There are unphotogenic foods, and there are unphotogenic foods. It’s tough to make a mushy bowl of legumes look appetizing, no matter how delicious it might be off the screen; it’s even tougher when after being cooked, said lentils form an amorphous mass that’s just about the exact color and texture of fresh vomit. And I’m a parent now, so trust me when I say that I know a thing or two about vomit.
Still, let it be known: there’s something undeniably comforting about split pea soup with ham, even to this avowed Jew. I have no fuzzy childhood memories of slurping down a bowl of this rib-sticking soup on a blustery fall day; I only ate the stuff for the first time when I made it myself. When I did, though, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the soup was a lot tastier than it was beautiful—warm and toothsome and pleasingly salty, the kind of dish a food magazine might describe as an “umami bomb.” (Personally, I don’t believe “umami” is a real flavor; I will not be accepting questions at this time.) Continue reading →
I started this blog four years ago, as a way to celebrate the life and legacy of my mother’s mother. I’ve neglected it for the past nine-ish months because I was busy focusing on another life: that of my daughter, who was born on an unseasonably warm September morning 17 days ago. (Although: in These Troubled Times, can we really claim weather to be “unseasonably” anything anymore?)
She’s tiny; she’s adorable; she’s the love of our lives, even when she’s blissfully smiling while shooting a projectile poop clear across the room. Perhaps best of all, she’s already proven herself to be a robust and enthusiastic eater—key if she hopes to fit in on either side of her family.
Annie should be on track to start eating solid foods not long before Passover 2020, at which point I might be able to introduce her to a nontraditional but appropriately soft and gum-able baby food: the humble matzo ball. And when she’s old enough to understand it, I’m going to take great pleasure in telling her the story I’m about to tell you—a tale of rivalry, legacy, and matzo meal.
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The crisp winter air, the invigorating scent of pine, the beauty of sunlight glinting off freshly-fallen snow—I am OVER IT. Done. I’m sick of bundling up every time I want to go farther than the front door, or making tea just so I have a mug to warm my hands on. Though I never thought I’d say it, I’m even sick of drowning my sorrows in comfort food.
Yet even just 48 hours away from the first (official) day of spring, winter refuses to relent. (It’s my fault; I knew I shouldn’t have murdered all those groundhogs.) The only way to fight this horrible reality, I suppose, is by soothing ourselves with sustenance that straddles the line between sturdy, cold-weather fare and delicate springtime meal.
You might not expect a soup made of potatoes and half-and-half to fulfill that particular criteria—but stay with me. Continue reading →
After an eerie but lovely 24-hour-long warm snap, New York’s been pummeled by a week of dreary, drizzly, altogether bleak weather. Some might respond to this Seattle-esque malaise by pulling out an oversized flannel shirt and writing a song about heroin. I think it’s probably healthier to fight it with food—specifically, the brothy, soul-warming kind that comes complete with two kinds of carbs and some slow-simmered short ribs. Continue reading →
“Good news, everyone! You don’t have to eat meat! I made enough gazpacho for all—it’s tomato soup, served ice cold!!”
Poor Lisa Simpson is ridiculed and dismissed for offering a giant bowl of gazpacho to the carnivorous residents of Springfield at her father’s BBBQ. But I know what Lisa knows: the ‘spach is one of the most delicious things you can possibly eat, provided two things are true: one, that you have some really excellent, peak-summer (or early fall!) tomatoes, and two, that you’re making it correctly. Continue reading →
I learned the word “aesthete” from Rent. I learned the word “crepuscular” from E.B. White’s The Trumpet of the Swan (which, by the way, is a much weirder book than I remember it being). And I learned the word “bouillabaisse” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, at the very same time as Ron Weasley: Continue reading →
Guys, I’m having an existential crisis. Do I… like ham? Continue reading →