Ginger scallion sauce 790 xxx
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. 

Tagged — ginger
Snaps 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.17.14 Oh, Snap!

On Valentine's Day, I handed my husband my new copy of Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook and told him I would make him whatever treat he picked. He was hard pressed to decide. This gorgeous effort from Brooklyn's now legendary sibling duo is dedicated to the many uses of their artisanal craft chocolate. Its pages are packed with mouth-watering, full-page photographs in a hypnotically monotone palette of dark, mysterious browns. After gazing long and hard at various layer cakes, G chose the chocolate gingersnaps. I was thrilled because the recipe is simple and I love ginger. Little did I know how hard I would fall for these wickedly good confections.
Tagged — ginger
Ingredients 790 xxx
photos by gluttoforlife

11.19.13 Relish Every Day

Feast your eyes. Eat my words. Relish every day. I wrote these three phrases for a little promo I sent out for my blog some time back and they have stuck with me. I feel like they capture the spirit of it in a very succinct way. 

Can I tell you something? I'm a little sick of Thanksgiving already. Isn't that sad? The internet can do that to you. Suddenly everyone is yammering on about one topic. Which reminds me: you've got to read Dave Eggers' new novel, The Circle. We're actually listening to it, as read by the inimitable chameleon Dion Graham.

But I digress. I promised you a cranberry recipe and I will not let you down. In fact, I actually had a good time coming up with something rather unconventional. Yeah, I'm a bit of a rebel. I guess you know that by now. Or not. Anyway, read on to discover cranberry relish with outsider attitude.
Tagged — ginger
Bite 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.15.13 Say Cheesecake

Dessert is polarizing. Love it as I do, I fully empathize with the naysayers. After a full meal, who really needs more? But some would say a meal is not truly complete without it. And, like it or not, desserts are cultural touchstones. What traditional festivity is properly concluded without some elaborate confection? A grand dessert is a flight of fantasy, a sensual voyage, an affair to remember. It's a fitting ending to the type of meal that includes multiple courses, fine wine, great conversation and lots of lingering. I hope your Thanksgiving is like that. But if not (if instead it's full of screaming children and sniping in-laws and overcooked turkey), there will always be an opportunity—after your tryptophan-induced nap—to submerge your sorrows in a slice of something sinful. Every once in a while there's got to be a little devil in Miss Jones.
Tagged — ginger
Ingredients 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

10.31.13 Good Grief

I have a daily meditation practice. Me. She of the get-up-and-go mornings. I rise in the dark (hotly anticipating the end of daylight savings time) and sit on a yoga blanket on the chilly floor of my office, neck wrapped in a scarf to ward off evil drafts, legs folded like a pretzel, hands in my lap, eyes closed. And there I sit for the better part of an hour, trying to empty my mind of thoughts or at least to avoid following the relentless train of them that wants to threaten this early peace. It's not easy but occasionally, as I focus on the rise and fall of my breath, the past recedes entirely and so does the future. Then I am left with the moment, which is inevitably free of...everything.

And yet. More often than not, the second I close my eyes and begin, an enormous wave of grief rises from deep inside, as if from some bottomless well of sorrow. It is not attached to thought but more like an involuntary spasm. Tears stream down from my closed lids. I sit with it. Keep my breath steady and calm. Because that is what we are learning to do in this MBSR course. To abandon thought, to relinquish judgment, simply to observe. It passes but when I am done meditating my mind often returns to this grief that dwells within. Will it follow me forever? I picture it like a vine that has grown over the bronchi in my lungs, like the Virginia Creeper that twines around the trees upstate. They coexist, but sometimes it looks like a contest to survive.

Tagged — ginger
Curry1 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.13.13 Love Apple Curry

When tomatoes were first introduced to Europe, they were known as love apples. The Aztecs called them xitomatl, meaning "plump thing with a navel," and from there we got our word. One gushing sweet-savory bite of this astoundingly red fruit and you know it's good for you, packed with powerful antioxidants, including cancer-fighting lycopene. Red is the color of blood, of passion, of ravishing ripeness. What better way to honor your sweetheart than with a health-promoting, swoon-inducing tomato curry? If tomato is the food of love, read on.

Tagged — ginger
Chicken parts 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.8.13 No Guts, No Glory

by Ellen Bass


What did I love about killing the chickens? Let me start
with the drive to the farm as darkness

was sinking back into the earth.

The road damp and shining like the snail’s silver

ribbon and the orchard

with its bony branches. I loved the yellow rubber

aprons and the way Janet knotted my broken strap.

And the stainless-steel altars

we bleached, Brian sharpening

the knives, testing the edge on his thumbnail. All eighty-eight Cornish

hens huddled in their crates. Wrapping my palms around

their white wings, lowering them into the tapered urn.

Some seemed unwitting as the world narrowed;

some cackled and fluttered; some struggled.

I gathered each one, tucked her bright feet,

drew her head through the kill cone’s sharp collar,

her keratin beak and the rumpled red vascular comb

that once kept her cool as she pecked in her mansion of grass.

I didn’t look into those stone eyes. I didn’t ask forgiveness.

I slid the blade between the feathers

and made quick crescent cuts, severing

the arteries just under the jaw. Blood like liquor

pouring out of the bottle. When I see the nub of heart later,

it’s hard to believe such a small star could flare

like that. I lifted each body, bathing it in heated water

until the scaly membrane of the shanks

sloughed off under my thumb.

And after they were tossed in the large plucking drum

I love the newly naked birds. Sundering

the heads and feet neatly at the joints, a poor

man’s riches for golden stock. Slitting a fissure

reaching into the chamber,

freeing the organs, the spill of intestine, blue-tinged gizzard,

the small purses of lungs, the royal hearts,

easing the floppy liver, carefully, from the green gall bladder,

its bitter bile. And the fascia unfurling

like a transparent fan. When I tug the esophagus

down through the neck, I love the suck and release

as it lets go. Then slicing off the anus with its gray pearl

of shit. Over and over, my hands explore

each cave, learning to see with my fingertips. Like a traveller

in a foreign country, entering church after church.

In every one the same figures of the Madonna, Christ on the Cross,

which I’d always thought was gore

until Marie said to her it was tender,

the most tender image, every saint and political prisoner,

every jailed poet and burning monk.

But though I have all the time in the world

to think thoughts like this, I don’t.

I’m empty as I rinse each carcass,

and this is what I love most.

It’s like when the refrigerator turns off and you hear

the silence. As the sun rose higher

we shed our sweatshirts and moved the coolers into the shade,

but, other than that, no time passed.

I didn’t get hungry. I didn’t want to stop.

I was breathing from some right reserve.

We twisted each pullet into plastic, iced and loaded them in the cars.

I loved the truth. Even in just this one thing:

looking straight at the terrible,

one-sided accord we make with the living of this world.

At the end, we scoured the tables, hosed the dried blood,

the stain blossoming through the water.

Tagged — ginger
Juice 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.24.12 Bless You

Remember "Singles," Cameron Crowe's 1992 film about young love and indie music in Seattle? No? I'm not surprised. It really wasn't that good. But I'll never forget how Bridget Fonda's character, who was hopelessly in love with Matt Dillon's indifferent rocker, waited in vain for him to say "Bless you" every time she sneezed. In my family we always said "Salud" whenever someone sneezed. To not say it was unthinkable. Like a jinx. What with spring allergies kicking in and everyone getting those changing-season colds, there's lots of sneezing going on nowadays. If you've got a scratchy throat, runny nose or just a general malaise, try this therapeutic treat. It's a sorbet—from Jeni's, of course—packed with vitamin C, soothing honey and a fiery combination of ginger, bourbon and cayenne. It feels restorative and it will definitely clear a few things right up.
Tagged — ginger
Teas 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

12.5.11 Tea House

I'm very into tea. I've never been into coffee (although I do like the occasional cup, especially with lots of cream and sugar) but I really enjoy the ritual of gripping a steaming mug of something first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I bring G a cup in bed around 7:30am and he brings me one at around 10pm. We favor herbal teas, though my repertoire includes some green and black teas as well. The latter I will often drink with a splash of milk, and a spoonful of local honey goes into almost all of them. In the winter, I will sometimes sip tea all day long. As I write this, I am wondering if this is why my teeth are starting to look yellow. Hmmm. Well, anyway, it's better than red wine. Or coffee. Or just as good. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order.
Eros 790 xxx
eros: i'm with cupid
Mariage Frères teas are expensive, so you know I love them. They are French and very voluptous with fabulously romantic names like Marco Polo and Wedding Imperial and Black Orchid and Eros. They are of course very hard to find unless you are in Paris, but try here or here.
Tagged — ginger
Bite 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.21.11 Proceed Gingerly

Ever get a craving you just can't shake? A couple of weeks ago, I began dreaming of gingerbread: dense and dark, with chewy edges and chunks of crystallized ginger. The cakey kind, not the drier, more brittle sort used for gingerbread men and their over-decorated houses. I'm partial to a tangy lemon glaze on mine. The crackle finish it makes on top and the way it seeps into the crumb is simply irresistible. You don't need anything else with this gingerbread—no whipped cream, no ice cream, no applesauce—just a nice strong cup of tea. I don't recommend it after a hearty stew or pasta, you'll feel too leaden. It's the perfect cold-weather breakfast, lazy afternoon snack or highly anticipated finish to a light dinner.
Tagged — ginger