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Archive for October, 2012

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: THE WARREN PEAR

The pear is one of the world’s great dessert fruits. Native to the South Caucasus, North Persia, or the Middle East, it’s been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. Homer called it “the fruit of the gods,” and Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici (best known as patron of Galileo Galilei, his childhood tutor), was said to have […]

SWING-SEASON POLENTA: A MARKET STORY

I am eating my way through October with gusto and greed. It’s the year’s great swing season, after all. The days are still warm and long enough to allow the last of the tomatoes, eggplant, green beans, and corn to sweeten and mature. Short-season cool-weather crops of lettuces and radishes—tender and juicy—are being harvested. And […]

NEW YORK STATE SORGHUM: A MARKET STORY

About six years ago, I’d heard that a couple of farmers, two brothers, from the Catskills region had started making sorghum syrup, a tangy, deep-flavored sweetener better known south of the Mason-Dixon Line. I filed the information away, then forgot about it; I always seem to have a jar of the stuff, lugged back from […]

KITCHEN ALCHEMY: SLOW-ROASTED TOMATOES

I wish you were here, because our apartment smells wonderful. It’s the tomatoes I’m roasting; after five hours in a low oven, they are well on their way to a mellow, deep-flavored sweetness. In another hour, their texture will be meaty, lush, and a little chewy around the caramelized edges. Magical. Slow-roasting is more of […]