The Great Clambake

Of all the elaborate communal meals to make, there is one that should stand without question should you ever be on a private New England beach: the clambake. After a whole summer of firing up charcoal for barbecues on the stuffy, blackened rooftops of Brooklyn, eight friends and myself found ourselves in such a tranquil idyll last weekend. We did not miss the opportunity.

EatWith Your Neighbors This Week

Last week, I was treated to a seasonally-inspired, five-course dinner hosted by someone I’d never met before, along with nine people I’d never met before, either. But even before the first course, it was just like hanging out with the gang. Our hostess and chef de cuisine for the evening, Emily, was a whipsmart aspiring chef and erstwhile front-of-house expert at some of Brooklyn’s best restaurants; playing both roles, in her own apartment, may just be her ultimate calling. I … Read More

A Taste of California Cuisine, In the Kitchen (San Francisco Chronicles Part 3)

posted in: Eating Excursions | 1

I’m getting spoiled by all the good produce in the West Coast. Not that the farmers’ markets and CSAs of the Northeast don’t have their own charms (harvest time for Upstate NY apples, the best ever, is just around the corner) but the abundance of colors and flavors out here can have a kaleidoscopic effect. My first instinct was to cook as much as I could in California — but how does one do that without a solid home and … Read More

Breakfast On the Farm (San Francisco Chronicles Part 2)

Here’s a great recipe for what to wake up to: a thin fog clearing over a stretch of golden, sun-baked hills, the chortle of a horse in a barn nearby, the sour smell of manure and fresh scent of wild fennel wafting in through the window, and farmers making you breakfast with newly dug potatoes, greens, and enormous blue eggs. Over the course of my second week in California, I’ve really woken up to what real farms (i.e. not Brooklyn … Read More

Tomato & Artichoke Panzanella (San Francisco Chronicles Part 1)

We’re not in Kansas anymore… if you can equate that with “home” in any case. Driving up and down the steep, scary hills of San Francisco in a borrowed car, I’ve actually passed a road called Kansas St. but none named after New York. It’s good to get away. I’ve taken off for the West Coast, leaving my apartment to a friend and the garden in good hands, to sink into a different vibe. This is my first report from … Read More

Custard’s Last Stand (or rather, mine with it)

posted in: Eating Excursions | 15

Ice cream versus frozen custard: the parameters are loose. Frozen custard, like its less-cold forebear, engages egg yolks in the emulsion, but so does rich ice creams. Wikipedia attributes it to a higher temperature than ice cream when served; also, its production to a fast-freezing barrel that churns out the product more quickly than traditional ice cream makers. The entry states, “Frozen custard is usually prepared fresh at the place of sale, rather than stored.” They both can be served … Read More

A Trip to Apple Pond Farm

It was only a matter of time before my love affair with small, sustainable farming would take me outside of New York City (yes, Melissa, I hope to visit Garden of Eve sometime!). No matter the rain, cold or wind we’ve been having lately. No matter the ice and snow that laced the rocky cliffs of the Catskills on the drive upstate — and up some 1,200 feet in elevation. It’s spring, at least on paper! And so I went … Read More

Eating BBQ in Austin and Lockhart, TX

My brain is on BBQ. Smoked, slow-cooked meat has no doubt lodged itself deep into the heart of Texas. But until last weekend, it had never really captured the fancy of me, this New York-New Jersey girl with no Southern roots to speak of. Until, that is, I went to Texas.

Girl in a Chocolate Coma

posted in: Eating Excursions | 15

Let me tell you, it’s serious. After my prize weekend trip to the Copia center’s annual Death by Chocolate festival and private tour of Charles Chocolates factory thanks to Culinate, I estimate my blood is 72% cacao right now. I may not have died by chocolate, per se, but I think I consumed enough of it to experience the old wives’ tale that chocolate can actually give you a caffeine high (stomachache notwithstanding). And I couldn’t have planned a grander … Read More

Eating Out in Essaouira, and the Road to the Sahara

posted in: Eating Excursions | 9

Leaving Marrakesh, Jordan and I boarded a small bus with ten other travelers from around the world. The destination? The dunes of Erg Chebbi, near the border of Algeria. On the way, we’d be passing through the Atlas Mountains, notably Ouarzazate, with its scenic kasbahs often used for location film shoots. I’d been informed that Berber cuisines of the mountain and desert regions we were crossing were milder and more simple than the rest of Moroccan food. Well, I should … Read More

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