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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. […]

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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 […]

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a meditation on biscuits

I’ve been messing around with buttermilk biscuits. As with so many good things that come from the kitchen, these musings started with butter. For those of you who have The Book, I detail a method for making butter. It’s a ridiculously easy thing, particularly with a stand mixer. I’ve written about making butter here, my friend Carol wrote about it, and I even did a podcast once.  I wrote a recipe for this month’s AllRecipes Magazine, too. Making butter led, ultimately, to making biscuits. I realize there is a world of biscuit-making talk from the likes of Nathalie Dupree & Cynthia Graubert, Virginia Willis,  and Sheri Castle. I love these women with all my heart and hope they know how much I respect them. Yet, here I go. Me. A Yankee-born, Washington DC-living, […]

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marmalade truths

Marmalade did not win. (shakes fist at the sky) When I was working on my book, my editor asked (more than once) why there wasn’t a marmalade recipe. It was hard to admit to her even though, a few years back, I revealed my deepest preserving secret here. Not only did I not like marmalade, I had never made it successfully. But I felt defeated. Unworthy. As a preserver, I couldn’t live with this failure. So, in January, while traveling through Texas teaching classes for the wonderful Central Market stores. (Three cheers for the fantastic people of Central Market and the welcoming Food52’ers of Austin, Texas!) I taught classes on making the most of the extraordinary fruits available during Central Market’s CITRUS FESTIVAL. Yes, a whole festival of citrus. Four pages of citrus […]

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fruity nutty honey nougat

Google what to do with egg whites, dried fruit and nuts, and you get nougat. What they don’t tell you is what an unholy mess it makes. Still, it’s worth it. Nougat is a sweet, chewy delicacy I first encountered in Italy, but have seen in France and Spain, and I’ve received gifts of nougat from friends after visits to Northern African countries, Turkey, Iran and Israel. Every country has their own version of this honey sweetened marshmallowy treat stuffed with nuts, always, and fruit, sometimes. Since the holidays ended, I’ve been working through the half bags of this and that, the frozen bits and bobs, all the little leftover whatevers from my holiday cooking and baking. There were macademias and pistachios, dried cranberries and cherries, almonds, pecans, walnuts. […]

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some favorite cookbooks (giveaway)

Psssst. I’m giving away 4 cookbooks to 4 readers. Read on. Dennis selected a superb tree this year and we doubled the number of lights so it’s very twinkly. It’s made me so happy to have light in the house. These early December days when it gets dark so early can be difficult, but with all this twinkling, I am feeling pretty cheerful. I have so many reasons to be grateful, and one reason is all of you, my dear readers. To get in the spirit, as I do every year, I embarked on the usual holiday cookie craziness. Just check my Instagram feed to see all the baking and candymaking. At the end of it all, we shipped out dozens of tins to friends near and far. Once I make all the […]