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Celery root – or celeriac, if you want to be all proper about it – is no beauty! But at this time of year, it’s a root worth digging deep for – all buttery, earthy taste and satin texture.
I had a rumpus of a time writing this story! – except for one part: standing on the freezing porch trying to take a glamorous photograph of rapidly cooling lentils. Yeah, that part.
Recipes from Gourmet Today and Plenty are featured in this story. You can read more about those books – and over 250+ cookbooks worth giving this holiday! – on my cookbook-rating app, CookShelf. Available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices and updated regularly.
And…one more story today, though it ran a bit late on the NPR site.
I love a roast in the fall, and one of the things I love best is when there’s fruit – dried or fresh – in the roast, lending a syrupy, caramelized finish to everything it touches.
Click here to read Roasting with fruit story at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
Browse all my Kitchen Window stories for NPR.
August means tomato heaven, out there on the farmstands, in the gardens, and at your local farmers’ market. And because it’s finally cooling down, you might not even mind turning on the oven to roast a few. Here’s how–trust me, it’s worth it.
Click here to read Roasted Tomatoes: The Perfect Accessory for Summer Dishes at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
It’s been a very busy few weeks, but I’ll be back with more cookbook reviews, CookShelf app updates, as soon as the kids are back to school (1 down, 1 to go)!
Browse all my Kitchen Window stories for NPR.
Possibly the only thing better than buttermilk alone is buttermilk plus blueberries, and we’ve gotten plenty of those too–bumper crop this year. Ah, buttermilk! Ah, blueberries! Ah, summer!
Click here to read Buttermilk Makes Everything Taste Better at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
The pictured recipe for Buttermilk Ice Cream comes originally from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, the cookbook from the legendary Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco. You can get a full analysis and read a full review of the book on CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app, available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices.
My garden’s a mess this year, due to serious slacking during the endless rains of June. But I still kept a watchful eye on the garlic bed, because I had a deadline and the garlic needed to coöperate.
The garlic was perfectly healthy – vigorous, green, and inarguably well-irrigated. But where were the scapes? “C’mon!” I exhorted. “Let’s get a move on! I’ve got a story to write!”
Scapes are funny. As far as I can tell, they’re not there, and then they’re there. I went out one humid afternoon close to deadline and there they were – dozens and dozens, lining up in scapey curlicues. I marched into the cool house and e-mailed my editor. The deadline, I declared, was safe.
Click here to read Scape Velocity: Green Garlic Takes Flight at NPR’s Kitchen Window.
The splendid recipe for Pork and Garlic Scape Stir-Fry comes from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Every Grain of Rice. You can get a full analysis and read a full review of the book – and even click to buy it – on CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app, available for both iPhone/iPad and Android devices.
Actually, it’s not called “Mom’s Secret Stash” – that’s just what I call it. The story has a more NPR-appropriate title: “Try a Do-It-Yourself Mothers’ Day” . The idea here is that sometimes the best person to come up with a delicious treat for Mom on her special day is…Mom. I’m not saying you shouldn’t accept, enjoy, and appreciate the pancakes in bed, the crayon cards, the champagne at brunch – if you are so lucky as to get those. I’m just pointing out that there’s no harm in doing a little bit of the spoiling yourself.
By the way, some of your loved ones will want to get you a cookbook for Mother’s Day. So as to avoid getting stuck with some random grilling book you hate, direct them to CookShelf, the cookbook-rating app, now available for iPhone/iPad or Android devices. On it, you can read about many of the recipes and cookbooks featured in this story, including this incredible matzo candy from Susan Feniger’s Street Food.
“I trace my finger down the ingredients list. Shallots, check. Tomatoes, check. Cinnamon stick, check. And then there it is: Preserved lemon. “Drat!” I think. “Foiled again!”
That’s how this story started – I finally made up my mind to get a clue about preserved lemons, and never again find myself caught without a stash on hand. If you’ve already got preserved lemons on hand, congratulations! Let’s get cooking. And if you haven’t? Well, there couldn’t be a better time to start.
“I developed a strategy, which was to select the smallest piece I could and swallow it whole, as if it were a particularly large multivitamin, and I a Burmese python.”
That’s how I dealt with Brussels sprouts when I was a young person. If this story sounds familiar, it’s no surprise. Brussels sprouts are among the most energetically reviled members in a generally unpopular family, the Brassicaceae.
Yet now they’re one of my favorites. Many of us have seen the (greenish, cabbagey) light in recent years. I like to think it’s because the recipes have gotten better. A few of the best can be found in my story today.
No, it’s not summer any more. But one summer souvenir that will be coming right along with me into the fall and winter is the summer roll. Or, more specifically, the re-invented sandwich wrapped in rice paper.
After being unaccountably bashful about rice paper for years, I finally took the plunge and discovered what a boon it is for those of us who fall somewhere in between wanting to take the bread off the sandwich and just giving up and having a salad.
Plus, they’re way easy to pack in a lunchbox.
It’s the first day of school, which means the first day back to work for me after a long August break. My writing muscles are stiff and cramped from disuse! and all my words have scattered like a flock of chickens…but I do have two stories publishing today.
Review of Sweet Cream & Sugar Cones in the Boston Globe: It was Celia Sack of Omnivore Books in San Francisco who prompted me to get that first, memorable salted caramel ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery. Little did I know that I’d be reviewing the Bi-Rite Creamery cookbook just a few months later and making the treat for myself. There’s only a few weeks left in ice cream season, so run don’t walk to the store for some heavy cream and eggs. You may no longer be eating egg yolks, but if you are, these luscious recipes are one way to make the most of them.
Zucchini You Actually Can’t Resist (NPR Kitchen Window): It was shaping up to be a great year for zucchini–I finally got a handle on the squash bugs (dusting with diatomaceous earth and scraping off all the eggs). But we actually only enjoyed about 3 weeks of zucchinaceous bliss before the vine borers got our plants. The last of our beautiful crop were photographed and eaten for this story. If you’re sort of meh about zucchini, do give these recipes a go. They may just change your mind.
Meanwhile, the summer has offered up many shining moments: Our volunteer peach tree by the front steps finally bore beautiful blushing fruit. The whole family got its fill of fresh and salt beaches in Michigan, Cape Cod, and local ponds. Husby finished the permanent chicken coop. Despite one near-death experience when Spalty ate something she shouldn’t have, we still have 8 beautiful hens (who should start to lay in a month or so!). We had our best crop of tomatoes ever, having finally learned to get them properly lifted off the ground with cattle panel. And by alternating swimming 1/3 mile and running 2 miles several times a week, I finally managed to get rid of those last pesky 5 pounds (the ones I still privately blamed on the last pregnancy–6 years ago!).
I finally organized our “junk” cabinet and our pantry, and sewed the curtains for the upstairs bedroom–2 years overdue. I clamped all the S-hooks for my utensils with channel-lock pliers so they don’t go flying every time I reach for a spatula (it’s the little things that count). There’s meat in the freezer and a garden full of vegetables, and I can finally find all our dry goods. The air is growing crisp. Welcome fall! never been happier to see you.