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A Cold Walk

7 Nov

We went for a walk on Sunday, down the Hudson River.

It was very cold, both the walk and the river.  The water was oozing, solid, beckoning with a silky lie to come walk on its fractured surface.

We checked out our old stomping grounds on the Lower East Side.  We were expecting change, but there was very little.  All the change was with us.  Compared to a great city, the ability to change is more deeply captured in two small mutable people.

Dare

13 Jul

There’s something I dare not speak of.

You see that up there? And then do you see the other thing? I can’t, I just can’t. After last year, I just dare not speak of it.

And then there’s that other plant. You see that? You see all those?  Ugh, I can’t. I just can’t. I can’t talk about it.  I just sit and fret and chew on my nails and check the weather obsessively.  Ugggggh.  I can’t stand imagining another year of failure.

So! Let’s concentrate on the things I can talk about. Like garlic, turnips and cherries.

Stuff & Things

27 May

There’s been so much going on this May, that I haven’t been able to tell you about all the things I have wanted to.  So here we go!

First up: Eggplant Soup. Yes. Eggplant. Soup. If you thought squash soup was weird, you’re going to think eggplant soup is bonkers. But you’ll be wrong.  It is delicious.  I first tried it at Destino in Chatham, and then Mexican Radio in Hudson had a version of it, and then it was a special at Destino again.  And though it was different at the two Mexican restaurants, it was delicious at both.  It is silky and yummy and very, very easy to make at home.  Grill or roast a few eggplants, caramelize some onions, add some broth, puree and add creme fraiche, crema or heavy cream to your taste and garnish with a little salsa fresca and a squirt of lime.  Yum!

Next: Sifting. We’ve been doing a lot of this.  First I had to sift the compost pile.  Twice.  And then there was the tomato garden, which we’ve been sifting for weeks now. But it’s almost done, to the point where I was able to make some beds and plant some tomatoes (though I’m not sure they’re going to make it, they were all kind of weenie, and it has been hot Upstate this week). And then there was flour.  I made pancakes from scratch for the first time ever a few weekends ago, after an aerobic spate of dirt sifting.  I don’t know if I was just very hungry ofrif these really are the best pancakes ever, but I’m going with the latter.  Sadly, I left the recipe Upstate (it’s, naturally, from Amy Bess Miller’s The Best of Shaker Cooking) so if anyone has a copy laying around, email me the recipe for Apple Pancakes and I’ll post it here. *

Cluck cluck! Head below the jump for a favorite farm and a very cool old diner.

Down To Earth

12 Mar

Apparently getting engaged makes me tongue-tied.

Or maybe getting engaged has given me so much to think about and so many things to do that I haven’t had the time to write.  Or cook.  But that’s also because suddenly everyone wants to take us out to dinner: friends, relatives, everyone.  It’s really nice–a whirlwind really–but I also can’t wait to sit back and relax a little bit this weekend, to roast a chicken a la Jacques Pepin, and maybe bake a loaf of bread.

But, before I do that (lest I sound ungrateful) I’d like to say a big, hearty and heartfelt thank you to each of you for your kind wishes and enthusiastic yays! You’re the nicest group of people to ever gather here at this little website.  Thank you all so much!

There are so many details to iron out, but since I’m sure you’re all just like the friends with whom I speak day-in and day-out, I figure you’d like a few details, too.  So here’s what I’ve got: We’re going to do a civil ceremony soon, like, the end of April soon.  Just our parents, my step-sister and her family and maybe Isaac’s sisters.  And then in September, we’re going to have a big party in our backyard up at the house!  Barbecue! Bocce! Croquet! Local beer! Finger Lakes wine! Laughter! Dancing! Smiles!

It’s going to be great and I can’t wait, but, it’s still incredibly overwhelming.  So in an attempt to bring things back down to earth a little bit, I’d like to talk about something very mundane: steamed potatoes.

Below the fold? More on steamed potatoes! Oh, and that whole wedding thing, too.

The Root Of The Matter

26 Feb

Isaac has been protesting of late that we haven’t been eating enough winter vegetables.

In his perfect world, winter would mean an endless parade of dinners featuring cabbage, squash, hearty greens and root vegetables.  Apparently, I have been depriving him of these things this winter.  So last week when I had a craving for lasagna, I knew how to get him to agree to it.  I suggested we have squash lasagna.

I know squash lasagna sounds a little weird, but it’s not. In fact, it’s awesome.  A few years ago I made a vegetarian lasagna that featured a thick, fragrant layer of spaghetti squash mingled with ricotta cheese and herbs.  Sometimes, when Isaac is dreaming about it, he’ll walk up to someone on the street and just start telling them about it.  Sometimes I suspect he keeps me around solely in case I decide to make that again … Kidding! But honestly, it was very good and I have no idea why I never wrote about it before, maybe because it’s a little complicated, and well, a little weird.

So, squash lasagna was on.  A layer of garlicky, herby butternut would replace the thick layers of cheese and bechamel.  And there would be a spicy, aggressive layer of chard.  And a topping of caramelized mushrooms and lots of fresh mozarella.  And then, while I was thumbing through the latest Bon Appetit and saw Molly‘s recipe for clereiac salad, I knew we had  a complete meal. When I asked Isaac what he thought, I think he actually did a little jig.

Head below the fold and take a jump with us.