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…]
Friends, Brian and I are thrilled to share the news that Brooklyn Supper is a 2015 Saveur Blog Awards Nominee in the Most Delicious Food category! Seriously, this is a dream come true. There are so many of my favorite blogs in the mix this year. Still, we’d be grateful if you’d take a second to cast a vote for us. Thank you!
The internet, and everyone else, wants the path to good health to be easy. Drink juice for a week or buy a cup of ten dollar bone broth and undo months of microwave pizzas topped with barbecue sauce. I’ve railed against the idea of fast! easy! cooking before, and I think many of the same ideas apply to health. Attention-grabbing quick fixes are a booming industry, but they all hide the simple truth that the real work of healthful eating is slow, steady, and frankly, kind of boring.
Likewise, many good meals can be made in a hurry, but, just as often, nourishing foods takes time. [Read more…]
Over dinner, she asks, “If you could be anyone, who would it be?” Before she and her sister were born, I might have entertained the idea, but now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Understanding the improbability of it all, she says that I can have them and Brian and still be someone else. I say, “Someone rich, I guess.” But then I can’t think of anyone rich or brilliant I’d really want to be. I can’t think of another life I’d trade for my stressful, messy, chaotic one. (Surely, some more intensive thought might turn up the ideal life – if only based on location; in the moment, though, this is how is was.) [Read more…]
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The home-cooked meal is tricky business. Brian and I strive for the domestic ideal of a meal made with care and skill shared with those we love. But in our lived experiences, there are nights when any number of ordinary calamities can trip us up, and we end up calling out for pizza. [Read more…]
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After years of growing summer foods in containers, I’ve been a little taken aback at the amount of time it takes to properly care for a real garden in Virginia in mid-July. This weekend, my diligence slipped a bit and we got the first woody green beans and one way-too-giant zucchini. The difference between a tender vegetable and an overgrown one feels like 5 minutes. And what began as a nice handful of this or that a few weeks ago, is now filling a pint (or even a quart) basket daily. It’s overwhelming and wonderful all at the same time. [Read more…]
After returning from my morning rounds today, I cranked the oven to full blast, threw a big pot of water on the stove, and set about making this roasted carrot and beet salad. While I washed and peeled and chopped, I watched the birds (now out in force and doing their bird thing with no mind for the human world) and went over my to-do list, the top of which is getting signed up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Last year, we moved here right at the tail end of sign-ups, and just let it slip. But as the growing season progressed, Brian and I realized we’d made a huge mistake. Not only do CSAs do much to support local farmers as they begin their seasons by providing financial security no matter what the summer brings, CSAs benefit members too. [Read more…]