Tomato Pie with Rye Crust

September 1st, 2012 / comments 2

I’m an impulsive cook, often inspired by the contents of my fridge and pantry.

Rye Tomato Pie with Rye Crust Being a shareholder in the Community Supported Agriculture offered by Fable Farm in Barnard has meant that there has been even more inspiration in my kitchen. This week’s share included cherry tomatoes, squash and onions – the perfect combination for a summer quiche.

Sometimes inspiration in the kitchen isn’t enough. There were only a couple of eggs in the fridge and I didn’t have any cream or Swiss cheese and I had used the last ready-to-bake piecrust for a plum tart earlier in the week. Rather than drive to the grocery store for the missing ingredients, I improvised and made a vegetable tart with what I had. Unfortunately, when I lifted the lid of the ceramic pot that I keep flour in, I saw that I had forgotten to buy flour. … read more

Portugese Milk Mayo from a Vermont Kitchen

January 11th, 2012 / Comments 1

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.

rainbow carrots c egbert Portugese Milk Mayo from a Vermont Kitchen

Rainbow Carrots

(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

Ketchup from my Vermont Kitchen

December 14th, 2011 / comments 3

tomato c egbert Ketchup from my Vermont KitchenWhen 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

Souvenirs from Sicily – Blood Oranges, Capers & Flat Leaf Parsley

April 7th, 2011 / comments 3

I’ve begun gathering souvenirs to bring back to Vermont from Ortigia. Not the usual tee shirt or piece of pottery, rather souvenirs in the form of memories of Sicilian food – some simple, others complex, some easy to recreate and others impossible.

blood orange juice Souvenirs from Sicily   Blood Oranges, Capers & Flat Leaf Parsley

Blood Orange Juice and the Ionian Sea

The glass of blood orange juice that Charles makes for me with four fresh Tarocco oranges is my favorite way to start the day. Tarocco oranges grow in the fertile soil surrounding Mount Etna. They are sweet, less acidic than other oranges and have the highest vitamin C content of any orange variety grown. The juice is orange in name only, it varies in color from peachy pink to rose dore to nearly garnet red. I love it freshly squeezed and thick with pulp. Although there are  blood oranges in the markets in Vermont, I’ll miss watching the sun shimmer on the Ionian sea as I sip the sweet juice.  Unfortunately, blood orange juice at the edge of the Ionian Sea must be put into the impossible to recreate category.

Salt cured capers are sold by weight at the market. They are about the size of lentils and have a sharp and sour taste that is lovely with chicken or fish and are a crucial ingredient in the tomato/potato salad I tasted on a recent trip to Marsala. Although it isn’t easy to find salt-cured capers in Vermont, there are jars of vinegar-cured capers in the pickle aisle of every grocery store. Here’s how I made the tomato/potato salad when we got back to Ortigia. … read more

Potato, Tomato & Cheese – Oh, my!

March 25th, 2011 / comments 3

It rained all day yesterday, a cold, gray, ‘can’t go out to play’ rain. I finished reading a mystery set in Victorian England, began reading a book set in Singapore in the mid 1940’s, played games with Matthew and Charles, and tried to comprehend what was happening in Japan via  an extraordinarily slow internet connection. Charles picked up a pizza for dinner and I went to sleep hoping that Monday would bring lots of sunshine and good news.

simple breakfast4 Potato, Tomato & Cheese   Oh, my!

Since I hadn’t been to the open-air market on Sunday and the small, nearby markets were closed, breakfast resources in the fridge and pantry were limited. Charles decided to stop for coffee and a pastry on his way to the library so it was just Matthew and me for breakfast. Although, there were no strawberries, bread, milk, cereal, eggs or yogurt in the kitchen, there was one banana, some fresh ricotta, two blood oranges, honey and a shaker of cinnamon that Matthew had brought with him from the UK. I carefully peeled and sliced the banana and oranges and arranged them on a plate, added a scoop of ricotta, topped the ricotta and oranges with honey and squeezed a bit of orange juice on to the banana before dusting it with cinnamon. There was enough sun to capture this colorful breakfast in a photograph before we ate it.

I went to the market looking for inspiration and ingredients. San Marzano plum tomatoes from Georgio were a start. I choose a few waxy new potatoes, a bunch of broccoli and spring onions from the vendor next to him. Unfortunately, he is so grumpy that I’ve never asked him his name. I think his canary’s name is Elvis because that’s what’s painted on the cage. My final stop was to get cheese. Andrea was serving samples to passers-by but stopped long enough to wrap a ball of fresh mozzarella for me. I hurried home with a clear plan and everything I needed for a wonderful veggie dinner – a potato and tomato torta and steamed broccoli seasoned with garlic and dried hot pepper flakes. I would create a new recipe for dinner. Unfortunately new does not always mean good. Here’s what I did: … read more

Peach & Tomato Salad

September 1st, 2010 / comments 4

Last Tuesday, Election Day, I spent the morning in front of Town Hall supporting my candidate and greeting friends and strangers as they came to vote. On this perfect summer day, the people I talked to were thinking more about food than about politics and the most popular topic was peaches.

Peach Basket c egbert Peach & Tomato Salad

I was intrigued when I heard Honey and Elizabeth talking about a peach and tomato salad that Honey had made for a dinner party. Luckily, they were willing to tell me about it and I made my version on Wednesday. Here’s how I did it: … read more

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