November 2012

Hands 790 xxx

11.30.12 That's Life

It has been a challenging week. My husband had surgery on his leg on Tuesday, to remove the steel hardware that repaired the shin bones he shattered in a motorcycle accident in Indonesia in April of 2011. Compared to the original surgery, this was nothing, though the surgeon did take an hour to scrape away at the healed bone in order to retrieve the 7 screws and one long plate from G's tibia. So I have no recipe for you today. Instead what I have is a heavy scarf of mixed emotions that I knit while waiting in the hospital, striped with painful memories and fringed with hope. I'm sorry to grieve you but I must unburden myself.
Tagged — life and death, aging, health
Stack 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.26.12 Spice of Life

I'm always lecturing you about cutting out sugar and eating more greens, right? There are so many blogs you could be reading instead, blogs that give you recipes for cheese-laden pastas and bacon-studded scones and chocolate tortes. And yet here you are, learning about whey and sunchokes and making your own pickles. And I love you for that, you sexy thing. While I don't think it's smart to consider food as a reward, I do believe that into every life a little sweet must fall. Especially with the holidays upon us, it's best to have some pragmatic treats on hand that can shield us from the cheese twists and peppermint bark and pecan rolls that will soon materialize at every turn. So here's a recipe for a tasty little biscut that is sugar-free and gluten-free, yes, but also rich and crunchy and packed with flavor. Trust me, that's not the taste of deprivation.
Thornton Wilder —
We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.
Writing 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.22.12 Count Your Blessings

Wild Geese
by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
Federico García Lorca —
Verde que te quiero verde.
Collard sauce 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.19.12 Green Day

You may have noticed my total disregard of the upcoming holiday. Perhaps this is because we are going to a friend's home for Thanksgiving this year and I will not be in the kitchen. Or maybe it's just that I am weary to the bone of online discussions about the best way to cook a turkey and the incessant chatter about "sides." Upon receiving my latest issue of Lucky Peach, I was especially delighted to see that there was no burnished bird or puffy harvest casserole on the cover. (It's actually the Chinatown issue and, yet again, it's jam-packed with some of the most engaging and entertaining long-form food writing out there.) In fact, if I never hear anything more about quinoa, delicata squash or cranberry compote it will be too soon. Yet we must eat, and most of us will be sitting down to a major chowdown on Thursday, so I felt this was the perfect opportunity to continue the conversation about green sauces.
Carl Sagan —
If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.
Cookie stack 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.15.12 Cookie Monster

Sweet or savory? If forced to choose, I know where I stand. Not that I lack the sweet tooth that is hard-wired into our shared biology—all mammals have a propensity for sweetness because it's a good predictor of high nutritional value—but sugar is hard on my body, and over the years I have gradually learned to resist its addictive pleasures. I was not raised on soda, so thankfully I never had to wean myself from that. Nevertheless, with the holidays coming up there will be lots of temptation, what with the pumpkin pie and the eggnog and my own yearly batch of caramels. Between my resistance movement and the gluten intolerance factor, our kitchen sees very little baking action. For all that I have loved and adored lemon meringue pie and chocolate chip cookies and German chocolate cake and cheesecake over the years, we've simply grown apart. So when the lovely people at Tate's sent me a review copy of owner Kathleen King's new Baking for Friends: Over 120 Scrumptious Recipes from Southampton's Favorite Baker, I was curious if it would inspire me. (I had some inkling of what was possible, because we're occasional and enthusiastic fans of Tate's gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, which are excellent facsimiles of their crisp and buttery wheat version.)
Virgil —
The greatest wealth is health.
Roasted 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.12.12 Here Comes the Sun(choke)

On the heels of the storm, I flew to California for a long-planned and eagerly anticipated retreat at The Ashram, a uniquely wonderful haven in the Santa Monica mountains. I had been once before, nine years ago, and so was prepared for the grueling daily hikes, restorative yoga sessions, simple vegetarian meals, extraordinary massages and deeply supportive staff. What I was not prepared for was the hideous chest cold that came on as I stepped off the sub-Saharan plane flight and had me straining for every breath as I climbed steep hills in the unseasonal 90-degree heat. After much struggling and malaise, I simply succumbed and flew home, just two days into the week-long program. Words cannot express the depths of my disappointment. On the bright side, in those brief days, I received some very valuable insights that I'm excited to share with you. (And at the end, there will be a recipe for sunchokes that will help you stop gazing at them in that perplexed fashion once and for all.)