Eating

Mk1 790 xxx
photo by staci valentine

9.21.16 Poverty Food

My friend Mirena Kim is such a superb creature. We met more than 20 years ago and instantly bonded over our love of food, crafts and wicked giggling. Through life's ups and downs, I have watched her handle whatever came her way with grace and humor. She has always been there for me: totally supportive, never judging. Her aesthetic is flawless; everything she makes and keeps around her is quietly beautiful and highly functional. In the last few years, she has dug deeper into her ceramics practice and the world has taken notice. (You can read more about her here and here, visit her website here, and watch this video my husband made about her.) Her bowls, platters and vases are fully integrated into my home life and will be forever. This summer, Mirena flew in from Los Angeles for a spontaneous visit and spent a few glorious days talking, hiking, swimming in the lake and teaching me to make kimchi straight from the garden. 


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photos by gluttonforlife

7.31.16 Hitting the Sauce

July almost got away without a single post from me but here I'm squeaking in under the wire! It's been a busy summer so far and I'm not going to pretend it was exclusively devoted to perfect moments like these (thanks for the reference, Janet), though I have swum in the lake several times, cooked pulled pork for 80 friends, eaten way too many ice cream sandwiches, served drinks at the first Fish & Bicyle pop-up and, thus far, avoided Lyme disease. As in years past, my plan is to take a break from social media—including Facebook, Instagram and my blog—for the entire month of August. It's hard to believe that starts tomorrow. Maybe you'd like to do the same? I can't guarantee it will mean more time in the hammock for me, but it just might. Let me know how you're planning to spend your August. I'm hoping you'll find time to make this ginger-scallion sauce. It comes together quickly and sits in the fridge waiting to be spooned over poached chicken, steamed fish or dumplings; stirred into hot rice; slathered on grilled anything; or smeared on a summer roll. 


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photos by gluttonforlife

6.28.16 Low-Hanging Fruit

Alice Waters opened Chez Panisse in 1971. It was a place where she and her friends could cook in the classic style of the French countryside, talk politics and drink wine. Since those early days, her commitment to organic, local foods, and to the communities of farmers and artisan producers who make them possible, has never waned. She has supported a return to the traditional growing and harvesting techniques that preserve and enrich the land for future generations. Her cookbooks, so authoritative and inspiring, are always in heavy rotation in my kitchen. Chez Panisse Fruit is a go-to for selecting, storing, preparing and preserving whatever's in season. It is filled with recipes both sweet and savory, but also with some of the simplest, most perfect ideas for enjoying fruit at its peak. (Another favorite, also highly recommended is Pam Corbin's The River Cottage Preserves Handbook.) This is my idea of summer fun.


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photos by gluttonforlife

6.7.16 Root to Leaf

I've just come in from the garden. The weather is so glorious, sparkling fresh after Sunday's long, steady downpour. Hummingbirds zipped around me as I weeded the beds. Chipmunks chased each other around the rocky borders. The peony bushes are weighed down with tight buds about to burst open. Late-blooming lilacs perfume the silky air. June is busting out all over! Our farmers market is already offering us many delights: radishes galore, feathery fronds of tarragon, hardy stalks of green garlic, tart sorrel leaves and sweet little carrots with bushy greens still attached. From my own garden, the lovage, rhubarb and mint are faithful first responders, and tender greens—mustard, spinach, kale, lettuce—are ready for picking. I wake early to the complex melodies and syncopations of what sounds like a thousand birds and am filled with energy for the day ahead. Which is good because these days are coming at me fast and furious, requiring all my focus and creativity and determination.


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photo by george billard

5.4.16 Money Changes Everything

It's not news to you that I have been toiling away these last many months on a project near and dear to my heart. Fish & Bicycle, a bar/cafe and small grocery in the Western Catskills is inching towards its launch date, one pulse-elevating, sweat-inducing, thrill-delivering day at a time. (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...) We've garnered bank loans and grants, compiled our savings and delivered gallons of sweat equity, and we're still shy of the full amount we need to do a full build-out on the raw 1920s industrial building that will house our business. So we've launched a crowd-sourcing campaign to bring this labor of love on home. 


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photos by gluttonforlife

4.14.16 Quaff

Is it spring yet? The calendar says so, but only last week there were snow flurries in these parts. Too little, too late, after an abysmally snow-free winter. Despite the cold, the season is making inroads. The red-wing blackbirds have arrived and some little yellow finches, too. More than one bear has ambled through our yard in search of birdseed. And the first hardy greens are up—garlic mustard and watercress in the wild; rhubarb, lovage and angelica in the garden. There will be nothing new from our local farms for some time, so I can't help but eyeball all that California bounty. My palate craves tender greens and bright, sunny flavors and those luscious lemons, artichokes and strawberries prove virtually irresistible. 


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photos by Steven Randazzo & Bette Blau (@whatbette found); food styling by Eugene Jho

3.24.16 Shooting Stars

More than a year ago, a beautiful and mysterious Frenchwoman asked me to partner with her to open a business in Narrowsburg, NY, a centuries-old hamlet on the Delaware River in Sullivan County. Juliette Hermant had a vision of creating a food destination that would showcase the bounty of our Catskill farms, fields and forests. Together, we dreamed up Fish & Bicycle, a bar, cafe and small grocery meant to serve as a gathering place for the community and a place to learn about our region, not only through the food but through workshops with local artisans, botanists, foragers and gardeners. For months, we have been sweating blood to bring this venture to fruition. My friends, this is a big mountain to climb. We have had to raise the finances to make this happen, and that's still a work in progress. We have had to learn about architectural plans, liquor licenses and LLCs. We had hoped to be open by May, but it's looking more like August...or even September. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done and, trust me, I've done some hard things in my life.


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photos by gluttonforlife

2.16.16 Crumb It Up

If necessity is the mother of invention, then hunger must be its father. Rooting around in the kitchen with dinner on your mind, you might come across a crust of bread or a handful of rice and, suddenly, inspiration strikes. So it must have been long ago in Sicily, on a day when cheese was scarce, that some creative cook decided to fry breadcrumbs in good olive oil and toss them onto hot pasta. Eureka! While I can't deny the richly savory merits of Parmesan, I'm equally enthralled by the oily, garlicky crunch of this humble garnish. Scatter it with abandon atop any number of dishes and you, too, will know its many pleasures.


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photos by Pernille Loof

1.19.16 Brown Sugar

Here's what it takes to open a bar and café: Vision. Perseverance. Capital. Architectural plans. Guts. Determination. A liquor license. Blood, sweat and tears. Support from friends and family. Creativity. Passion. Prayers. So if I haven't been around these parts much lately, you'll understand why. We're making progress with Fish & Bicycle and every day we come a little closer to bringing this crazy-beautiful dream to life. I'll share more details and photos with you as they come to light. In the meantime, I've got some gorgeous images from a shoot I was privileged to collaborate on with the gifted Pernille Loof, and a recipe for a delicious cocktail I developed just for the occasion.


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photos by gluttonforlife

12.22.15 Christmas Crackers (& A Caramels Giveaway!)

A recipe for crackers and a giveaway of my coveted caramels (vanilla and chocolate chile)—a humble offering from me to you this holiday season. Just leave a comment here by midnight on December 26th, telling me what you love best about the holidays, and you'll be in the running for a bag of these sweet treats.


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