This post is sponsored by Progresso.
Although summer’s end is palpable, I’m not quite ready to give up. My weekend plans include one last cannonball into the pool and at least one more cookout with friends. [Read more…]
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On Tuesday morning, both my daughters hopped onto a big yellow school bus and I was alone in quiet house with a day stretching out ahead of me – a feeling I’d nearly forgotten. It didn’t take long before the silence and freedom I’d yearned for all summer became overwhelming and I found myself putting off deadlines by scrubbing the bathtub. After a second aimless day, I knew I needed new routines. [Read more…]
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Late summer entertaining is tricky business. Storms and swelter threaten, while all manner of insects plot in the shadows. I keep at it, though, because most of the threats to a summer party also bring a little summer magic. A booming storm might roll through, but won’t last long and leaves behind a rich aroma and a little respite from the sun. The searing heat of a hot summer day gives way to a sultry evening. Come winter, we’ll cozy up in our little house with friends and family, but summer is the time to take in the flowers and the sky. [Read more…]
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As a kid with two parents who balanced full-time jobs with child care and night school, I was a lunch buyer. Each day I’d load up my tray with limp french fries or the saddest hamburger in the world, and look longingly at the kids around me with packed lunches. I can’t recall what I envied exactly but it seemed wonderful to bring a lunch from home. Now that I’m a parent, it’s important to me to send my girls to school with a homemade lunch (even if Brian, the early-riser in our family, is the one who actually packs them). [Read more…]
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…]
I learned to make jam a few years back at a class at The Brooklyn Kitchen taught by Kelly Geary. That day, she made a thick and syrupy, crazy lemony blueberry jam with no pectin. My early experiments didn’t turn out as well, though, so I started using pectin. This year, something changed. I wanted to perfect a simple small-batch jam-making technique I could use to quickly preserve summer berries (which always seems to be on the verge of expiring) without anything special on hand. [Read more…]
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It’s high summer, and stepping out into the July afternoon humidity feels roughly similar to taking a bath. The girls helicopter their arms, pretending to swim through the murky air as we head to the pool. The cicadas, ever heat-loving, drone so loudly they interrupt our evening conversations on the stoop. The leaves (and egg yolks) have gone pale from the heat, and the garden insists on a daily drenching.
In this heat, I’d like to forgo food altogether, or subsist on only fruit, but my stomach just isn’t having it. [Read more…]
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…]