When life hands you crappy plums — or when an adorable farmer who you seemingly can not deny (ahem) hands you crappy plums — it’s time to make plum jam. And plum sauce. And maybe some prunes, though I haven’t found my drying rack yet and am not completely sure it would work in this… Continue reading Ginger Peachy Plum Jam
I’m terrible at following recipes. I learned to cook from my grandmother who owned exactly zero cookbooks. Her recipe collection consisted of a few tattered notecards for family traditions and a head full of ideas. She was a master of flavor improv. I try my best to be like her. I do have cookbooks. Quite… Continue reading Kitchen Improv
New Mexico chiles This time last week I was marinating in green chile. The skin on my hands has just about recovered. Each year I buy 25 pounds of fresh chile from Hatch. These are a mix of several varieties of New Mexican chiles, which are a kind of large-pod chile with moderately thick flesh… Continue reading New Mexico Chile!
This time of year normally sees an explosion of garden productivity. There are baskets of veg every day, mostly summer squash and tomatoes. This year has not been good in my garden, but then this is the first garden in this home. I have learned what not to do and made adjustments in the master… Continue reading Ratatouille
In the past couple weeks I’ve encountered two new books from people who should know better claiming that our big brains and social systems are rooted in hunting. This is the bad penny of origin stories — Man the Hunter. It is time someone bites down on this one and shows once and for all… Continue reading Further Exegesis of A Man
My grandmother was born over a century ago in Ireland. We don’t know where. She would never say. She and her twin sister were adopted by the Daleys of Chicago. She changed from foundling to heiress as she crossed the Atlantic. Her name and her ancestors were abandoned on the quay — and she was… Continue reading My Grandmother’s Hands
Here’s me awake in the dark of the morning again. Quiet today. Not even a breath. Always leading into summer, there’s this rush and then a hush, grabbing fistfuls of life and then squatting behind the shed to gobble it up. Maybe don’t want to go back there right now. As it’s hush time. But… Continue reading Morning Hush
Making Yogurt: In anticipation of Imbolg, we’re going to make yogurt, a fermented dairy product that extends the shelf life of fresh milk — and adds quite a bit of nutrition and delicious flavor.