As a Californian trapped indoors by East Coast snow, I was running out of things to eat. It was way too cold to leave the house. A whole day stretched ahead, wide and open. If you have a TV, then you’re set. If you don’tâ€¦well, thank goodness for friends who happen to have a big dining room table, a pile of apples in the corner and enough curiosity to humor a restless house guest.
Because, to pass the time, I suggested a lesson on stretching strudel. My host, who once watched his grandfather from the Old World make the famously flaky pastry, had never tried it. We set about updating his memories to include an actual recipe. One day soon, he’ll be able to pass along the tradition to his own little daughter when she’s ready to tie on an apron.
Continue reading “Making Apple Strudel”
Along with 4 million other people in Washington, I’m trying to figure out how to keep warm and dry while waiting (and waitingâ€¦) to witness history in the making. Fuzzy boots and mittens with hand warmers and puffy rain pants are my own fashion statement for this inaugural ceremony. And while the 44th POTUS settles into his luncheon, enjoying “A Brace of American Birds” beneath a painting of Yosemite Valley, I’ll be making my way very very very slowly back up to Tenleytown…to a crock pot full of warming chili.
Continue reading “Chili and Change: Dispatch From DC”
It’s that time between the holidays of the sun and the holidays of the moon, between the piles of toffee and the platters of spring rolls, when I try to take a breather. As the décor shifts slowly from red and green to red and gold, my table overflows with refreshing escarole, shaved fennel, crinkly frisée, crisp breakfast radishes and nuggets of ruddy, roasted beets. Bowls of tangerines stand ready in nearly every room, while a very large, extended family of apples takes up residence in my kitchen.
Continue reading “Diet Busters: Chicken Liver Paté”
Although I didn’t make it Saul’s Deli this year for their annual Neverending Latke sidewalk fest, a lingering craving for piles of crispy potato cakes convinced my husband to brave the task of grating and frying.
He more or less followed a straightforward recipe from Gourmet and managed to deliver, with his first try, a most excellent feast. Some crÃ¨me fraiche, homemade applesauce and leftover oil from donut frying may have gilded the latkes, but they’re so good, we don’t really need much more than a plate or fork. Of course, some of us who hover around the cook right at the stove don’t even need those.
Continue reading “Pain Free Latkes”
Sometimes, when it’s cold outside and you’re bundled in bed incapable of cooking and yet you need some food that feels and tastes homemade, but your mom is maybe 1,500 hundred miles away, it’s time for the smart shortcuts.
Sure, the first can of chicken and stars brings back fond memories, but by the tenth or twelfth, even after heretical adulterization with dandelion greens or hot sauce, that bowl of comfort starts tasting rather thin. You’ve finished that delicious chili dropped off by a friend and your loved one is in meetings all day. Driving a stick shift up hills is most definitely beyond your abilities, assuming you even get past peeling off your flannel nightgown and navigating the laces on your shoes.
Continue reading “Easy Comfort: Pork Sparerib & Mustard Green Soup”