March 13, 2012 § 1 Comment
In a recent post I went public with my vow to use the food that I have on hand. I promised to waste less, to depend on my wits and create memorable meals with the dregs from my fridge, yadda, yadda, yadda. Alas, alack! One look in my over-stuffed refrigerator reveals that I have some work to do. But I’m not giving up, and I have a delicious solution. Fried rice is the perfect vessel for those little bits of leftovers. Truly greater than the sum of its neglected parts.
December 13, 2011 § 7 Comments
Some days are built around creating expansive dinners….Carefully selecting ingredients in the morning, chopping and dicing them while listening to public radio in the afternoon, cooking at a leisurely pace into the evening. Those are very special days (and most of them are in my past, before motherhood). I’ve always believed that the meals I cook reflect the mood that I am in when I cook cook them – relaxed and mellow days result in dinners that come together effortlessly and taste great. This doesn’t bode well for most of my family’s evening meals.
Lately, I spend my days in relative leisure. Nonetheless, the hours between when I pick my kids up from school and the e.t.a. for dinner can get ugly. The time that I imagine I will spend crafting a home-cooked meal of splendor ends up being spent teaching my 6 year-old the ins and outs of the remote (when is she going to lean this invaluable skill, Dear God?!?) and making snacks and more snacks for my famished 8 year-old. More than once I’ve asked myself what I am trying to prove. Clearly, generations of women have been able to put three squares, homemade, from scratch, on their family’s table each day. But maybe that skill has been bred out of us. I was raised on Stouffer’s and I turned out just great. Still, I persevere. Even though my family would probably be better off with a quickie dinner followed by conversation instead of marathon dishwashing, I persevere. Once in a blue moon I come across a meal that is both delicious and quick and satisfies that end-o-the day big time hunger. The blue moon shone on me this week, and I have a new favorite weeknight go-to dish. « Read the rest of this entry »
August 1, 2011 § 1 Comment
My family spent this weekend camping near Mount Rainier. It was dry and it was sunny and I was so so grateful for that. I’m a reluctant camper at best, and a little sunshine helps a whole lot. We packed light – I was determined to keep it simple. What’s better than a hot dog cooked on a stick over a roaring fire, really? My one concession to complex campfire cookery: Rabbit Stew. It sounds so rustic, just the sort of thing one should make when braving the wilds of a National Forest Service campground (beetles and skeeters and pit toilets, oh my!).
I ate a lot of rabbit when I was in my twenties and just starting to get interested in cooking. It’s delicious meat – flavorful but lean. But something happened after I had children. I think it was reading all of those children’s books to my daughters – ‘rabbits’ became ‘bunnies’…sweet lil’ bunnies with twitching noses and soft fluffy tails, hop-hop-hopping down the bunny trail. What kind of mother would I be, devouring a bunny? I assumed that my kids would object to cooking and eating a rabbit for dinner. Well, I was wrong. Turns out they think with their stomachs first, just like their mom and dad. Heartless little gourmands. A few weeks ago they had their first tastes of rabbit and enthusiastically devoured much bunny. Although, they preferred it if I called the meat ‘hare’, not ‘bunny’ while they got used to the idea. So, now that I knew where they stood on the matter I was eager to cook rabbit again. If you’re going camping this summer, or just like the idea of cooking up a batch of stew over your backyard fire pit, read on for some tips. This technique could be used for any number of meat/vegetable combinations. But bunny is best. « Read the rest of this entry »
July 1, 2010 § Leave a comment
Today is the 1st of July, and I was in the mood for chowder. The fact that I’m wearing corduroys and a sweater made it an even more perfect chowder day. It was a fabulous, fortifying lunch – far superior to the Stouffer’s French Bread Pizza I had for lunch yesterday. I imagined that I was on a wind-swept, craggy beach in coastal Maine the entire time I slurped my soup.
The chowder was based on one in Alice Water’s The Art Simple Food. Her recipe says it serves 4, but I think it’s more like 2 (c’mon, Alice. Don’t be skimpy.) It is simple food, indeed. Here’s how: « Read the rest of this entry »