing. In it, Sam moves beautifully between engaging family stories and insights into baking, spices, and the history of how such far flung ingredients made their way into our kitchens. It’s also overflowing with perfect recipes. Just enough sugar to be delicious and with an admirable restraint – rather than the typical cinnamon/clove/nutmeg/ground ginger wall of flavor, Sam achieves culinary splendor by thoughtfully highlighting just a few ingredients in each dish. Think of it as the anti-pumpkin pie spice. [Read more…]
Last night, I pulled up my tomato plants. The growing season is winding down as the autumn chill creeps in. That chill coupled with the East Coast deluge a few weeks back mostly put an end to tomato season and peppers will follow shortly. And while greens, squash, and roots are all abundant, for the first time in months, my fridge holds a manageable amount of produce. It’s nice to have a little calm. [Read more…]
A weekly fall produce guide to what’s in season right now based on the contents of our CSA share, with CSA and farmer’s market recipes and ideas. This week’s mid-October inspiration: Asian pears, sage, Red Russian kale, sweet potatoes, and garlic.
On a clear, glittering fall weekend like this, I’m sure you are outside. I certainly should be.
But in case you’re in the kitchen or plan to be later, in case your adventures this weekend have turned up more Asian pears or sweet potatoes than you know what to do with, I’ve pulled together a few favorite fall recipes. [Read more…]
Years ago now, there was a fire in our building in Brooklyn. Nothing serious, but even so, the city cut electricity and gas to the building for six weeks and our family (then consisting of me, Brian, a single daughter, and a very cute dog) moved into the Affinia Hotel on 7th Avenue, directly across the street from Madison Square Garden. In February. Save one beautiful snowstorm, our days in that hotel were bleak – walking the dog in Midtown and needing to go blocks to find even a tiny patch of earth, making the long trek to the foreign world of the Madison Square Park playground, cooking for three in the tiny kitchenette, and other catastrophes major and minor. We’d occasionally get back to Brooklyn, and coming out of the subway I’d always be stunned by all the light there. The low-rise buildings that made up the Brooklyn skyline (especially back then) left more room for the sky. Even though it was frigid out, I started to bring my sunglasses. [Read more…]
Sarah Coates is the cool Australian behind The Sugar Hit, one of my favorite food blogs both for its recipes and punchy writing. She also has a cookbook out now that’s just as exuberant and funny as I hoped and expected. In a time of Scandi refinement and muted tones, Sarah’s bold colors, distinct voice, and unapologetically sweet, gooey, crazy delicious recipes stand out. It’s not called The Sugar Hit for nothing, people. [Read more…]
A weekly fall produce guide to what’s in season right now based on the contents of our CSA share, with CSA and farmer’s market recipes and ideas. This week’s mid-September inspiration: kuri squash, arugula, radishes, and late season cherry tomatoes.
Real deal fall has arrived. Crisp days haven’t quite descended, but mornings call for jackets. The cicadas have mostly quieted, their frenetic rattles replaced by the steady thrum of crickets. I like to watch the birds this time of year – it’s a good time to spot migrating species making their way through. The end of summer was dry, and I worried that fall color would be unimpressive, but a damp few weeks has given me hope that we might have a good show after all. [Read more…]
On Sunday, Brian and I slept in while the girls watched TV and ate whatever weird snacks they could cobble together. Since they’d already eaten their first breakfast, there was time to make waffles at a leisurely pace. We put on a record and made a big pot of coffee, and eventually, sat down to apple waffles. Later, we went to the park and library – all the while absorbing the beautiful September sunshine. [Read more…]
A weekly fall produce guide to what’s in season right now based on the contents of our CSA share, with CSA and farmer’s market recipes and ideas. This week’s mid-September inspiration: heirloom apples, concord grapes, and plums.
There are a lot of reasons we spend so much time here urging people to eat closer to home. It’s good for local food systems and economies; beyond this, local food, produced at small scales, just tastes better. Much of the food in a typical grocery store is grown for shelf stability rather than flavor. Foods are picked before they’re ripe so they’ll transport better. This winter, I had a Granny Smith (all the way from New Zealand) that was so hard I couldn’t get my teeth into it. [Read more…]