November 28th, 2013 / comments
Last November, on the Friday after Thanksgiving, I opened the fridge to get a slice of lemon for my morning cup of tea and was overwhelmed by bowls, containers and aluminum foil wrapped packets of leftovers. Charles had been in charge of clean up the night before and, with the help of a couple of other non-cooks, had done a splendid job but the overstuffed fridge needed immediate attention.
The turkey carcass was precariously perched on a jug of gravy and a bowl half filled with roasted cranberry sauce. Mashed sweet potatoes flavored with chipotle peppers and mashed white potatoes rested side by side in one container and a forlorn slice of pumpkin pie wrapped in plastic sat on a small bowl of gingered whipped cream. After I found the lemon for my tea, I began to deal with the wealth of leftovers by topping the piece of pie with the whipped cream and eating it.
I made run-of-the-mill turkey sandwiches dinner-worthy by making sandwich rolls with the leftover sweet potatoes. These yeast rolls are not difficult to make but need to rise twice before baking so I got started as soon as I’d read the paper and emptied the dishwasher. Here’s how I made them:[/donotprint] … read more
February 2nd, 2013 / Comments
The snow is lovely, the air is crisp, very crisp and carrots have replaced the fresh, local leafy green vegetables that fill my fridge in the warmer months. The golden glow of the fire in the woodstove matched the warm orange of the carrot soup and carrot falafel that I made last week.
The Moors brought carrots, cousin of both Queen Anne’s lace and parsnips, to Europe from Asia in the 10th century. With more natural sugar than any other vegetable except beets, carrots are rich in carotene, which improves night vision, and are renowned as an anti-wrinkle agent.
According to some food historians, carrots originated in Afghanistan, which was enough of a reason to make falafel with carrots as the primary ingredient. Tahini sauce added a taste of the Middle East to our dinner. Here’s how I did it: … 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
March 7th, 2012 / Comments
In less than two weeks, Charles and I will be on our way to Sicily. We will be there for nearly seven weeks, missing the end of winter ice and snow and the muck of mud season. Because of an unexpected bit of good luck, our house will be rented while we are away. With renters needs in mind, I have been making empty space in cupboards, cabinets and closets. As I sorted through the pantry, I discovered a rock hard block of almond paste from last years trip to Sicily. (That’s it on the right next to chocolate from Modica.)
Rather than throw it away, I decided to use it to make a frangipane tart. Although, I had eaten frangipane tarts I had never made one. I adapted a recipe for frangipane filling that I found on the Internet, and made a tart to share with friends at a cozy dinner party on Friday night. It had a buttery lemon crust and a frangipane filling studded with tiny French plums I had found at the market. Here’s how I did it: … read more
February 29th, 2012 / Comments
I’ve invited Sarah Pinneo to share her thoughts and a recipe. Sarah is a friend, food writer, cook book author, and a novelist. This month, she celebrates the publication of her book Julia’s Child (Plume / Penguin U.S.A. 2012).
Her cookbook The Ski House Cookbook is on my bookshelf and I use it whether or not there is snow on the ground. Her new book, Julia’s Child, is a delectable comedy for every woman who’s ever wondered if buying that six-dollar box of organic crackers makes her a hero or a sucker.
Here’s Sarah….. … read more
February 15th, 2012 / comments
When I began to paint, my primary subjects were pears. No matter how imperfect my rendering, the shape was distinctive enough that neither Charles, nor my sons, said things like “Nice apple,” or even worse “What’s that?” At the market, I carefully chose each pear for its color or shape; pears were subjects, to be painted, not fruit to be eaten. Those days are gone, now I think that pears are to be eaten, any time of the day. Recently, I stirred pieces of pear into oatmeal for breakfast, made a simple lunch by putting a pear, a chunk of cheese and a piece of crusty bread on a plate, served roasted pears at dinner with sauteed flounder filet, and baked a pear cake studded with walnuts, crystallized ginger and poppy seeds for tea time. Serving whole or sliced pears is effortless, roasting pears is nearly as easy. … read more