I love a lazy summer day with trips to the pool and hikes on the shady trails outside of town. But lazy summer days make for treacherous summer evenings as Brian and I race to put together a dinner that uses up as much CSA produce as possible and then shepherd our tired, hot, always hungry children through dinner and tooth-brushing and stories before they melt down. Occasionally we succeed. [Read more…]
My childhood caught the tail end of the casserole era, and hamburger macaroni and cheese conjures warm memories for me. Since then, the fortunes of food fashion have been unkind to the casserole. With its reliance on canned and processed ingredients, the standard casserole feels like a mid-century American relic. But the simplicity of a make-ahead meal and the appeal of nostalgia are alluring. Happily, all it takes to rehabilitate this homey classic is a modern approach to ingredients with a focus on fresh, whole foods. [Read more…]
In the late 60s, one of my favorite painters, Philip Guston abandoned his sublime abstract paintings for images of clumsy cartoonish klansmen driving around smoking, painting, and looking for trouble. Of the transition, Guston said “… when the 1960s came along I was feeling split, schizophrenic. The war, what was happening in America, the brutality of the world. What kind of a man am I, sitting at home, reading magazines, going into a frustrated fury about everything – and then going into my studio to adjust a red to a blue.” Guston’s topsy-turvy compositions, wry humor, and acrid-yet-beautiful palette are good enough reasons to love any painter, but I love him most because he threw away the beautiful and confronted the ugliness of the real world instead.
I’ve been feeling like Guston lately. I’m deeply angry and sad about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. I’m horrified by Dallas. And all the while, I’ve been repositioning basil leaves, scattering crumbs and pepper flecks, and selecting just the right rustic yet modern utensils. It feels hollow. I’ve always shied from discussing the wider world on Brooklyn Supper because it’s not the right forum for weighty issues and I don’t want to trivialize real problems by making them the intro to a recipe. [Read more…]
Heat and sun have never been my thing, but I’ve been doing a good job at summer stuff nonetheless. Lots of trips to parks and various pools – both the picturesque quiet one out in the woods and the loud city pool with a water slide and lazy river that draws tons of kids. Despite all that bug spray and sunscreen, my daughters’ complete joy and peals of laughter go a long way to making me a summer person. [Read more…]
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The world of ramen is one of extremes. At one end, there are the styrofoam cups and flavor packets that I grew up with. At the other end are the closely guarded secret recipes of the ramen shops that have, in the past few years, reclaimed ramen as a dish to be made carefully and from scratch. Between these extremes, though, there’s room for home cooks to make a seriously excellent bowl of ramen. These particular bowls feature spicy, incredibly tender braised pork shoulder, a rich broth layered with vegetables and aromatics, and a pile of highly slurpable ramen noodles. [Read more…]
I have a knack taking simple things and making them complicated. It’s not always a good thing in life, but with food, it usually works out nicely.
Classic shortcake, the kind made with fresh strawberries, biscuits, and whipped cream, is wonderfully simple. But, in search of new layers of flavor and an only slightly more complicated summer dessert, I devised this blueberry shortcake. The blueberry topping contrasts the sweet intensity of cooked blueberries with lots of lemon zest (zest is back, people) and is suffused with the faintly floral herbaceousness of fresh bay leaves. It’s spooned onto a warm, tangy, stretchy, generally really good biscuit, and topped with airy, lightly sweet whipped cream. [Read more…]
This post is sponsored by Lundberg Family Farms. Thanks for supporting the brands we love.
Coconut milk curries have been a staple of mine since the days when I had seven roommates and a big pot of stew that fed a crowd was pure gold. Later, I added fresh corn, bell peppers, and whatever summery vegetables I had lying around the kitchen in odd quantities. In winter, a few hot chilies and fresh herbs turned cold weather staples like sweet potatoes and other roots into something warming and rich. [Read more…]
This is a consolation salad. As far as consolations go, it’s tops – sweet strawberries and green spinach tossed with smoky bacon and a bacon fat balsamic vinaigrette. Still, it’s not the post I’d wanted to share this week. Last Friday, my 8 year-old’s odd summer cold progressed from annoying cough to an inability to breathe and an ambulance ride in the space of about twelve hours. Today, her little sister’s sick. She doesn’t seem as bad, but we’re heading to the doctor soon anyway. [Read more…]
Last week, I fell into a serious internet rut. Among the thoughts troubling me: Is blogging dead? Am I using lemon zest as a crutch? Can we ease up on the edible flowers? (Please?) I felt doubtful and blocked. I had a pile of strawberries on my table and no plans for them. As I leafed through my copy of The Flavor Bible, I decided I needed to create something MAJOR. [Read more…]
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In Brooklyn, Brian and I had a pretty impressive container garden. When we moved to Virginia we thought that freed from the constraints imposed by planting in pickle buckets on a small third floor balcony prevented from getting full sunlight by the hulking condos next door, we’d have a dream garden in no time. But as a wet June gave way to a humid summer, blight hit our overcrowded tomatoes which comprised the bulk of our garden, deer struck, and we learned that gardening in Virginia called for a host of skills our container garden hadn’t taught us. [Read more…]