Archive | 7:18 am

The American Wing

30 Sep

I love the Met.

After 9/11, the Met was a major source of solace for me. I don’t remember, but I think for awhile they waived the entrance fee and I would just go to the Islamic Wing and contemplate what could make a culture that created such beautiful art do such an ugly thing. I know that there can’t possibly be any direct correlation, between art and the acts of a few people, but I needed to find some peace and some answers and I found them there.

The Islamic wing has been closed for several years and will be for several more. I miss it.  But judging from the makeover the American Wing just got, the wait will be worth.  Because despite what I’ve just said the American Wing is actually my favorite part of the museum.

I love the paintings and the silver and the jewelry and the stained glass and the furniture and the room vignettes and the bears sculpture, and despite the atrium’s gaudy makeover, I still love that too.  But why I love it even more now is the newly opened Luce Center.

No trip to the Met is complete without a spin through the Temple of Dendur. Join me for one below.

Colorful Food

30 Sep

Many of the dinners we’ve eaten this summer have been rather monotone.  There’s been lots of green punctuated by little stripes and dots of red pepper.  It’s been a season devoid of the wild colors of heirloom tomatoes.  But this weekend, when we stayed in the city, we hit the greenmarkets and bought every colorful tomato we came across, and then I took them home and roasted them.

For years now I’ve seen recipes for oven-roasted cherry tomatoes on blog-after-blog but I never made them. The cool weather just never seemed to coincide with the end of tomato season.  But in this weird weather year, the conditions I’ve been waiting for have finally occurred and I made up for lost time¹.

We roasted some wickedly sweet little round red tomatoes on Saturday, then drizzled them with good balsamic and ate them with roasted duck breasts and yet another version of that gorgeous squash soup (this time with white beans for creaminess and a purple opal basil yogurt crema).  And then on Sunday I roasted a mix of colors and shapes and served them over smashed red bliss potatoes alongside a pan-roasted fillet of Spanish mackerel and another purple opal basil crema made zippy with one third of a Jawala pepper.

And now, after having had two dinners in a row graced by oven-roasted tomatoes, I can say this to you: Do not make my mistake! Roast when it’s roasting out if you must, but do roast some of your most perfect cherry tomatoes and serve them with whatever you’ve got .  Pasta, duck, fish, salad, beef, pork, chicken, polenta, rice, bread, quinoa, kasha, grits, jerky, tofu, ostrich, cardboard.  Anything.  Just make them.  You can thank me later.

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¹ Set the oven to 325°F.  Wash a few handfuls of cherry tomatoes, put them in an roasting dish or dutch oven, coat with a few glugs of olive oil, a pinch of salt and a minced garlic clove or two and place in the oven.  Roast the tomatoes–scoot them about the pan with a toss or a spoon once or twice–for an hour or so until they’ve collapsed in on themselves, taken on a burnished hue and released their juices.  Remove and mix in a handful of torn basil.  Enjoy!