Leather-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.14.12 Warm Leatherette

One of the great things about starting this blog has been connecting to kindred spirits near and far, some of them with blogs of their own. Distances collapse in the virtual landscape, rendering us all just a keyboard away. But true connections inevitably materialize in 3-D—as recipients of my caramels discovered—and on occasion this means little packages of pure joy winging their way to me from Julia (quince & sour cherry preserves; grape, fig & walnut conserve); from Rob & David (birch syrup and homemade herbes de Provence); and from Janet (wild lime catsup and Buddha's hand preserves). This last creature is an old pal from 20 years ago. We had long gone our separate ways only to chance upon one another and discover how our paths had neatly converged. Janet is an artist (married to an artist), mother and writer living on a farm. Her newish blog, A Raisin & A Porpoise, is full of her hilariously wry wit, but also poignant insights and recipes for nourishing dishes that I actually want to cook right away, like this divine dip and these gingerbread muffins. And the spicy fruit leather, above, which she kindly presents to you here, in her own words.
 

Read More...
Tagged — cardamom
Chai-spices-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.11.11 Chai Wallah

I would so love it if I had a fabulous little chai wallah to come around every morning bringing me tea. I got pretty spoiled on my honeymoon in India, especially when we were staying at Aman-i-Khás in Rajasthan, on the edge of the Ranthambore National Park. We went on safari every morning, setting out before dawn in open Land Rovers in the hope of glimpsing a tiger. In the frigid dark we would be handed hot water bottles and camel's hair blankets, and upon our return, in the stone patio now flooded with sunlight, we were greeted with steaming cups of masala chai. (For a more in-depth explanation of chai, visit an earlier post, here.) I'm writing about it again now because this is the time of year I really begin to crave it. It's full of such a wonderfully warming mix of spices and if you make your own, you can customize a blend that emphasizes what you love best. In India, masala chai is made with strong black tea and assertive spices like clove, fennel, ginger and pepper. The Kashmiri version is made with green tea and often includes more subtle flavors like almond, cardamom and saffron. I'm enjoying mine so much these days thanks to the raw cow's milk I brought back from Vermont, but it also tastes delicious with almond or hemp milk.
Read More...
Tagged — cardamom
Caramel-apples-2-790-xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

10.12.11 Apple Teeny

In the summer of 1976, I was allowed to fly out to New York by myself to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins in Long Island. It was the bicentennial year, and I vividly recall the red-&-white-striped pantsuit my mother made me for this occasion, embroidered with navy blue stars. I was taken into the city to have lunch at Maxwell's Plum, and we drove through the caverns of Wall Street where the skyscrapers soared dizzyingly up into the wild blue yonder. It was at Bloomingdale's, though, where I was most intoxicated by the glamour, the excitement, the sheer abundance. For a thirteen-year old girl with a head full of frizzy curls and a mouthful of metal, the enormous caramel apple they sold there—a kitschy symbol of the Big Apple—was unattainably enticing. As volputuous as a Botero sculpture, one glistening end dipped in chopped nuts, it's remained forever a fantasy.
Read More...
Tagged — cardamom
Cardamom-790-xxx
photo by george billard

4.21.10 Cardamom Central

My love for cardamom knows no bounds. I covet its pungent, deliciously floral spice—to smell (I adore perfumes that contain it) and to eat. Is that strange? If you are not familiar with this gorgeous flavor, I suggest you give it a try in either a sweet or savory recipe. I have posted several previously (rich shortbread-like cookies, a vegetarian curry, and ice cream). Don’t miss the new ones posted below: the ultimate lassi for warm weather; lamb chops for the grill or stovetop; and an easy and highly armotic basmati rice.
Read More...
Tagged — cardamom
BACK TO TOP