Posts filed under 'Miscellaneous'
When I began writing here, it was because I had time on my hands and I wanted a challenge and a creative outlet. I posted almost daily (!) for a long time, and the happiest parts of my days (while Kevin was at work, at least) were those spent working on this site. After law school, I had less spare time, but for several years, this site still hummed along, in sync with the rhythms of our life. On the weekends, we happily cooked and ate meals, and I shared them here, offering a snapshot into the loveliest of our days, through photos and stories, and skipping right past the mundane, whirlwind week days. At other times, life was hard and messy and exhausting, as it sometimes is, and I wasn’t as thrilled to share those times here, so, for long stretches, this space would fall quiet.
Three weeks ago, we finally got to meet her—our baby girl. She was born on August 2, in the wee hours of the morning. She weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and she was 20.5 inches long. Her name is Avery Raleigh, and we are completely in love.
I’m crazy for ramps right now. Absolutely mad. I see them in the grocery store, tucked beneath deep green eaves of chard and kale, and I can’t help but grab a bundle in my fist, lift them triumphantly over my head, and squeal to myself (or is it aloud?): Ramps! About this time, Kevin busies himself in the crucifer bin—suddenly fascinated beyond distraction by a seafoam green head of cabbage. And, although the man does love his slaw, I’m beginning to think that maybe—just maybe—he’s embarrassed of my expression of ramp triumph. But, no matter: my shopping cart is lined with a lush carpet of ramps. Tra-lah-lah.
In truth, what I’m really crazy for is spring, and the ramps are just a little part of that. They’re a middle piece of the jig-saw puzzle. It seems that the perimeter of that puzzle has taken shape (the trees are starting to fringe themselves in chartreuse; the tulips have begun to unfurl), but the rest of the zillion middle pieces seem reluctant to fall into place (creating the real-deal, warmer-than-60-degrees, local-produce-at-the-markets, full-on spring).
I’m sure there’s some way to spin these radishes—quick pickled in a brine that’s equal parts sweet, sour, spicy and salt—as Passover- or Easter-friendly. Nary a speck of leavened bread! A lovely addition to your seder, tucked up against a piece of gefilte fish! A punchy addition to your otherwise ham-and-scalloped-potatoes laden Easter spread! A pre-Easter lunch bite with a hue to match the eggs hidden around the yard!
On Saturday morning, a warm, clear fall morning, Kevin and I set out for an apple orchard northwest of the city, up near the Wisconsin border. We were barely beyond the city limits and I started to get the same feeling I get every time we take a drive—all wistful and daydreamy about the open spaces, the rolling fields, the squat silos, the quiet.
Gripped with this feeling, without fail, I lean over to Kevin at some point during the drive, bat my lashes and say, all starry-eyed: let’s live off the fat of the land, what do you say?
So, a few weeks ago, I got an email from Grace at Design*Sponge asking if I’d like to post a recipe to the site’s new series: In The Kitchen With. I nearly fell out of my chair. Receiving such a request from a blog you adore, apparently, does a number on one’s uprightness. I composed myself and responded that I’d be thrilled to do it. The email was restrained and exclamation point free, but today I say what the heck: The Kitchen Sink is featured on Design*Sponge today!!! So, go check it out. There, I’ve got a lovely recipe for one of the most beautiful fruits available in the farmers’ markets these days.
Oh, and have a good weekend!!! That’s a command completely worthy of multiple exclamation points as well.
I might be a full-fledged grown up (I am finally done with school once and for all, I’m married, I have a mortgage, and this list goes on), but there’s something about the first few days of October—with their cool, crisp air and earthy aroma—that has me channeling my inner trick-or-treater. Or, to be more accurate, my inner jack-o-latern artiste. Carving pumpkins—-carefully selecting my gourd of choice at the pumpkin patch; rolling up my sleeves, reaching inside the deep pumpkin and scooping out the stringly middle; crafting a snaggle-toothed, triangle-eyed face on the slick orange skin; lighting a votive candle nestled inside the hollowed-out pumpkin, which promptly casts a flickery glow and warms the pumpkin’s flesh, emitting a scent that only exists in October—has always been my favorite part about Halloween.
As a kid, this autumnal ritual generally unfolded sometime during the week before the 31st, when our house was abuzz with other Halloween preparations: assembling costumes (often embarassing and always homemade); filling a behemoth, marigold-colored Tupperware with miniature candies; baking sugar cookies shaped like pumpkins, bats and witches’ hats. Back then, the knife work—always performed with the biggest wooden-handled knife in our Chicago Cutlery knife block—was a strictly parental duty. My sister and I stuck to scooping out the pumpkin seeds and outlining the faces with a thick black magic marker.
(Click “more” for the rest of the story, more photos & the recipe.)