Appetizer Meat Balls

When you’re juggling work, life, and a desperate attempt to watch Twin Peaks before the revival premieres next weekend (the owls are not what they seem!!), some things will naturally fall by the wayside—and for the past mumblemumble weeks, those things, alas, have been 1) my half-hearted DuoLingo regimen and 2) this blog.

But no more! I’m returning today with a vengeance, and an appetizer that I thought was among the weirdest curios to be found in all of Nonnie’s cookbook—until I discovered that it’s got a long, proud history among America’s thriftier moms. In other words: happy Mother’s Day! Here, I got you a pile of jelly-braised meat. Continue reading

Popovers

There are a few things I remember vividly about the colleges I visited with my dad when I was a junior in high school—the half-appealing, half-terrifying isolation of remote, gorgeous Cornell; the oppressive tininess of Williamstown, Massachusetts (“Some of our students live off campus,” our tour guide told us. Then: “This is the street where they live”); the awe I felt the first time I saw Low Library, a pagan temple plucked out of ancient Greece and plunked into the upper reaches of Manhattan.

I don’t recall much about the food we ate along the way, with one major exception: after touring quaint, bucolic Amherst, we stopped at a charming little restaurant that was famous for its popovers. (Turns out it’s called Judie’s, and it’s still there.) I had never had a popover before; I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know what a popover was. But I fell in love as soon as I bit into my first one—still warm from the oven, perfectly golden brown, crisp on the outside with an interior that felt lighter than air. Continue reading

Beef Stroganoff

Days after spring allegedly began, it is still blustery and freezing in New York. Though the snowdrifts that still line the streets are no longer stacked toddler-high, they still haven’t entirely melted into murky water; the sky is a stern, White Walker-skin gray; only a certified dummy would dare to venture outside with so much as an ankle exposed (as this dummy personally discovered just hours ago). It is March. The end of March! This is unconscionable and I would like to speak with your manager, sky. Continue reading

Spaghetti Meat Sauce

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I never knew that Italian-Americans had their own language until I started dating one. They use word “macaroni” when referring to any and all non-long-noodle-shaped pasta; they insist upon calling mozzarella just “mozz”—pronounced “mutz.” Somehow, their Mediterranean linguistic witchcraft transforms “capocollo” into “gabagool.” Many—but not all—of them also have the strange habit of dubbing tomato sauce (specifically, tomato sauce spiked with meatballs and sausage) “gravy,” though from this outsider’s perspective, there seems to be no rhyme or reason regarding who calls it what. But hey, I grew up believing that “slippy” was a real word—so who am I to talk? Continue reading