Summer soups are weird, I know. But when all the tomatillos or tomatoes or zucchini are ripe at once, soup can be a savior, especially if you find yourself with a string of rainy, not completely sweltering August days, where pants, socks, and real shoes almost seem like normal clothes to wear. But even on a hot day, the interplay of tangy tomatillos, velvety chicken stock, crispy tortillas, tender chicken, and herbs is pretty great. [Read more…]
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This winter I’ve neglected my stovetop. All that stubborn winter produce calls for roasting, so the oven’s been my muse. But as spring produce has arrived, I’ve been happy to get back to the stove, glad to have the time to stir and think, to taste, sprinkle salt, or squeeze some lemon. Grateful to be cooking things that are delicate and green, jumping between skillet and cutting board, reminding everyone that dinner’s going to be ready sooner than they think. [Read more…]
Fermentation is a mysterious alchemy that’s intimidated me for years. The idea of harnessing bacteria to create my favorite foods felt like something only an expert could pull off. I was also pretty sure it would smell terrible.
Then my friend Autumn Giles’ book Beyond Canning, New Techniques, Ingredients, and Flavors to Preserve, Pickle, and Ferment Like Never Before landed on my doorstop. Autumn quickly allayed my fears, showing me how simple fermentation really is and walking me through the process step-by-step. I was ready! [Read more…]
When we lived in Brooklyn, February was my time of discontent. Like clockwork, I’d corner Brian, list all the things I hated (basically everything), and suggest that we should leave New York immediately. He’d hear me out and kindly remind me that it was February and I went through this every year. Now, in Charlottesville, my February mood manifests as a more general darkness, a sort of dissatisfaction and gloominess that doesn’t reach the level of inspiring major life changes.
And as usual, the longer days and kinder weather of March have improved my outlook. [Read more…]
The challenge of getting a good dinner to the table leads to a lot of round-ups of dinner hacks or 3-ingredient this and 15-minute that. But that kind of food writing leaves me cold. Racing the clock to heat up the smallest amount of food that can be called a meal with a singular focus on efficiency is no way to close out a day.
For me, good dinners are about bringing together ingredients I love in a way that feels nourishing and tastes delicious. [Read more…]