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
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
January 17th, 2012 / comments
It’s been a long time coming but snow has arrived. The garden is white, the branches of the trees are accented with white. Winter has arrived and, in my mind, winter is soup season. I think a meal should have a balance of colors as well as a balance of flavors. Purple-red borscht topped with a scoop of sour cream and a sprinkle of dill leaves has that balance of color and flavor as does green split pea soup with sunny carrot dice cubes and pink cubes of ham. But, the snow reminded me of a Saturday lunch we shared last winter and I made a white dinner and to celebrate the arrival of the snow.
Last January, after our friends Kathy and Rick had spent weeks packing, snow shoveling, ice dam cursing, moving and unpacking, they invited us to lunch. We sat around the granite island in their new kitchen and savored, steamy bowls of cauliflower cheese soup. … read more
January 11th, 2012 / Comments
It’s not to late to make a New Year’s resolution. Rather than resolving to go to the gym three times a week, or to sort out the extra clothes at the back of my closet, or to re-read at least one classic before the daffodils appear; I have resolved to have an empty fridge when it’s time to travel to Italy in March.
(I wanted to share my most recent painting, Rainbow Carrots, even though carrots have nothing to do with this post. )
The first step is to dispose of all of the half-filled jars of mystery sauces that have accumulated since we returned from Italy last spring. The second, and perhaps more difficult part is resisting the jars of exotic sauces at the market. I will make do with only three jars of sauce, mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise. The mustard is grainy Dijon mustard, the ketchup is what remains of the homemade ketchup I made as a Christmas gift for Charles, and I will make mayo as we need it. … read more
December 14th, 2011 / comments
When I was a child, one of my jobs was to refill the large, red plastic tomato with ketchup. My sister and I squeezed that tomato to squirt ketchup on French fried potatoes, grilled American cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs and scrambled eggs. When I moved to Washington, DC, I wanted to be sophisticated and cosmopolitan. I listened to classical music, read the articles as well as the cartoons in the New Yorker and banished ketchup from my kitchen. … read more
December 12th, 2011 / comments
The top image is the most current one. I’d love your thoughts.
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