Lessons & Recipes from a Holiday Kitchen

This year, we decided to spend Thanksgiving at home, alone. Just the two of us. We don’t hate our families, we’re not anti-social. We’ve just had months and months of travels hither and yon, with multiple visits to relatives east and west, and more planned for Christmas. We were tired. Still are. But we had…Continue readingLessons & Recipes from a Holiday Kitchen

Introducing: A Farm, a Website, a Recipe for Grilled Padróns

  ACKKK! Confession: every time I look at this site lately, I’m socked with guilt. Guilt, because I see the expansive gaps between my posts. Guilt, because I miss my time with food and words, words and food. We’ve been busy. We’ve had a gazillion things going on in life – as everyone does –…Continue readingIntroducing: A Farm, a Website, a Recipe for Grilled Padróns

Portobello Summer Soup

Let’s say you have a couple of leftover portobellos and you really don’t feel like grilling them. You could, instead, make summer soup with garden herbs. You could slice one shallot, a couple of garlic cloves, two carrots, three celery stalks and sauté them with butter in a stock pot. Then—because you open the fridge…Continue readingPortobello Summer Soup

What a Piti

I’m thinking of piti. I’ve been thinking of piti since the air went cold last week and the temperature slipped to single digits. That’s the sort of weather for piti. But that isn’t how I had my first taste of this sheep-and-chickpea stew. It’s a specialty of Sheki, in Azerbaijan’s mountainous north. It’s a rich…Continue readingWhat a Piti

The Aftermath

In the aftermath, I made turkey spread. Two types: a mish-mash of Mediterranean flavors using olives, capers, and lemon; and a Japanese-inspired version with miso, ginger, tamari and sesame seeds. When life hands you leftovers, make spread. I hope this season of giving and gratitude is treating each of you kindly. I spent most of…Continue readingThe Aftermath

Cooking with Mayo

Not the creamy eggy emulsified condiment kind of Mayo, but the doctors- and nurses-in-white-uniforms kind—as in Mayo Clinic, that giant of medical care with—in its own words on its own website—physicians from every medical specialty working together, caring for patients, united in a philosophy that says “the needs of the patient come first.” Every patient…Continue readingCooking with Mayo

Lao Jaeow Night (with Deviations)

Maybe you’ve had a night like this: You head to a friend’s with plans to cook. You bring recipes and garlic, chiles and limes, an ungodly heavy mortar and pestle—all stuffed into a pack. And when you walk through her door, you begin to unwind. Wine is poured and music played. Cheese and olives are…Continue readingLao Jaeow Night (with Deviations)

Home w/ Peaches & Pizza

Time exists in different dimensions when we travel. At least I feel that way. We’ve been home now for several days, but my mind remains in Lisbon. The hours we spent climbing the city’s steep hills, touring the Castle of São Jorge and eating copious plates of cod—those hours seemed to stretch into weeks in my…Continue readingHome w/ Peaches & Pizza

Lamb Meatballs with Mint & Preserved Lemon

I waited a month, and then patience grew thin. I had to taste those lemons! We were leaving soon, and I couldn’t take off without making one last tajine with a twist of homemade pickled lemon. I opened the jar to a nose-clearing waft. If you’ve smelled preserved lemons, you’ll know what I mean. One…Continue readingLamb Meatballs with Mint & Preserved Lemon

About Those Lemons….

I’m sitting on this patio, sipping my coffee, listening to a few tweeting birds and watching the morning sun creep across the flora. This is a fecund place, this California yard. As the sun climbs higher, the yard is bathed in an extraordinarily sweet scent. It’s the tree that made these lemons. Right now, its…Continue readingAbout Those Lemons….