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Archive for 'favorite books'

DUKKAH FROM A PARIS KITCHEN

The subtitle of the recently published My Paris Kitchen: Recipes and Stories, by David Lebovitz, may lull you into putting the book on top of your bedtime-reading stack. That’s perfectly fine—it’s a terrific read—but you must be prepared to climb out of the wrapper at, say, 11 p.m. and go into the kitchen to eat something delicious. […]

OBSESSION: MODERN MANNERS

I’m sure the folks who insist on lumping the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln together under the vague-sounding “Presidents’ Day” mean well. It’s tidier than having two separate holidays so close together and gives hope to retailers who won’t have another excuse to slash prices until Memorial Day. But it has the unfortunate […]

RECIPE FOR HAPPINESS: ROSEMARY-ROASTED POTATOES FROM JUDY RODGERS

Last Monday’s sad news that Judy Rodgers, chef and co-owner of Zuni Cafe, in San Francisco, had died prompted an outpouring of heartfelt tributes. One that stood out in my mind was that in the Los Angeles Times by Jonathan Gold, who introduced me to Judy’s remarkable food back in 2001, on a research trip I took with […]

A MARKET STORY: CHICKEN WITH FORTY CLOVES OF GARLIC

Garlic is the most potent member of the allium family (which includes onions, leeks, shallots, and so forth), and its great abundance at the farmers market this time of year tends to engender awe and, sometimes, confusion. “My girlfriend sent me out to shop for dinner,” a twenty-something said last week, holding up one of […]

NOTES FROM AN ARMCHAIR FARMER

Good cookbooks are soothing and aspirational all at once. They fall squarely in the “I can dream can’t I?” department, which must be why many people like to read them before they go to bed. I used to be one of them. A few years ago, though, I branched out with an evocative, beautifully illustrated […]

THE HAPPY TABLE OF EUGENE WALTER

I greatly admire—scratch that. I’m in awe of those who can talk to a roomful of people about a single subject without benefit of notes. I could practice from now to kingdom come and never achieve their ease, let alone their ability to synthesize complex material on the fly, avoid tangential to-ing and fro-ing, form […]

WINTER LOBSTER STEW

Sound conservation methods and unusually warm (yeesh) weather resulted in a record lobster harvest off the coast of Maine this year. The deals at seafood markets and lobster pounds were impossible to resist, and consequently Sam and I ate our fair share of the sweet, succulent meat on carcass-strewn newspaper-lined tables from New York to New […]

STORM COOKING: (MEATLESS) SOUP BEANS

It’s the day after Hurricane Sandy walloped New York, and Sam and I are among the fortunate—we are sitting high and dry, with the lights on. I’ve just sheathed the Maglites and the hand-crank weather radio (complete with cell-phone charger) in zip-top bags and stowed them back in the emergency box. Sam watched me without comment; after […]

OBSESSION: PEACH RATAFIA

Roast chicken with lemons and sage is in the oven. Just-dug potatoes are simmering on the stovetop. We have had a run of what my mother would call “Champagne days”—cool and crisp, with high, cloudless blue skies. No Pol Roger or Gruet Brut in our fridge, alas, but wedged between a tub of gochujang and […]

COOL O’ THE EVENING COCKTAILS

“Never was a drink more optimistically christened,” my father would say, squinting at his glass. “I don’t know,” my mother would reply, settling into a wicker chair and fanning herself with a copy of Life or the evening paper. “It makes me feel cooler just to look at it.” Pick a summer, any summer, back in […]