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
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.
I don’t know about you, but when I first learned about these little guys I thought, saffron? In a cookie? Do I deserve that? Each time I went to the grocery store a debate would ensue, as I dragged out my stroll down the baking isle, lingering at the spice collections, scanning for the row of practically empty bottles, each full-sized jar standing as a monument to the preciousness of those few ochre colored strands tucked away at its base.
The first few times the saffron row was picked clean and I was relieved to have the decision made for me. But the surest way to make something more desirable is to tell someone no, even people without kids know that. So a week went by and I grew more curious with each passing day. How would it work? Would the saffron balance the sweetness of the snickerdoodle? Because honestly I’ve always found those blonde little cookies much too cloying. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’ve never been interested in whipping up a batch in my own kitchen. That is of course, until you put the word saffron in front of it, and then of all of sudden the word snickerdoodle never sounded so classy.Read More
Two weeks ago when we were making the long drive home from Ohio, we took a slight detour through western Kentucky. As our drive twisted and turned through the Knobs of Kentucky, signs of autumn were all around us. Shades of rust were creeping into the rolling hills, the sun sank into the horizon a little earlier, and as it did, it bathed buttery yellow light on signs for caverns, distillery tours and the occasional junk shop that time forgot. Farmers’ markets stalls were overflowing with pumpkins and apples and cider. It was all really gorgeous – a perfect introduction to a southern fall.
While I’m a bit sad about the beautiful summer produce that has passed on, I couldn’t be more anxious for fall. For shorter days to be dressed up in soups and sweaters, pizzas and spiked ciders, to be capped with evening walks to marvel at the changing trees. Last weekend we decided to act quite fall-like and took Oliver to an apple orchard in northern Georgia. This far south the leaves haven’t quite changed yet, but that hasn’t stopped the apples from falling.Read More
For the last month it seemed my finger was hovering above the pause button. Just about five weeks ago we were traipsing around the Iowa State Fair when my mom called to tell us my dad’s routine stress test had landed him on the operating table. We held our breaths, gripped things a bit tighter, and waited. We waited for the couple of updates that came during surgery, and then the day to day updates from the hospital while they tweaked his medication, monitored his heart rate and made him get up and walk the hospital halls. We chuckled at the updates on what he was eating, and how all the nurses loved him and how he was tired of the television options in his room.
When the update came that he was being released from the hospital, a week after his surgery, Oliver and I packed some bags and headed north to set up camp at my parents. We proceeded to cook and clean, then cook some more, dirty-ing the counters and stove and then started the process again. Oliver enlisted his help in walking the little dog, only to be distracted by the tall task of dinosaur-morphizing all the sticks and leaves in the front yard. Inevitably he invited them in for a bite to eat and a play, and then proceeded to scatter them, and every toy we brought, all over the house in which I grew up. More to clean.Read More
For most of my life everyone in my family believed apple pie to be my dad’s favorite. Perhaps because its classic or maybe because he dutifully ate every slice that was put before him. The fact that he dutifully eats just about anything put before him somehow never registered with any of us.
Then sometime in my early twenties a bombshell rocked our household. It turns out my dad’s favorite pie is actually blueberry. Stunned is an understatement, we laughed of course, but were all left speechless. Really? We almost never had blueberry pie. Did it really take 20+ years for that revelation? It’s possible that we never really bothered to ask him, but we never suspected he was dissatisfied. Was he pining away for a blueberry pie with every bite of apple pie he took? What kind of person holds such a silly secret for so long?Read More