You are browsing the archive for Food Sunday.

Food Sunday: Quince Rosemary Polenta Bread

9:33 am in Uncategorized by alanaclaire

There is a candle dynasty around here, and its main headquarters is about an hour away in the Pioneer Valley. The sign, outstandingly visible from the highway, claims the location as “the scenter of the universe.” I drove by the place on my way to a wedding this past summer; it was a gorgeous summer saturday that one would imagine would involve lots of outdoor idyllic swimming and hiking and lazy grilling, but the endless span of parking lot around the candle factory was filled to the brim. I haven’t been inside the scenter of the universe, but I have had the opportunity to smell its many smaller branches scattered throughout surrounding counties, and although the combined smell of “frosty air,” “maple pancakes,”and “almond cookie” does create quite a sensory extravaganza, I marveled at the draw of Yankee Candle. At the time, I put it aside and sped on to my summer wedding, but the scented candle mystery continued to linger.

I have a memory for peculiar details, and just this week an entire smell experience popped into my mind. It must have been three years ago, and I was at a play date with Rosie. We walked in and stomped the snow off our boots as the mom rushed around the kitchen. She was in the middle of too many projects, she confessed, and she hadn’t gotten a chance to finish the breakfast dishes because a work call had just come in. “I was going to make muffins, but I didn’t get to it.” I remember that much, and I probably laughed with some comment about how she should have seen my kitchen right then and what a mess it all was. But here’s the moment that I remember most — she whipped out a candle in a jar, lit the wick, and set it on the counter. “That’s better,” she said, and although I already had a bit of a prejudice against the candle company in question, it was. The scent of pumpkin pie or some other thing wafted through the air and the house just felt warmer.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

by Rayne

Food Sunday: Tomato Pie

3:04 pm in Culture, Food by Rayne

This is the last time I’m writing about tomatoes this year.

I’m serious. It’s snowing, and it’s time to move on — I get it.

This week I’m thinking about books.

Remember books?

I think in all this wild and crazy change, it’s good to remember books.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Kale Salad

12:16 pm in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

I’m feeling rejuvenated.

I spent the weekend at a wedding, my fifth of the season. One would think that I would be done with weddings and I would start to agree, but actually this one was my friend who finally got it together to marry a woman who is perfect for him, and I’ve exhaled a sigh of relief. He’s younger than I am, and fairly brotherly, and I think I’ve been worried — I didn’t realize it till now — but I think I’ve been worried for all these years that he wouldn’t get it together. He did well — he really exceeded my expectations and now he has a wife who is smarter than he is and almost as tall. I’m happy.

The husband left on Friday night and I got a day at the Harvest festival with the girls. It was clear blue after days of flooding rain and there we were three in a row holding hands, weaving through the people and the fried food and the vendors selling handmade American Doll clothes. We sucked on honey sticks, and we drank cider in the miniature garden. It’s just for kids, that garden, but I snuck in anyway.   . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Indian Lentil Soup, and a Flatbread from My Favorite Food Blogger

1:41 pm in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

Cold, then hot.  Cold, then hot.  It must be Fall.  Soon, it will be entirely soup weather, but until then?  One can never know.  Will it be spinach salad?  Or will it be…Indian lentil soup with spinach?  Better watch the weather.

Happy Autumn, friends.

And yes, we’re talking about spinach today.  But also? We’re talking about Laurie Colwin. . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Pickled Garlic

9:00 am in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

I want to talk about garlic this week.

I threw a wedding in my backyard last week, and I’m in recovery. I almost didn’t make a thing today. (Yes, the wedding went well. It rained on us while we ate dinner, but the wine was good enough that that was okay. Thanks for asking.) I almost gave you a little rundown of other garlic recipes that I’ve made — you know, roasted leg of lamb with garlic sauce or roasted garlic, onion and potato galette, or of course the king of kings garlic lemonade, or I guess when you come to think of it, just about everything I make around here that isn’t dessert.

But then I couldn’t resist shoving all the other things I had to do aside so that I could make something for you here. Because the truth is, I’ve really been wanting to tell you about this book.

Yes, I have pastoral British envy. I want elderflower rhubarb fool after the heritage roast that I cut myself and roasted on a spit in my very old hearth. I want stone walls and children with accents even though they wouldn’t really be accents because that’s how they talk. Sometimes, I just want to live in the River Cottage Books.

This is a new one — little and unassuming, written by Pam Corbin, containing nearly zero paranoia about canning safety. Put it in a jar. Put it on the shelf. As long as you are noble of heart, it will be good.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Homemade Hot Sauce

6:00 pm in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

Okay, I get it. I will never cut a hot pepper without a glove on. I promise.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point. I’ve deep fried chiles and I’ve turned them into salsa. I’ve caressed them, slipped them out of their skins, and carefully removed every seed. I like to get intimate with my hot peppers.

But today we took our relationship to a whole new level. Random, single and lonely hot peppers scattered throughout the refrigerator. Dainty cherry bells, withered jalepenos just past their peak, royal crimson lees, exotic Hungarian hot wax. They all roasted under that broiler together, and the smell of their popping skins was almost, you know, like that place I love this time of year. My eyes stung, my throat constricted around invisible spice, and I kept the girls out of the kitchen.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Stone Fruit Slump

9:00 am in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

We’re all a bit silly around here this week. The end of the summer, perhaps, the changing of the air pressure — who can explain it? Or maybe it might have something to do with the ruby orbs so recently hanging on our little wee plum trees.

We planted our orchard two years ago- nine trees of various persuasions in the front yard. I loved them so completely and immediately that I started to feel like when people asked me how many children I had, I should answer "two… and nine fruit trees." I sang to those trees, caressed their leaves and watered them with the perfect trickle at the root for the perfect amount of time.  . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Shirred Eggs with Fresh Herbs

10:00 am in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

I have been to Paris exactly three times.

The first was exactly as it should be: eighteen, with a tormented lover who was in turn tormenting me. March, dismally gray, and all of our money spent on a disgusting hotel. We lived on bread only, with the occasional can of tuna fish for sustenance.

The bread was a revelation.

The second was eight weeks later, at the end of the same trip. This time too was exactly as it should be. Lover gone, and I, free and newly tattooed from my wanderings in Eastern Europe, had money this time, and the sun shone every day. A whole week with a dear friend who was staying with a friend who had a bathtub in her kitchen. There was wine that we bought on the corner, and several croissants a day.

As hard as I’ve tried, I’ll tell you those croissants have not been forgotten.

My third visit to Paris was just last year, in the middle of my work trip, when I was, it seemed living someone else’s life for a bit. I was only at the airport, so I wouldn’t normally count it, except that I take my Paris visits where I can get them. And I flew into one airport and had to fly out of another, so technically I did drive through the city. And of course, right before I got on the plane, there was a croissant. . . . Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Street Corn on the Kabob

11:30 am in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

Well, week two of summer fest has been such a party, I wanted to bring you all into it too.

Week one was such a flurry of cukes and zukes inspiration–I’ll never wonder what to do with zucchini again, and that’s really saying something

This week, we’ve moved on to another vegetable near and dear to my heart, one of those vegetables that I live for all year–in fact, this one is more than just a vegetable–it’s a way the light falls while you’re husking on the porch before the water boils, it’s the search for floss when you’ve snuck away to the bathroom at a dinner party, it’s one of the first foods my children really ate and took joy in. I would let them munch on the empty cob before they were really eating–and I’ll never forget the look on Sadie’s face when she found an errant kernel stuck to the cob. She lit up, and then searched excitedly for another one.

Corn doesn’t really need a recipe. Boil it or grill it, a quick slather of butter and I’m done. But as I pondered what to bring to this week’s summer fest, I went through all my favorites. There’s that soup I can’t seem to get enough of, and then there is of course popcorn in all of its versions. There is that warm salad that just doesn’t photograph well but makes up for it ten times over in taste. And then of course there’s the baked goods- the breads and the cookies that are all worth talking about again.

Read the rest of this entry →

Food Sunday: Cucumber Mint Sorbet with Lime Shortbread

2:30 pm in Culture, Food by alanaclaire

I might like cucumbers even more than I like radishes. I might be able to live on cucumbers for a very long time, as long they have just a bit of salt on them. Peeled or not, cut into spears or slices, I’ll eat them with glee until the vines are empty.

We’ve got enough cucumbers to feed a nation around here.  My few meager vines bear ten new fruit every day, and then there is the weekly visit to my CSA, which taunts me with the little sign above the crate of cucumbers "as much as you will use."  As much as I will use?  Can you fathom the depth of my husbands pickle obsession?  My decor is all jars around here–big glass urns of cucumbers and dill flowers and garlic cloves.  Oh, we can use them- no fear on that one.

This week, challenged to get even more creative with the cucumber, I set about working on a kid friendly cuke creation.  The girls will certainly eat them sliced on a plate with salt, but I wanted to work on something fantastic, something innovative, something new!   But then I had such a day with girls, and there was one too many tantrums, and I changed my mind.

I am done trying to make food that the girls will eat. I am done! Stomping my foot done!

Those girls are wild and wonderful and unpredictable. They are exploring the world with imagination and abandon. They are growing at an astounding rate, and everything is changing from one day to the next. One moment they are speaking their secret language as they set off for an adventure, and the next, I am shocked and appalled to find a a perfect imprint of Sadie’s teeth on Rosie’s chest. There is a shadow of a bruise as well, and Sadie explains to me that she bit her sister because she was taking too long to brush her teeth.

I am done. I just can’t predict what will make them clean their plates or make them cry at the dinner table. They can forage. There are plenty of potatoes in the garden.

Today, this one is for the grownups.

Read the rest of this entry →