September 2013

Leaves 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

9.30.13 Into the Woods (& a GiveAway!)

Fall has arrived, right on schedule. The nights are crisp and clear, making for excellent sleeping weather. We like the windows open and the duvet pulled up around our ears. The days feature those intensely blue high-pressure skies, a perfect showcase for the brilliant hues of the turning leaves. The woods beckon, still fresh and mossy, with pockets of green and the promise of mushrooms. I want nothing more than to be outside right now...unless I am curled up in front of the fire, feet toasty and a good book open in my lap, a cocktail close at hand. The pantry is stocked, the freezer is full and I am holding fast to these last days before the weather turns.
Benjamin Franklin —
A great empire, like a great cake, is most easily diminished at the edges.
Slice 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

9.26.13 Eat Cake

I don't usually do cake. Especially one that's not full of non-cakey things like buckwheat or almond flour or something equally healthy. You probably think I'm just a little too virtuous for my own good, don't you? I'll show you. Or rather, this cake will. It's plump and airy, with a rich, pale crumb worthy of an English tearoom. And that cream cheese frosting, flecked with cardamom and orange zest, is totally irresistible. If you like that sort of thing. Which I do. Once in a while. It's all about moderation.

Oh, did I mention there's a bunch of zucchini in there?
Pedro Calderón de la Barca —
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
Tomatoes 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

9.23.13 Jam Session

By the end of tomato season, I am so OVER tomatoes that I have to continually remind myself I won't feel the same come February. The green ones, rescued from the garden before the first frost hits, provide an acceptable respite from the red and the onslaught of tomato soup (both hot and cold), tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomato jam, tomato juice, tomato water, tomato powder and tomato fruit leather. Green tomatoes offer a crisp tartness that demands a totally different approach in the kitchen. I love them fried, their firm texture standing up to a deliciously crunchy coating of buttermilk and cornmeal. And green tomato chutney is a useful condiment, equally able to perk up a cheese sandwich or a plate of papadums and rice. But I'm fickle and always looking for something new—for me and for you, too. Got to stay frosty.
John Donne —
No spring, nor summer beauty hath such grace, As I have seen in one autumnal face.
Bee 790 xxx
iphone photos by gluttonforlife

9.20.13 September Hot Links

Here comes the fall equinox. It's actually slated for the 22nd this year. The harvest moon rose high in the sky last night, an enormous silver orb, the coin of the realm. (Listening to Neil Young right this very minute.) There's a snap in the air and the mornings are dark and cold. It's soooo tempting to roll over, hunker down into the luxurious warmth of the linen sheets and go back to sleep for another hour or two, isn't it? I love my cup of warm milk in the mornings now. I usually steep roasted soba tea in it, or warming chai spices. I use low-heat-pasteurized whole milk from our local dairy, but I'm thinking it may be time to pop over the border to Pennsylvania where raw milk is legal and available. 

I love this time of year. The change is so palpable. The earth seems to exhale a long sigh as it gives over to the new season, slowly relinquishing the bounty and beauty of summer, the leaves burning bright, the waning light. Take it all in. Walk outside. Feel the last of that yellow sun on your face. Make some soup. Get your boots out.
Elizabeth Lawrence —
Even if something is left undone, everyone must take time to sit still and watch the leaves turn.
Tomatoes 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

9.17.13 Herbal Essence

I'm almost to the point of never wanting to see another tomato. I can scarcely believe that I will ever pine for one again. (But talk to me in March.) We were supposed to get our first freeze last night, so the house is piled high with delicate herbs and tomatoes, both ripe and not, snatched before Jack Frost could claim them. I have made countless batches of sauce to freeze; I have dried cherry tomatoes to store in oil; I have dehdyrated and ground slices into a powder for seasoning salt and butter; there is a giant stash of spicy tomato fruit leather, and two dozen jars of spicy tomato jam aka nectar of the gods. There is such an over-abundance of food in the house at this moment, and it occurs to me I haven't really been sharing with you much about what I've been cooking. (I document some of it on Instagram; come visit @laurasilverman)

By the way, the Nikon was having some issues and had to be sent back to the manufacturer (now the only place allowed to do repairs!) so I apologize for the less-than-adequate iphone photos which will persist for god knows how long. I trust you will bear with me in my quest to defy perfectionism and simply soldier on...
Katharine Hepburn —
What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate.