January 2014

Pedro Calderón de la Barca —
Green is the prime color of the world, and that from which its loveliness arises.
Baked 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

1.28.14 Greens Keeper

Wherever you live, if you're mired down in winter you've probably grown sick of root vegetables and chicories and begun eyeing a bunch of foreign-grown produce, am I right? Stray not from the way of locavore righteousness! Instead, follow me down the garden path to these wonderfully-comforting-yet-healthy-&-nutritious creamed winter greens. I've discovered that you can make a very respectable béchamel sauce with buttermilk (the real, filler-free stuff) and it is the perfect foil for toothsome leaves, like mustard greens and kale. In a strange twist, I found myself craving this intensely green dish for breakfast. I like to start the day blowing on a spoonful of something hot, and when it's not oatmeal, a baked sweet potato or a bowl of miso soup, this does very nicely. It's also great for lunch or dinner, obviously, can be made ahead and even freezes well. Unlike me. Enough with the sub-zero temps.

(By the way, the reason I am not yet posting more on Oaxaca is that I am pitching a number of stories to a certain magazine and I am waiting to hear back on what, if anything, they would like to publish.)
Rainer Maria Rilke —
And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.
Unsheathed 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

1.23.14 Armed & Dangerous (& January Hot Links)

I know you're probably expecting more posts about the Oaxaca trip, and I promise those are forthcoming, but my re-entry has been a little wobbly so I'm trusting you'll bear with me. Yesterday was my birthday and the evening before I hosted a "suprise" dinner party that was the final celebration of G turning 50 earlier this month. I use the quotation marks because evidently I am not as sneaky and clever as I thought. Anyway, it was a fantastic multi-course meal at Momofuku Ssam Bar that culminated with beautifully tender and crisply lacquered rotisserie ducks presented with Bibb lettuce, scallion pancakes and all the trimmings. (Incidentally, if you live in New York, the "large format" dinners that Momofuku offers are a great value and a marvelous way to dine with a big group.)

My own birthday celebration was a bit quieter, though I was inundated with love and good wishes (especially on Facebook - one great reason to join) and I was treated to a delicious lunch at the new Gotham West Market. More on that later, as well as details on my favorite present, featured above, and an assortment of links for you to explore and enjoy.
Roberto Bolaño —
Every few hundred feet, the world changes.
Statue 790 xxx
photos by george billard

1.16.14 Valley of the Gods

Happy New Year! I have been so wanting to share with you all that we experienced on our trip, but I'm sad to report that I was felled yet again by a horrible illness almost immediately upon our return, some sort of nasty chest infection accompanied by high fever that may even have been the flu. Let me not immediately launch into telling you about the rounds of self-flagellating that went on: Why is my immune system so weak? What is wrong with me? etc. Instead, just let me say that I am now well enough to thrust myself into the new year with the gusto and optimism it deserves. 

During our glorious ten days in Mexico, we journeyed into the complex and mysterious heart of Oaxaca and discovered, with the help of knowledgeable and passionate local guides, amazingly colorful corners we would never have been able to see without this special access. It was such a rich and full vacation that I'll have to break it up into several posts so you can take it all in without feeling overwhelmed. I can't wait to go back and I'm excited to escort you there now.