Category : art, food, language

I made this most amazing strawberry tart tonight, in honor of my friend Miriam, who’s is coming over for dinner tomorrow. It made me glad that it’s May, with many baked goods full of fresh fruit in front of me, and not November, with plenty of turnips to look forward to. Nothing against turnips, but you know. Look at that tart. Beats root vegetables any day. Lives up to the word tart.

I made a poster I liked, really liked, this weekend as well. This is a proof in progress, but you get the idea. I haven’t made something I’ve really liked that wasn’t food in awhile.  

Word of the day: 

Brooklyn Food Conference. Free!

Category : food

This Saturday: May 2nd. The Brooklyn Food Coalition is sponsoring a day of lectures, workshops, demos and more. There’s an extensive schedule of panels on subjects like food policy and activism, starting a co-op, urban farming and community gardens, food and culture and more. It all looks completely fabulous.

You can register and see the full schedule of events here.

I, of course, have to work. When is there going to be an event scheduled on a Sunday? Monday afternoon anyone?

The Gastronomical Me

Category : book, food


I’m two-thirds of the way through this, which is unlike any other food writing I’ve read. MFK Fisher chronicles her gastronomical coming of age through a series of essays, about traveling with others and alone. She writes about food by talking around it, so that she forms a vivid and complete picture of where it sits within a whole life. It’s part cultural history, part natural history, part autobiography. And she has the most distinctive voice: 

 She was a stupid woman, and an aggravating one, and although I did not like her physically I grew to be deeply fond of her and even admiring of her. For years we wrote long and affectionate letters, and on the few times I returned to Dijon we fell into each other’s arms…and then within a few minutes I would be upset and secretly angry at her dullness, her insane pretenses, and all her courage and her loyal blind love would be forgotten until I was away from her again. 

She writes about people more than she writes about food, though the food is there, and it tells you about the people serving it or eating it with her, but there’s absolutely no sentiment in her descriptions of either. She talks about running away from too many fine gourmet dining experiences in Dijon, farming in Switzerland with her second husband and feeling enslaved by the land. She believes in the ideal of eating well, but knows that most people and lives and experiences fall far short. I love that push and pull, that dense sense of knowledge about pleasure. 

Next I plan to read How to Cook a Wolf, about cooking and eating well on a WWII rationing-era budget. I figure we could all learn something there.


Category : art, food

I made risotto for the first time this afternoon. Like many things, it’s easier if you bring something along to read. 

I am looking forward to the end of April, and the start of May.

When are they going to make a colored pencil that you can actually sharpen?

lush, well conditioned hair

Category : food, pie, Uncategorized

I made a leek and goat cheese tart yesterday that came this close to disaster. 

My brother called while I was shopping for ingredients; I told him what I was making and he said, boy you’re obsessed with pie. If you were on Top Chef you’d be the person who made everything into a pie. 
I said, But Dave, that’s the beauty of pie! 

The phrase of the day is: Embrace the opposition by killing them with kindness. That’s never been something I’ve excelled at. But I’m trying. 


I can’t even express how glad I am to see spring. Life is good.

The rumor is

Category : art, food

that the cherry blossoms are beginning to bloom at the Botanical Gardens. I heard it on the news, that’s where. 

I made a fantastic blackberry tart this weekend, and only felt slightly guilty over the far-flung origins of said blackberries. 

I also made an orange vanilla pound cake, made with a vanilla bean mailed to me by my own dear mother, who brought them all the way from Egypt for me. Then emailed her to say thank you. 

Also: Bought tulips, braised artichokes, went for long walk in sun. I think the waiting is over. 

I have this phrase stuck in my head: 

You have outgrown a situation and you need to focus on something more in keeping with who you are now.

Bingo Jackpot Snowballs

Category : art, food

 It’s really luxurious to have two weeks stretching out in front of me, but I feel at loose ends in the presence of luxury.  The snow’s pretty, but I can’t run in the snow, and when I can’t run I get crazy. I don’t actually enjoy slumping around the house in dirty sweat socks. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about the gap between what people say they are like and what they actually do. Some people like to lead with their worst foot forward, and tell you all about the worst possible impression you can take from them, while actually doing something much better than what they tell you. It’s like they’re trying to prevent you from being disappointed. It’s an odd thing to grapple with, because you’re being asked to pretend that what’s in front of you, what you can plainly see, is something other than what it is. It’s like they’re blinded to what they look like by the chatter in their head. 

Personalities are performances, it seems.

I made hazelnut truffles last night and now have a large bottle of hazelnut liqueur to grapple with. Girly drinks and dirty sweat socks seem to be in my future. Rolling chocolate balls seemed dirty and wrong. But in the best of possible ways.


Category : art, food

1. I went for a run yesterday morning and got caught in one of those dead leaf mini-cyclones. It was exciting. This morning it was so cold I almost needed my gloves for the entire run. My ears went numb. It’s strange to be hot and numb at the same time. 

2. I made a pumpkin-hazelnut bread yesterday morning and forced it on the scattered printers working at the Center yesterday so I wouldn’t eat the whole thing. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t think I’m in love with pumpkin. 

3. I finished this: 

which I quite like, thank you. I’m trying to remind myself that yes, I am working on this book, it really is happening, albeit verrrryyy slowwwwwllly. 

4. I finished the holiday cards for the Center, which gave me a wicked printing blister and a sore shoulder.

5. I made not just one, but two gratins, of which this was by far the better:

6. I witnessed a stand-off and thought about mopping my floor:

It was a full weekend.