Oysters

vacation tales, tender fishcakes and german chocolate cake

We slipped away for a week on Martha’s Vineyard,  and it feels so long ago now that this is more memoir than blog post. While it might sound like a busman’s holiday, I always make our meals when we’re on a beach vacation. I plan for it, packing a few key things to make cooking easier and more delicious. Because we’re driving, these few things take up very little room. A cast iron pan A baking sheet and a few sheets of parchment paper A couple of zip top bags, large and small A chef’s knife A paring knife Tongs Microplane Good finishing salt Pepper grinder Excellent olive oil One lovely vinegar A big jar of granola Some sort of hot sauce A good sized hunk of […]

soak the cukes

pickles and frickles

[I got it in my head to have another #instagrampreservation party over the weekend when I found out the first of the Kirby cucumbers were coming to the market. I've learned a few things, so this time around was (a little) less hectic than the strawberry jamming session.] Pickles are my happy food. Perhaps, like my cousin-in-law Jonah, my people come from the pickling capitol of Poland, or maybe it’s the childhood memory of Brauer’s stainless steel bowls of salty, crispy treats (complementary, of course). The first thing I would do? Poke around looking for the sour green tomato lurking somewhere in among the briny cukes.  The bowl was filled with a range of half and full sours, some crisp and still tasting of cucumber and others fermented into a cucumber of a […]

strawberries

canning season (and a recipe for asparagus and morels)

I’ve made at least eight meals that I meant to photograph and blog, but somehow it didn’t happen. When I sat down to this meal, I knew there was no way I could let this divine combination of asparagus, morels and a poached egg slip through. The season of fresh foods has arrived and doesn’t it seem it’s moving along really quickly? I’ve made plenty of strawberry jam, a few boozy infusions, some vinegar. I pickled onions and asparagus. I’m like a kid in a candy store. Oh, it’s rhubarb season, but ooh boy, the cherries arrived! And yikes, here come the blueberries! OMG there was SQUASH at the market last week! The season is racing along and now is the time to get some jars on the […]

strawberries

strawberry jam cook along

So, in the midst of dealing with the Final Pass (the last chance to see the book before it goes to the printer), I was itching to make some strawberry jam. For some reason, this was the worst, absolute worst, round of edits. I have no idea why, but other writers have concurred, so I feel okay saying it out loud here. Now that it’s over, I am going to clean my office (I have a NEW DESK!), read a crime drama, and make some jam, just for fun. Last weekend, I made some strawberry jam and Instagrammed and Facebook’ed the process. It was the craziest thing I’ve ever done. The kitchen was a disaster. I was jumping from phone to computer because I didn’t […]

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a garden walk

I miss writing here, but I am deep deep deep in the very last review of my book and two other projects, all of which must be finished by Tuesday. I took a few minutes to snap pictures of the garden, to tide you (and me) over. I’ll be back next week. I have a delicious new recipe to share. xoCathy PS Congratulations to Scott D. who won the Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits Handbook of Etiquette giveaway. These are knock-out roses. My friend Janet insists on calling them Wipe Out roses so that’s what they will be henceforth. This is the happiest climbing hydrangea. If you are growing one and tapping your toe waiting for it to grow, in my experience, they are almost […]

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let’s bring back the canapé (and a giveaway)

The Deans of Domestic Pursuit, Suzanne Pollak and Lee Manigault, want to bring back the lively days of entertaining at home. I’m with them. If you’ve been a (willing) listener, you have heard me bemoaning the state of the dinner party, the cocktail party, even a luncheon served at home. It seems as if months will go by between invitations to any of the above. I love having people over, but even I have been off my game. The book and all… Thank heaven for the Deans. I wrote about them last year for the Washington Post, just when their book deal was coming together and here their book is OUT ALREADY! The Charleston Academy of Domestic Pursuits (Stewart Tabori and Chang) is the most charming, funny, down to earth, sweetheart of an etiquette […]