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…]
While complicated techniques, all-day cooking, and special ingredients can make for some fantastic meals, good pantry meals are essential to eating well. Because you need something economical and easy for those nights when your kitchen fantasies are disrupted by your actual life.
Shakshouka has been a favorite family dish for a few years now, and I’m always enchanted by it’s mix of smoky peppers, slowly building heat, rich tomatoes, and of course, poached eggs. [Read more…]
This rainy, mild winter reminds me of being a kid: sitting in the back of my family station wagon, listening to rain drops on the roof and the squeak of the windshield wipers with the easy listening sounds of Carole King on the radio. Remember when the backseat could be the safest, coziest place in the world? What a bummer that grown-ups don’t really get to snuggle in the back seat very often.
At the butcher, I felt a little embarrassed that I’d never heard of country-style ribs, given that I come from what is arguably “the country.” And even if you’re not willing to concede my particular home-census-tract is rural enough, it is, at a minimum, part of a country. Also, I really like ribs. So how had I not heard of country-style ribs? [Read more…]
For the first few months of summer I take all the fresh stuff for granted – I’m nonchalant about abundant berries and corn. But come September I start to panic, which leads rather quickly to panic fruit-buying. For instance, two weeks ago I dragged the whole family to the Union Square Greenmarket and bought 20 pounds of peaches, six pints of blueberries, three pints of blackberries, and one pint of raspberries. Let’s just say we’re all set in the jam department. Also the pie department. This week I made a reservation for 40 pounds of tomatoes. Gulp. I’ll be canning the tomatoes for sure, but I might also have to make this soup again.
Now that it really is fall you pretty much have to make soup. This one is has big tomato flavor with smoky notes and hints of fragrant herbs. It’s exactly what you want to be eating as the first leaves of fall flutter by. [Read more…]