Duckathlon VI – D’Artagnan’s Hot Ticket

Duckathon? What’s that, you say? One of the best kept secrets in the NYC restaurant and food world! And the best time I’ve had in ages. A party like you’ve never seen before, unless you happen to reside in a village in the southwest of France. From what I’ve googled, festivals of silly events make up a good part of the summertime fun in Gascony. Leave it to the brilliant, charming Ariane Daguin to bring that joie de vivre to these shores. Ariane owns D’Artagnan, a sponsor of Charcutepalooza, and the leading purveyor of all-natural and organic meats (as well as charcuterie, wild mushrooms and truffles!) I was so thrilled to be invited to the 6th Annual D’Artagnan Duckathlon last weekend. As the invitation said, […]


the garden greets summer

Early Spring is turning quickly to early Summer. At least by the thermometer – April, temps in the 80’s? Jeepers. The tree peonies are in full bloom – thrilling and brief. It’s said they add a bloom a year, such that the 100+ year old tree peonies found in China are heavy with blossom. I won’t live long enough to see that, but the white one is 10 years old now. Matching the tree peonies in enthusiasm, camellias are full of blooms. After the squirrels devoured every bud last year, I’m incredibly happy to gaze at this beauty from my breakfast room. The clematis montana on the fence is finally filling in, as is the one I trained to grow up a heavy chain. Fabulous, […]


have you seen my mojo?

Whew. I’ve had a few bad days in the kitchen. I’ll spare you photographs of the disasters. I’ve been thinking about each and every one, however. And each failure reinforced my intention to write recipes that work. You see, each of these, um, challenges in the kitchen was about the quality of the recipe, I’m sure of it. I tried making macarons from a recipe found at a very reputable site. There were technique suggestions I’d never seen before. I made the recipe three times. The first time, clearly the baking time was wrong as they were deeply brown two minutes before they were even supposed to be done. The second attempt produced flat, no-feet cookies from the outset. The third time, the cookies formed […]


canning yankee-style baked beans

It’s a little rainy and chilly here, and produce is still not available at the market. I’m itching to can something. Anything. I did two batches of  chicken broth, but that didn’t satisfy the itch. So I decided to can with this recipe while waiting for strawberries and rhubarb. I set out to make the baked beans of my childhood. That sweet, tangy elixir. The ones from the jar. With the big hunk of whitish, frighteningly delicious fat. I’ve been messing around with these flavors for awhile, and finally hit upon the perfect – well, MY perfect – baked bean. These beans are so easy, you’re going to be thrilled to have them at your barbeque dinners this summer. One pound of beans will make […]


charcutepalooza may challenge. grinding.

We’re almost half way through the Year of Meat. We’ve salted, cured, brined, and smoked. Now, it’s time to make sausage. Grinding meat from whole cuts, blending in the perfect ratio of clean fats, and flavoring just to your taste with spices, herbs and more – it’s nothing short of amazing. To prepare for this challenge, I sought out expert advice. You Charcutepalooza-er’s have a lot of fans out there, and some seriously impressive people were delighted to chime in and make sure we’re doing all we can with this great meat-movement. From the beginning, we’ve been talking about sourcing the best meat possible – humanely raised and humanely slaughtered. What better time to reassert that intention then when we make sausage? Controlling the quality […]