Its been quiet around here lately, huh? Some days you probably thought this little project was going the tragic way of the blogs and projects of my past. Perhaps you whispered ‘failure to launch’ to yourself, or told a joke at the expense of my attention span and then...Read More
There was recently an intervention in my kitchen. Though its not as dramatic as I make it sound, it was much needed. It wasn’t over the half dozen disks of pastry and cookie dough in the fridge, or the fact that other than milk, eggs, olives and cheese all we have in the...Read More
You guys, saltie has a cookbook. And it’s a really lovely cookbook at that. A month ago, when I first learned about this book, I was a little giddy about cooking from it in my Atlanta kitchen. I loved this little shop when I still lived in New York. Saltie was on the...Read More
“What IS that?” Asks oliver, pointing to my dark green stalks of celery. I can already see the little wheels in his head working on a plot to escape with a stalk or two to transform into a D-I-N-O. “That’s celery, it’s a very tasty vegetable,” I say. “Is it...Read More
is there anything you can't fix with food?
Its been quiet around here lately, huh? Some days you probably thought this little project was going the tragic way of the blogs and projects of my past. Perhaps you whispered ‘failure to launch’ to yourself, or told a joke at the expense of my attention span and then wondered what it was that was keeping me from sharing my kitchen fixes with the world. Don’t be embarrassed, I told myself those same jokes.
Simply put, the end of the year swallowed me whole. In between a couple of quiet holidays in Atlanta I did a bit of much needed traveling, and then battled a brutal case of jet-lag. We closed out 2012 with a frigid family trip to NYC. There was the sharing of a stomach bug and punishing cold temperatures, but it didn’t make me love New York any less. In fact, it left me wondering if anything could make me love the city less. Seeing the way it is punishing my dearest friends, admittedly puts a little dent in those feelings, but then I think they’ll sort it out and somehow become more amazing in the process (even weeks later when I read this). In any event, the visit was a great way to start up the new year. I came home feeling recharged, clinging to moments of occasional contentment, ready to meet 2013 with resolve. And then, before I could pull myself together I started to feel myself unravel. The rhythmic ups and downs made no notice of the new year. The last six weeks have followed a pattern of good followed by bad and ugly, and now I’m exhausted. Leaving me feeling a wee bit fragile and frazzled, a sense of desperation always present, just beneath the surface.
While I’m doing my best to keep it together, I’m also wanting this year to be better. I want to be better. And while I wouldn’t say I’ve been doing anything with much success (other than checking up on obscure dinosaur facts for the inquisitive among us); I would say that I’m getting better about managing my kitchen, freezing things, repurposing leftovers, managing pantry stocks, and using food before it goes bad. Did you by chance catch this report about food waste? I’m certainly a guilty party on this front. I blame my attention span, but again, I want to be better. I have a slew of recipes to test and eventually share, but I’m trying to go about it in a leaner, more streamlined fashioned. If I can pull it off I think it’ll be better for everyone involved.
One of my favorite resources in this quest is Recipes for Health from the Well Section of the NYTimes. Just about every day Martha Rose Schulman comes up with clean and easy veggie-centric recipes. Like many, she started the year with a cleanse, only hers was a kitchen cleanse. Cook for a week without buying anything, she challenged (other than the bananas and milk that your toddler requires, thank goodness for exceptions!) I took her up on the challenge, and it was a perfect undertaking. I made lots of soups, rice and lentil salads, baked some bread (forgot the salt) even tried my hand at making yogurt. While not much is ready for primetime, the process has been an incredibly valuable exercise. (You should try it!)
I’ve taken my love of lists and applied it to what I plan to make with what I buy. I know this is not revolutionary, except that it sort of is for me. It provides some focus to my whimsical, totally unfocused approach to food. Sometime soon I hope to take it to the next level by building cohesive meals, balanced for flavors and nutrition. I get dizzy at the prospect of being that competent in the kitchen.
In the midst of a quiet fridge cleanse, I offer you this recipe for a bright, clean soup. Loaded with greens and short on fat, it’s good on the resolutions front. While my thoughts continue to do such a stellar job of weighing me down, I dare say this soup feels optimistic- beaming with Meyer lemon juice. In fact it pairs well with the unseasonably warm days we’ve had in Atlanta this week. And with that, Happy belated New Year folks!
Lemon and Chard Soup
adapted from a Yotam Ottolenghi on Bon Appetit
Fresh herbs, yogurt, olive oil, lemon oil, toasted nuts (walnuts!) cooked rice, feta crumbles, slices of lemon.
In a medium stock pan heat olive oil. Add onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, until onions are translucent. Add nutmeg, season with salt and then add all the greens and cover with stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes or so (until the greens are cooked through).
Working in batches puree until smooth and return to the pot. Stir in lemon juice 1 tablespoon at a time. Be sure to taste it! I love a really lemony soup, so I used the full 3 tablespoons, but the initial recipe only called for one.
In a separate bowl combine yogurt and 1 cup of soup in 1/3 cup increments (so three increments). Stir to combine and then add the yogurt mixture to the soup pot and stir to uniformity.
Serve with the garnishes of your choice. I first enjoyed it topped with tabbouleh, then simply lemon slices and crumbled feta. The next day I liked it very much with leftover brown rice.
There was recently an intervention in my kitchen. Though its not as dramatic as I make it sound, it was much needed. It wasn’t over the half dozen disks of pastry and cookie dough in the fridge, or the fact that other than milk, eggs, olives and cheese all we have in the fridge is pastry and cookie dough. Or that we have a solid dozen types of cheese and a half dozen containers of Parmesan alone. I know that I just sent chills down the spines of the cheese connoisseurs among us. I’m not proud of the way I treat cheese, and I promise to work on it. But no, the aforementioned intervention was over what I was calling dinner three to four nights a week.Read More
We’ll its November. The air is chilly, it gets downright cold at night and in the morning our giant windows are frosted. We tricked and treated. We’ve set our clocks back and the skies darken now before six o’clock. Since our coats have become an essential part of our wardrobe I no longer feel guilty about powering up our oven and roasting vegetables for every meal, especially lunch.Read More
You guys, saltie has a cookbook. And it’s a really lovely cookbook at that. A month ago, when I first learned about this book, I was a little giddy about cooking from it in my Atlanta kitchen. I loved this little shop when I still lived in New York. Saltie was on the other side of Brooklyn, so trips to it weren’t frequent, but they were always special. Usually they were interwoven in a visit-my-best-friend-at-work day, or a buy-new-shoes-or-a-record day. Occasionally someone would bring me a Saltie treat when I was at work in the East Village. It was usually a buckwheat and olive cookie, and it always made my day. These little ditties were not too sweet, just a touch salty and had a magic creamy texture. They’re lovely.
“What IS that?” Asks oliver, pointing to my dark green stalks of celery. I can already see the little wheels in his head working on a plot to escape with a stalk or two to transform into a D-I-N-O. “That’s celery, it’s a very tasty vegetable,” I say.
“Is it FOOD?” he follows up. “It is,” I say. “Who eats that?” he continues, “Well, I like to eat it,” I say. “And who else?” he persists. “I think your Dad eats celery.” “And who else?” he persists. The answer he’s looking for is The Wonder Pets. The Wonder Pets eat celery. I could name a hundred people that eat celery, but all Oliver cares to know about celery is that it can be pet food. And I know he’s not alone in his under-appreciation of celery. It’s generally treated with indifference, used for stocks and a nice mirepoix, rarely is it set out on a pedestal and loved in its own right.