Archive for December, 2009

(not so) easy as pie

pumpkin praline pie

Ambivalent. That’s my primary emotion about Thanksgiving.

By most accounts, I should *love* Thanksgiving. After all, it is our one feasting holiday, this country’s only day devoted solely to food.

But it can be hard to get past the cultural politics, the complicated family dynamics, and the compulsory menu that has the culinary breadth of a bowling alley. Sure, you can have some fun with Marsala in the gravy, and maybe you’ll switch to wild rice dressing this year, or go a little crazy with the cranberry sauce. But in the end, you line up and chuck that ball at the same ten pins, year after year. When you consider the days of work that typically go into one afternoon’s meal, does it really pay off?

Continue reading ‘(not so) easy as pie’

Advertisements

piece of cake

getting ready to frost the cake

Problem
Your friend Katie is turning 50. You volunteer to make her favorite, a yellow cake with chocolate frosting, for her and 50 friends.

Solution
1. Go to eggbeater
2. Click on ‘recipes’
3. Click on Yellow Cake {with chocolate frosting}
4. Muster faith
5. Follow recipe with quirky mindful exactitude
6. Accept emulsification into your heart
7. Thank the cake god Shuna Fish

yellow cake with chocolate frosting getting ready to frost the cake yellow cake with chocolate frosting yellow cake with chocolate frosting

insalata, insalatón

roasted squash and pomegranate salad

Here’s the sort of salad I imagined we’d be eating as we rode our bikes through the hills of Tuscany: plates of field greens piled with herbs, fruit, roasted vegetables, cured meats, mozarella di bufala – everything local and in season. Peppery vinaigrettes. New olive oil. Verrry old balsamic.

The reality looked more like this: a glass bowl of green leaf lettuce, wedges of anemic tomato, and perhaps a few rounds of carrot or cucumber. Sometimes, an arugula salad, composed just of arugula. Accompanying the salad was not a vinaigrette – remember, vinaigrette is a french word – or, even ‘italian dressing’ (this may be an american invention), but the same four things that arrive with any contorno: olive oil, ordinary vinegar, salt, and pepper.

If you hail from the U.S., where the number of words a server uses to describe your entree seems directly proportional to the ‘fineness’ of the restaurant, the food of Tuscany requires a mental shift. Tuscan food is defined by a simplicity that verges on ascetic: antipasto is a plate of thinly shaved prosciutto, the primo piatto, a plate of hand-rolled pasta with olive oil, pecorino and black pepper, the secondo piatto, a perfectly grilled pork chop.

Continue reading ‘insalata, insalatón’


enter your email address receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

chocolate frosting

what’s cooking

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

italy photos