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…]
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…]
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…]
A weekly summer 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 inspiration.
Summer has arrived. For real. We’ve had a few cool, rainy summers with temperatures barely topping 90 degrees, but my phone predicts we’re in for a solid week of 90 plus. And while I’m OK with a little summer swelter, leafy greens and a host of cool weather loving vegetables are not. We’ve been slowly harvesting our garden greens and lettuces, but this weekend, I’ll need to pull them all in because they’re going to bolt any second. [Read more…]
A weekly spring 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 inspiration.
As interest in local food has taken off in recent years, so have CSAs. But even really dedicated local eaters can be surprised, and possibly dismayed, by what actually shows up in their shares. [Read more…]
A couple days ago, a deluge churned through Virginia. Big, fat drops fell for hours, filling the day and then the night with the sounds and smells of a soaking spring rain.
Just before the storm moved in, I drove to the store to supplement the sparse offerings at the weekend farmer’s market. My white car was faintly yellow from a thin layer of fluffy pollen. The windshield was covered too, but since it’s the height of pollen season – a time when huge plumes of pollen billow into the air with each gust of wind – my wipers were out of fluid. I made do with the occasional drops already falling and was thankful to be dealing with such a dirty windshield on a cloudy day. Here in Charlottesville, I head out to the grocery nearly every day. I guess I’ve just never recovered from my morning walks back in Brooklyn and being able to pop in somewhere on the way home. So now I drive, a list tucked into my pocket, hopeful that the place I’ve selected will have pretty beets and tapioca, or whatever odds and ends I need on that particular day. [Read more…]
This week has seen a lot more upheaval than I’m ever comfortable with, but even when things are chaotic, I guess it’s best to continue moving forward. At least the weather has relented; we’re looking forward to a weekend spent trying to cultivate even a hint of sunburn. And Sunday, food bloggers everywhere will be doing cartwheels over the time change –– more light on the way! [Read more…]
Last night at around 5:30pm here on the east coast, something magical happened. All at once, at the dinner table I looked up and noticed that it was still light outside. Instead of the pitch dark we had become accustomed to, there was a faintly pink sunset just wrapping up. I mentioned it to Brian and the girls, and we all agreed that spring might really be here soon. Later, a glance at my Instagram feed showed that others had noticed the pink glow, too.
Then today, a brief morning downpour greeted us as we left the house. The kind that makes everything smell like dirt. A spring rain. Once it had passed, I took a long walk. Suddenly, the warm sun was out, snow seemed to be melting in one giant gush, and the birds were chirping madly.
A week ago, I may have doubted it. But today, I tell you with total confidence that spring is coming. [Read more…]
One of the avocado’s many alternate names is “butter fruit” and I think that’s a nice way to think of it––as a way to bring a buttery richness to a dish while still keeping it light and healthy. This avocado and spinach salad was my Friday lunch and I loved how the greens and avocado worked with a slightly spicy chili lime vinaigrette and salty toasted pepitas. Such a great combination, and a nice change of pace as the winter wears on. [Read more…]
August? Already? This summer has been too busy for my liking, and so this month we’re looking to slow things way down. Current plans include: swimming, lazing in the sun, eating outdoors, catching fireflies, and showing the girls the Blue Ridge Mountains.
In the city, fall comes on slowly – the urban heat effect pushes off the turning of the leaves until late November. But here in the country, the change is sudden. This is my call to action; there are peaches to slurp and watermelon seeds to spit. I haven’t made it in yet, but I’m planning a dip in a swimming hole or two. And maybe just a little more sangria, for good measure. [Read more…]