Head Scratchin' Bacon

C’mon. Surely I can figure out what to do with homemade bacon. I mean, it’s bacon. It’s salty, fatty, and comes from a pig. What’s not to like?

A lot, it turns out. I’ve been trying to come to terms with the fact that I wasn’t thrilled about my homemade bacon since mid-February, the Charcutepalooza deadline. [...]

Perfect Persimmon Pudding

What ho! Is that a chocolate torte? Why, no! It’s a persimmon pudding, a rare and exquisite dessert rarely seen outside of West Virginia, Kentucky, Southern Indiana, and Southern Illinois. Native persimmons don’t travel well, so you’re unlikely to encounter a persimmon pudding far from where the fruit grows.

OK: Exquisite might be a bit much. [...]

A Night with Amanda Hesser

Amanda Hesser arrived at my house last night wearing a giant fur hat and Chuck Taylors. How can you not love this woman?

She was in town as part of her book tour for The Essential New York Times Cookbook: Classic Recipes for a New Century, and, through a long sequence of events involving Kate Payne [...]

Blueberry Pucker Conserve

This little experiment for the June Can Jam was one of the only times that I’ve taken a spoonful of preserves and thought, “By God! I’ve got it!” This is a mixture of blueberries, apricots, lemons, and walnuts, and it’s just about perfect. It’s a “conserve” rather than a “jam” or a “marmalade” in that [...]

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I have no idea why, but I’ve been on a total pie kick this summer. This is the second strawberry rhubarb pie I’ve made, plus a cherry pie for a picnic. Perhaps I’ll look back fondly on the summer of 2010 as the summer of pie?

I usually use Joy of Cooking as a reference for [...]

Beans and Greens Salad

Wait…you didn’t think I preserved ALL of my greens, did you? Of course not! I’m managing to eat some, though hardly as many as I probably should. Besides sauteed in garlic, this is probably one of my favorite ways to eat them. This particular version was made with the greens of yellow beets. Yellow beet [...]

Rhubarb Compote

Sorry, folks, no pictures. This month’s can jam gave me an excuse to do two of my favorite things: eat stuff from the freezer and experiment with rhubarb. Everybody loves strawberries and rhubarb together, right? And since strawberry season has already started, it’s time to clear out the rest of the berries from the freezer, [...]

Hooray, hooray, for yellow mole!

Perhaps you’ve picked up on the themes in my recent posts. A) I like to travel to Spanish-speaking countries. B) I am really, really sick of this year’s epic Philadelphia winter, and prefer to imagine that I am elsewhere until the tulips start blooming. The good news is that, by the time this post is [...]

Pumpkin Pear Soup

My delightful billy goat made this delicious soup with ingredients that came from our basement (mostly). We’re not participating in the Dark Days challenge, but it almost qualifies, depending on how you classify the pears. We used fresh pears from a not-terribly-local-or-organic source, but if you want to be exceedingly virtuous, you could make this [...]

Mussels with Garlic and Parsley

My “let’s pretend I’m in Spain” theme continues, this time aided and abetted by the fact that my husband’s out of town. I love my Billy goat dearly, but, you see, he’s allergic to shellfish. Ergo, when he’s away, I make myself a big bowl of mussels. The mussels themselves weren’t the world’s greatest—a tad [...]

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