Farmers and Markets

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 […]

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 […]

asparagus gribiche, or mimosa, style

There have been many delicious moments in the last few weeks, but the new crop of grassy spears demands that I share this recipe for asparagus gribiche, also known as asparagus mimosa. I love both names for this combination of asparagus and eggs because they make the dish seem so divinely continental, while in reality it is so simply executed. After a riotious and hilarious knitting retreat (okay, admit it, you never thought those words would go together), I ferried to Marthas Vineyard. T.S. Eliot wrote that April is the cruellest month, and it was certainly challenging for my beloved friends, siblings Katrin and Dave. There is no more family after the two of them are gone, we’re not (any of us) getting any younger, and keeping up after a home built in 1680 was demanding. […]

Stalking The Blonde Morel

Morel foragers are a secretive group. Loath to reveal where they unearth their quarry, each ground-gazing hunter has a theory of the most favorable conditions. Some claim they find their fungi deep in a shady copse. Others look at the base of stone walls. A few claim a symbiosis with certain trees, most particularly after a forest fire. These men and women are obsessed. They may hunt especially in mid morning or late afternoon, they may go out only after a rainstorm or never after a rainstorm, they find morels always under cottonwoods or always under oaks. No two foragers share the same set of theories, but there are some overarching themes. They all thrill with reverence when asked about the blondes. Those are Morchella […]

merguez, shakshushka, and more. my fall kitchen projects.

Even if I didn’t have a calendar, I would know it was fall from the autumnal projects in the kitchen. In the market, there are pole beans and some shelling beans, a few chiles and peppers, potatoes, onions, leeks and fennel. Squashes and cauliflower. Kale and chard and spinach. The pantry is packed with jars of tomatoes and grape juice, dozens of different jams and jellies, pickles and pie fillings. For me, these weeks before Thanksgiving are full of activity. This year, instead of pushing through the last round of edits, or just back after from 22 grueling book tour days. I will be home for the holidays. I’m going to bring back some old traditions and create some new ones and I’m using the next four weeks to […]

tiny scotch eggs

It all started with the quail eggs.  Will at Whitmore Farm is raising quail and every darn week those pretty speckled tiny eggs are there at the booth. Irresistable. I devilled a dozen a couple of weeks ago. The eggs are so tiny I snipped the top and removed the yolk with a demitasse spoon. By slicing across base, removing a small bit to make a flat surface, the egg sat upright. I filled them with a piping bag. Very pretty. Oops. No photo. I am not sure where the idea of scotch eggs came from, but I couldn’t stop thinking about making small scotch eggs. I love a good scotch egg, but have never been able to finish one. They’re just a little too big for me. But with a […]