a year of canning begins, again

It’s been busy busy busy at the drafting table. And the keyboard. I miss the kitchen, and this blog, and spending afternoons dreaming up recipes to share. I’m back designing gardens, with some lovely projects that are waking up my hibernating landscape mind. Just in time, as the snowdrops opened up last week. But even more is on the horizon. Kim and I are working on a proposal – we want to tell the story of Charcutepalooza. It takes a lot of time and attention to do this well. A lot. The reality around here? My mind is almost always on the book and not on dinner. I’m finding gems in the freezer. Pot pies and manicotti and soups made weeks ago are defrosted when […]


charcutepalooza. the events.

Image by David Dadekian. Check out his blog for more exceptional photography. Butchery, charcuterie making, farm to table, a pot-luck. From the start, Kim and I had hoped there would be some Events. We wanted to get you ‘paloozers together. After all, Kim and I met on Twitter, but when I was in New York just a few weeks later, we actually met, for a cup of coffee. We’re fans of the IRL meeting. I have to think that the fact we had met in person made it easier to contemplate meat making together. I knew she would be game – she’s freaking fearless – there’s not a food project that scares her (if you don’t believe me, read this or this.) She knew I […]


love your heart

After the last few weeks of salty meatiness, when SodiumGirl asked me to develop a salt free recipe I thought it would be good for many reasons. While salt is an essential ingredient in curing and preserving, it’s possible to enjoy everyday recipes with a limited amount of salt. I’m cautious about salt use because I’ve got heart disease in my family and I’m not a spring chicken anymore. Two years ago, a sudden spike in my cholesterol meant it was time to watch salt consumption (among other changes…. like the treadmill, limiting alcohol consumption, and reducing animal products in my diet.) Indian food, and other well-spiced cuisines, are a good way to go. Here’s one of my favorite vegetarian dishes -serve this with basmati […]


charcutepalooza march challenge. brining.

Before we get going with the next challenge, Kim and I have to tell you how totally impressed we are. Seriously in awe. You ‘paloozers really rocked those pork bellies. It’s inspiring. We can’t wait to read all your posts and try some new recipes. Please take some time today to click over to Michael Ruhlman’s blog. He graciously agreed to write a post on safety and sanity in the charcuterie kitchen just for  Charcutepalooza. He’s covered so many important points, and there’s even more great information in the comments section. Thank you, Michael! Big thanks go out to Scott for creating the uber-cool Charcutepalooza map – put your city on there, won’t you? We’ll have more to report in a few days – plans […]


they say it’s my birthday

Today is my birthday. Fifty four feels like a really big number. I have to admit, I never really imagined I would live so long. But when you’re 25 and the world is your oyster and you like to ski fast and jump horses over big fences, hitting 50 seems impossible. Here’s a photo from my favorite birthday yet. It was my 50th and we were in Lyon at the Paul Bocuse restaurant. A spectacular meal, so darn French, it just oozed Gaulishness. And there was this birthday, celebrated in Cuernevaca (nice sunburn, hm?) including a smattering of television stars and peacocks. Last year, there was a blizzard (but we braved the weather and had lunch at Volt.) Today will be celebrated at home. No […]