We live in blessed times. I mean, seasonally. It’s late-spring, and we have things popping out of plants that are incredible and edible (and not edible, but fragrantly incredible, like wild lilacs, too). I recently had the plum privilege of being a judge for a cookoff held by GrowNYC, where I got to observe the making of, taste the outcome of, and help decide the winner of two very excellent dishes prepared by local restaurant chefs. Held in partnership with … Read More
Summer comes as a sudden burst in New York City, a gushing declaration of heat, humidity and sun. Like a blast of fireworks or a Memorial Day hibachi grill, the heat is suddenly on for the long haul — no more stalling, sputtering, or beating around the bush. “Coffee” becomes cold brew; shoes become sandals; parties become barbecues; ramen becomes chilled noodles. This is science, and who am I to fight it?
Breaded, frozen fish sticks were a fairly staple kids’ food in my time. (Are they still now?) Bland and inoffensive logs of cod, the ads for them always promised they’d be crispy, with an ethereal, ear-chattering canned crunch sound so elusive from any food, let alone fish. Short of this satisfaction, they always needed something — they needed some help — but I can recall only dipping the finger-shaped nuggets in ketchup as a kid. This does not sound very appetizing, I … Read More
Ever had a perfect Saturday where you did everything you had to do and still found time to do the fun things, too? Sometimes I compartmentalize my days into must-do’s and would-like-to’s: Responsibilities, commitments, eating, exercise, social events. One thing in that little list sits squarely in the middle—eating, because it can be taken both ways. If only doing laundry could moonlight as a recreational hobby.
I have a friend who takes classes on just about everything and anything that’s interesting in the world. Bollywood funk dancing? Sign her up. Grown-up pottery workshops? Let’s make a date of it! she says. She’s a typical New Yorker, Type-A personality, where every learning opportunity is seized, and funneled into bonding sessions with good friends, new date persons, or chances to connect with strangers. In short, she is totally awesome and this is the way we should all be. But we don’t always … Read More
Hello, ramp season. You know, after the six or eight years that everyone’s gotten excited about the wild spring allium, I have to say I am a little over the phenomenon that is pearly-pink bulbs resting pretty at the ends of long, flowy, green shoots. Of course I’m not. But I may be over their smell. Having carried a bunch of ramps (purchased at Union Square Greenmarket this past beautiful Saturday) for the entirety of an afternoon and evening as I schlepped … Read More
Spring has been really snoozing on the job. Rather than bursting with cherry blossoms, the new season has only brought soggy, sort-of snow and below-freezing nights. This might be our latest bitch and moan as we bundle up in scarves on the subway each morning, but it’s actual, literal bad news for local orchards. Seems that peaches in Upstate New York may not make an appearance this summer, unless these small-scale farmers have the time and resources to bundle their trees … Read More
Several years ago an ex-boyfriend’s mother offered to prepare the appetizer for a dinner I was cooking. Her dish, once assembled, was a salad. Yet it was unlike anything I’d ever seen. The top was sprinkled with stiff pegs of noodle and raw radish slices, and it smelled like sesame oil. I asked with genuine curiosity what was in the dressing and she fired off a strange list with the likes of mayonnaise and soy sauce. If food is a … Read More