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Archive for 'people + places'

PASTA WITH BROCCOLI AND PINE NUTS: A QUICK WEEKNIGHT SUPPER FOR DECEMBER

December is full of rich, celebratory food and lots of it. I’ve been enjoying my fair share, but what’s called for after yet another drinks party is not yet another restaurant meal, but something simple and nourishing at home, something I can make in a snap. Cereal does not count. What fills the bill nicely […]

THE HOT BROWN: REASON ALONE FOR LEFTOVER TURKEY

Back in the day, a college pal we all called Kentuck introduced me to the Hot Brown—an open-faced turkey sandwich embellished with tomato and bacon or country ham, draped with a rich cheese sauce, then broiled. He was working with nothing more than a hot plate and a toaster oven, but somehow he managed to serve it with […]

HIP POCKET RECIPE: SCALLOPED POTATOES

It’s officially Cozy Food season, and I just made one of my very favorite dishes in the genre—scalloped potatoes, or, if you’re in a more worldly frame of mind, gratin dauphinois. What I’m talking about is inexpensive and dead simple: thinly sliced potatoes saturated with creamy goodness and typically, if not traditionally, crowned by golden-brown cheese. It couldn’t be more […]

SHRIMP CREOLE GIVES UP ITS SECRETS

Shrimp Creole. You’ll find it taking pride of place in any number of New Orleans restaurants, and south Louisiana home kitchens, too, especially on Fridays during Lent. But I love it this time of year even more, I think—its rich fullness of flavor makes it a great swing season dish. And it would be nothing without homemade […]

SEPTEMBER FIG FEST

In September, nature has a certain magnificent unconcern. Zinnias still bloom their heads off, rising above foliage wrecked by powdery mildew. Cosmos, bearing blossoms the size of teacups on their tall, feathery stems, straggle and sprawl with abandon. Bumblebees spend hours nuzzling the dahlias, then struggle to lift off under the weight of their yellow pollen pantaloons. And […]

ABOUT MUSKMELON

Our summer full of hot sunny days has resulted in fruit that’s on the small side, yet bursting with sweetness and juice. Take muskmelon, for instance—what most Americans think of as cantaloupe. I’ll get to why in a sec, but first, you should know that a true cantaloupe (Cucumis melo var. cantalupensis) has very little to no […]

SCRATCH SUPPER: PASTA WITH SUMMER SQUASHES, WALNUTS, AND PESTO

Hey, I don’t have much time this week, but I have to share this crate of zucchini and crookneck yellow summer squash with you because it made me laugh. The zucchini are fat, glossy, and complacent—one might think they’re well aware of their come-hither appeal. The crooknecks, on the other hand, look like they want […]

A NECTARINE GOLDEN CAKE FOR AUGUST

August is an edgy month, a friend just said. I’d never thought about it that way, but I know exactly what she means. Everyone is unsettled. We’re holding tight to summer, fiercely cherishing every moment, but simultaneously feeling impatient and needing to get on with things. I’ve gotten over my shock at “Back to School” ads—in fact, I […]

RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS: CREAMLESS CREAMY CORN WITH FRESH CHIVES

“People have tried and they have tried, but sex is not better than sweet corn.”  —Garrison Keillor Sweet corn is one of America’s great icons of summer. Harvested when the ears are tightly jacketed in green leaves and the kernels are plump with milky-looking juice, it’s piled high at roadside farm stands, and odds are you’ll […]

BEACH EATS

Early in the morning, the water looks like a sheet of mercury glass. Being not exactly cool, but not hot, either, it’s an excellent time to walk the beach and think about—well, supper. It’s hours away, but still. Time rolls into itself when you are on vacation, and when a houseful of people need to be fed, […]