November 28th, 2013 / Comments
A gathering for a holiday or a family celebration that centers on a meal provides the perfect opportunity for a food fight.
I don’t mean the kind that involves a cream pie in the face, champagne sprayed around the table or peas slingshot across the room. I mean friendly, family disagreements about the best cranberry sauce. Should dessert be apple or pumpkin pie? Are creamed onions or a green bean casserole mandatory? Will there be chestnuts in the stuffing? Most picture perfect holiday meals exist only in magazines and movies, with a group of strangers presented as family, dressed by stylists, sitting at a perfectly decorated holiday table. Real holiday meals are an opportunity to share a favorite recipe and no one will complain that the second version of cranberry sauce has spoiled the symmetry of the table.
My favorite cranberry relish was inspired by a recipe from my friend Lynda. I added a chili pepper when I made it last year. Here’s how I did it: … read more
May 29th, 2013 / Comments
Rhubarb heralds Spring in Vermont. Pink sprouts push up from the cold earth.
‘Still have snow?’
‘Is the sap running?’
‘Are the mergansers back?’
The familiar litany of questions heard around town – at the post office, the Creamery, the market, and at community dinners. And then the rhubarb appears – over night, huge green leaves pop up. The first garden harvest of Spring. Although technically a vegetable, I think of rhubarb as fruit, the primary ingredient in one of my favorite pies, as a lovely sauce eaten alone or topped with a dollop of yogurt (see post below), or starring in a chutney or relish.
Today I baked rhubarb with sugar and a bit of butter and finished it with heavy cream and fresh nutmeg. Very easy, yummy and with rhubarb from my garden and cream from the Farmer’s market,
Here’s how I did it. … read more
May 22nd, 2013 / Comments
Even though our garden is overrun with weeds, the rhubarb is undaunted this spring. I made a rhubarb crumb cake to take to lunch with friends and it was a great success. This cake is quick to make and can be made the day before it is served. … read more
October 12th, 2012 / Comments
Is it just me, or has planning the menu for a dinner party become more complicated than coordinating colors and patterns for a crazy quilt?
In the 20th century, creating the menu for a dinner part was as simple as choosing a main dish, usually meat or chicken; a vegetable, anything green; something to pour sauce or gravy on, either potatoes, rice or noodles; and, something sweet to finish – a pie, a cake or something chocolate. Alas, those days are gone. … read more
June 14th, 2012 / comments
I found bright orange kumquats at the market made and used them to make kumquat syrup to combine with to soda water to make kumquat soda.
… read more
May 22nd, 2012 / Comments
An unattended, spring garden in Vermont is full of surprises, mostly weedy ones. We returned from Italy and found that the comfrey, a perennial wild herb, who’s leaves are said to cure athlete’s foot when tucked between toes and taped in place, was nearly three-feet tall and about to overwhelm the peonies. Lush, tall grass had moved into what were beds of flowers. The good news is that the rhubarb was thriving.
… read more