Charcutepalooza (say it with us shar-coo-ta-pa-loo-za) – a year long project from MrsWheelbarrow and TheYummyMummy. We’ll be cooking from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie, exploring the craft of salting, smoking and curing meats. We’ll post monthly challenges to cooks across the globe and can’t wait to see what will happen.

Splendid Table

Just a quick post to let you know you can find me on The Splendid Table this weekend. Lovely Lynne Rosetto Kasper interviewed me and made me feel so comfortable. Here’s the link. The interview with me starts around minute 27, but don’t miss Lynne’s reminiscences of Julia Child, David Leite on Nutella and Ted Allen. What glorious company. I’m busy in the kitchen with fifty pounds of gorgeous organic tomatoes, eight pounds of haricot verts, three pounds of mirabelle plums and a little charcutepalooza project, coming soon. xoCathy

doing the charleston

Dennis and I ran away to Charleston last week. The Holy City. The Ghost City. We thought it was a delicious city. It was a great getaway. Three days was hardly time enough. Frankly, I could have stayed a month. Everything about Charleston is wonderful. The architecture. The breezy sea salty smell at the park at the end of the peninsula. The earthy Gullah dialect. The lovely wooden swinging benches that look out at the sea at Waterfront Park. And oh, the young, focused, inspired vibe evident everywhere – all those students keep the place impossibly, wonderfully hip and chic. The shopping looked great, but I’ll need to go back on my own to tell you for sure. (Shopping and husband are not compatible.) And […]

what to do with lamb belly

When Craig Rogers, the Pied Piper shepherd of Border Springs, sent me four good sized lamb bellies, I was intrigued. Craig’s exceptional lamb is familiar to diners all along the Eastern seaboard. Just check out the offerings at Bourbon Steak DC, Volt, or Husk. It’s good enough to be named right there on the menu. I’ll admit it, I was way beyond intrigued, I was thrilled. Seriously – what an opportunity! What fun! What a challenge! Lamb belly. An interesting cut, fatty and flavorful and very adaptable. It’s also called lamb breast, and resembles veal breast in many ways. In fact, I wonder if the nomenclature is a nod to the US’ fascination with pork belly? Hm. Marketing. Looking at the meat, I could tell […]

tales of traveling

It’s been a whirlwind two weeks of travel. I may be physically back in Washington, DC. I may be making dinners and sitting at my desk, wandering around my yard, all full of Spring blooms, but in my heart, I am still in Paris. I love that city. We had a great visit. Ate oysters frequently, but not often enough. Drank lovely wines. Watched pretty Parisians all dressed up and looking impossibly chic. Filled my eyes with architecture and art. With long views down the river from bridge to bridge. Smelled the fresh baguette, the macarons at Ladurée, the crisp expensive air of Hermes’ new-ish Left Bank shop (in a former swimming pool!) Learned my favorite huilerie has closed, but found a shop around the […]

hello spring.

Without even a moment of Winter, it seems, Spring has arrived. It’s hard to leave my garden in Spring, when every day brings another surprise. Today a tulip – an early Gregii – popped up. And others will appear while I’m away, and may even fade before I return. So much could change. It is March, after all. There could still be a snowstorm that could frostbite the magnolia blossoms. But I’m going to bid adieu for just a few days. The iris and snowdrops. The daffodils and tulips. Buds swelling on the cherry tree and the crabapple. And the camellias, with the promise of blowsy flowers far too flashy for these early months. We’re off to Paris for a few days of just-us time. […]

janis tester’s sourdough starter.

Here’s a picture of a very vigorous wild yeast product. It’s sourdough starter. Starter with a provenance. History. A past. This starter came to me via the underground railroad of food folks all the way from Janis Tester in Massachusetts. Janis was a Charcutepalooza semi-finalist, and it was during that meaty year we became Twitter friends. We’ve Skype’d and emailed and gotten to know each other. Most of the time, I count on Janis to crack me up. She is hilarious. Janis is a great cook. She tackles exotic cuisines that I want to eat. Her food look so appealing all the while telling rollicking tales of  adventures on the way to the meal. When she offered to send me some of her sourdough starter […]