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a cool salad for a fast pace

It’s been a crazy time but this salad has gotten me through. It’s everything. Sweet, salty, sassy with chile pepper heat. In the last month, in the craziest 9 days, we staged our house (POD in, POD out) and put it on the market. It sold 5 days later. We rejoiced, cried, panicked, and ran away. After two days by the waterside, things look more manageable and I am working on reestablishing a regular routine for the next little while. This is where we’re moving. Our condo is on the other side of the building. We don’t move until October, but on the other hand Holy Crap. WE MOVE IN OCTOBER. For those days when the house was on the market, I barely cooked, but I did manage to […]

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ch-ch-changes

We’ve got big news. We’re moving! And it’s only 8 minutes from our current home. Dennis and I have lived in our current home for all but one year of our 18 together.  After years of moving furniture and artwork around, renovating bathrooms and living areas and (finally last year) the kitchen, it’s “done.” It’s perfect. There is so much I love about this house. It’s light and bright. It’s up on a hill. The views are wonderful and woody. Out the wall of windows in the breakfast room, the view is sublime, the result of a garden 17 years in the making. We are next to the treasure that is Rock Creek Park. The dogs get long walks in the deep woods on a daily basis. We […]

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tart cherries, sweet cherries and a Preserving Italy giveaway

The Northwest Cherry Growers from Washington State sent me a box of cherries. They were so delicious, I almost ate them all without preserving a single one, but I managed to set aside some for these delicious projects. Cherry Bounce. It’s a delicious cordial, George Washington’s fave tipple! It’s delicious and takes about 15 minutes to stir together and then a world of patience while it does its thing for weeks. Make it before the cherry season is gone and you’ll be serving it this fall. With all those gorgeous cherries, I turned to my good friend Domenica Marchetti’s lovely new book – PRESERVING ITALY – chock full of so many sensational recipes. It is a joy to read, Domenica’s writing is encouraging and fun, and the fabulous assortment […]

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garden walk. high summer.

Today I strolled through the back garden and snapped these photos. It’s been a perfect summer for gardening in the DC area. Too much rain in May, yes, but since then the weather has been warm and summery but not unpleasant. Bouts of humidity have been balanced by dry breezy days. I almost don’t recognize my hometown. It’s made the hydrangea happy as can be. I’m not sure why two plants next to one another should be pink on one side and blue on the other. Perhaps it was Morty’s helpful digging around the roots? I stuff planters full of lily bulbs and cut them freely to bring into the house.  I overwinter the planters in the garage, bring them out in the spring and […]

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vin de noix

I first tasted Vin de Noix, green walnut wine, in a small restaurant in the Paris neighborhood Le Marais. I’ve never found the restaurant again, no matter how many narrow streets I turn down, but the taste of Vin de Noix never left me. When, several years later, I found the recipe in a small preserving book written in French on yellowed pages I did not expect several more years to pass before I could finally make it. The recipe calls for green walnuts, not a variety of walnut, but the immature nut. To make vin de noix, according to this recipe, the green nuts are picked on Fête de la Saint-Jean-Baptiste, June 24. Nocino is the very delicious Italian version of vin de noix, and those […]

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knit together

If you’ve been following me on instagram, you might have noticed some non-food photos sneaking in to my feed. I’ve been knitting. It wasn’t until I started knitting again (about a year ago) that I realized I had stopped. I’ve been a yarn and needle girl since childhood, was an avid knitter through high school and college making Fair Isle sweaters and big bulky reindeer sweaters that I wore skiing and horseback riding.  I was never without a project. And then my mother – my favorite knitting pal – died, and I stopped. Just stopped. I didn’t even put all this together until I started knitting again, ten years later. I wish she were still alive because she wouldn’t believe what’s changed. The circular needles! Knitting […]