September 25, 2012 § 15 Comments
Some random thoughts that occurred to me while baking and then eating these muffins:
How does fiery ginger not overpower the subtlety of pear? This works really well, and the kitchen smells like autumn right now.
Ginger is supposed to be good for the immune system right? …because I totally ate three pieces of crystallized ginger in the past ten minutes.
August 1, 2012 § 13 Comments
The fashion and design industries are notorious for the phenomenon I call “season creep” as evidenced by heavy cabled sweaters appearing in early August, when the thought of wearing wool is about as appealing as donning chain mail and standing in the center of an unshaded parking lot. The food world seems to be a bit more resistant to season creep, I suppose because it is at the mercy of perishable produce.
However, there’s something to be said for the anticipation of the season and foods to come. Thus, these roasted spicy-sweet pumpkin seeds serve as a sneak preview; they’re rather like that cute dress you wear now with sandals that transitions perfectly into fall with tights, wedge boots, and a cardi. Why yes, I have been shopping online rather a lot lately…
Much like that dress, these roasted pumpkin seeds are great because they’re so versatile. They are at once smoky, spicy, and sweet. Maple syrup, together with melted butter, creates an almost lacquered coating for the pumpkin seeds, with chili powder contributing subtle heat, rosemary adding an herbal freshness, and my tweak, a pinch of onion powder rounding everything out with an extra hit of savoriness.
July 14, 2012 § 6 Comments
Five days is a long time, especially in the summer when there’s no power and it’s averaging over 100 degrees. Your interests before the power outage seem distant — food seems far away and so cooking is out of the question — replaced with the new hobby of lying on the floor in the basement in an attempt to minimize movement. That is, until the power trucks finally come rumbling down the street. I was never the groupie type until that moment, when it was all I could do to not run down the street after them screaming I LOVE YOU!!!
Even now with the electricity back on, it feels like walking through molasses outside. That means it’s time to turn to the food processor, as summertime is really when it shines: with a few pulses it transforms abundant produce and herbs into all sorts of no- or barely-cook meals and dishes, like gazpacho, salsa, granitas, and of course, pesto.
June 24, 2012 § 6 Comments
Peaches have long reigned supreme as my most anticipated summer fruit, but this June the tiny dusky purple plums at the farmers market have been stealthily taking over my kitchen fruit bowl. Almost more pit than fruit, the plums’ sweet fragrance and juicy flesh encased in astringent skin make them ridiculously easy to enjoy by the handful, with only the pits to stop one from inhaling the whole basket at once.
Really the two fruits aren’t — shouldn’t be — rivals; they go excellently together. So, as I didn’t want to use up all the tiny plums at once, and because I had a bruised peach to consume, I decided to cook the stone fruits together, basing my recipe on a recipe from Nigel Slater’s fantastic Ripe (or Tender Volume II as it is titled in the UK). « Read the rest of this entry »
June 16, 2012 § 21 Comments
While at my mom’s high school reunion last weekend, it was fascinating comparing my mom’s prep school years with my own high school experience. Some things were vastly different; I never had compulsory chapel and I never trudged across a quad (dubbed Siberia, though it’s flat so no one went across it uphill both ways!) in the snow at 20 below.
Another stark difference? The food, of course: judging by the recipes in The Northfield Cookbook, it appears the Northfield students ate well, enjoying such deliciousness as maple syrup fudge, fluffy Northfield rolls, and of course, one of my mom’s favorites, Bishop’s bread for breakfast. « Read the rest of this entry »