Ten years ago, we lived in an old wooden farmhouse in Vermont. It sat at the top of a slope that rolled down to a lazy river, and in the middle of the slope was a huge and ancient apple tree, the variety of which we were never able to establish. Long before we had kids, on one of The Author’s birthdays, friends of ours shimmied up the tree and installed a swing for us to play on. The ropes of the swing were about 20 feet long, and because the tree was on a hill, when you swung even a little bit, you all of a sudden were about 8 feet in the air. If you pumped your legs vigorously, enough to get the swing so high that your toes could touch the dangling apples on the branches above, well, you were very high up indeed. It was thrilling, if not a bit terrifying. Continue reading →
When I was living in New York, I worked for a time at a licensing and design company in the garment district. One afternoon, as I was walking back from an appointment near Macy’s, I saw a sign in a deli window: The Best Cup of Coffee in Town! How could I resist? Mind you, this was pre-Starbucks, and a good cup of coffee wasn’t always easy to find.
This cake is one of the best things to come from marmalade.
Winter has its perks. Orange marmalade is one of them.
Every January, the UK shops stock up on Seville oranges. These Spanish beauties are the literally bitter reminders of a sunnier place. Bright orange and delicious-looking, Sevilles are unpalatable on their own, but with the addition of Continue reading →
Gluten-free, dairy-free, a doddle to make, and still delicious!
This past weekend, Anna and I ran a pop-up café at the Crux Craft Fair, which is a brilliantly run annual fair promoting great quality handmade crafts. Do I have any pictures of it to show you? No. We were so busy cooking that it wasn’t until 4:00 on Sunday (an hour before the entire shebang ended) that Anna and I were able to get out of the kitchen to see everything on display.
This is the fourth year we have run the café at the fair, so we knew this would be pretty much how it went. What we didn’t know was that, despite Continue reading →
I have an old photo of me and my sister taken at the Jersey shore. We are two small children in the surf, holding onto something that looks like a tow rope at a ski slope, and the waves are swirling around our calves. We are lightly browned with shockingly blonde hair, and we are both squinting into the sun with huge smiles of delight.
I don’t remember the particular day that photo was taken, but I do recall other particulars of those summers. I remember my mom driving the three of us to the beach, with my sister and me sweating in the sweltering and sticky back seat of the Karmann Ghia, even with the windows rolled all the way down. I remember also how delicious a picnic tasted at the shore; peanut butter and jelly – despite the inevitable addition of sand – was so sweet and satisfying, potato chips seemed to be made deliciously saltier by the sea air, and fruit always seemed juicer when eaten on the beach blanket within the sound of the crashing waves. I remember reading on the beach, and then when I got too hot, bouncing around in the waves for hours, so that when I finally lay in my bed later that night, my body still seemed to sway with the power of the surf.
I like to believe that entire summers were made up of these moments, but I know that there were also days of idle boredom while Continue reading →
For about three years now, I have been thinking about making pumpernickel bread. In fact, i have been thinking about it so much that I have bought freshly milled rye flour and let it go rancid while I thought about it.
But the other day – was it the phase of the moon? The cast of the sun? The longing to eat at Katz’s Deli in NYC, which is only about 3000 miles away? I decided to take the plunge. Continue reading →
Lately it seems that dietary guidelines are switching back to advice that our grandparents would recognise: make food with ingredients you understand, and then eat it. And when you’re full, stop eating.
Of course this makes me extremely happy. I’ve lived through enough restrictive dietary trends to know that they don’t make me anything but miserable. Continue reading →
I think bread is a very good place to start. Almost everyone (99% of UK households) loves a good loaf of bread, but almost no one makes it themselves.
And do you want to know a secret? It’s not hard to make a loaf of bread. It’s not even particularly time-consuming. But if you haven’t done it before, or if you’ve tried and it hasn’t worked out the way you’d intended, it can be daunting. Continue reading →