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Archive for 'people + places'

BONNIE’S BACK!

Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York, a blog by Jeremiah Moss, is a must-read for a certain kind of New Yorker. The writing is fine and knowledgeable, and the losses and injustices chronicled there in this Age of the Greedy Landlord are the sort of thing one chews over at three o’clock in the morning, when righteous indignation or, on […]

WINTER WARMTH: TURKEY CHIPOTLE CHILI

I’m a purist about a number of things, but not about chili. I like it with ground, cubed, or shredded meat. With or without beans. With or without tomatoes. I do prefer really good soft tortillas as an accompaniment, but tortilla chips, rice, or the spaghetti (and oyster crackers) that folks in Cincinnati are crazy about […]

OYSTER LOVE

For most people, their first oyster is a rite of passage. M.F.K. Fisher’s was at the Christmas banquet at the southern California boarding school where she was a student. “I swallowed once,” she wrote in The Gastronomical Me, “and felt light and attractive and daring, to know what I had done.” My first wasn’t raw, […]

CHICKEN MARBELLA: WELCOME TO THE CLUB

In 1978, the year I moved to New York, the Upper West Side was still gritty and rough around the edges. Except, that is, for The Silver Palate, a valiant little shop that had opened the previous year on Columbus Avenue, at 73rd Street. Its concept—elegant yet accessible take-home food for dinner parties, picnics for […]

ZUCCHINI: THE RAW & THE COOKED

Zucchini has quite the reputation. The plants are prolific as hell, and with the effortless pick-up of a sports car, their offspring zooms from the cute, almost-ready-to-pick stage to the size of a cricket bat (see above) in no time. Garrison Keillor, chronicler of the small, fictional town of Lake Wobegon on A Prairie Home Companion, has […]

HOT BISCUITS & BLACKBERRY BUTTER

Compound butters—butter creamed with different flavorings—may be old-fashioned, but they are versatile as all get out—think of them as instant sauces that add finesse and another layer of flavor to very simple food. A classic French maître d’hôtel butter (softened butter mashed with chopped parsley and a little lemon juice and zest) ennobles just about anything, especially a […]

BARBECUE SHRIMP

For years, I’ve avoided buying jumbo shrimp (one of my favorite oxymorons), because I’ve never known how to bring out their best. My default method—a few minutes in a small amount of simmering water—is more suited to small or medium shrimp. In my hands, jumbos handled this way become simultaneously tough and mushy on the outside before […]

STRAWBERRIES WITH BALSAMIC VINEGAR AND BROWN SUGAR

They weren’t the most perfect-looking strawberries in the world, and truth is, some were a little overripe. Still, it was the end of the day, and I was amazed the farm stand had any left. Plus, after a few hot, sunny days in the field, they smelled like summer—and just what was needed after a supper that was going […]

SHRIMP BUTTER

Most brides say they couldn’t eat a thing at their wedding reception, but I was not one of them—in fact, the food was so delicious, so absolutely right, it was one of the things I remember most clearly about the day. Sam does, too. We were married 16 years ago at my stepmother’s low, rambling […]

FAST-TRACKING CHICKEN SALAD

Aside from the “fiesta” or “Oriental” versions found at some chain restaurants, chicken salad has pretty much been relegated to the Nostalgia Department: suitable fare for tearooms (of the Woman’s Exchange variety and otherwise), drug-store lunch counters (here’s a marvelous Lewis Hine image), and southern porch suppers, circa 1955. I don’t know why. I suppose people […]