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Category Archives: Winter

A SNOWY DAY

Snow was not special when we lived in Vermont or Rhode Island or New Jersey. But it was for the more than six years that we lived in San Francisco. (It was forecasted once but never happened.) Now that we live in southwestern Ohio, almost at the Kentucky border, it is neither novel nor ubiquitous. It is met with the understanding that it will appear and then melt away once or twice a year. For us, though, the four or so inches that fell during the last few days were positively exciting, especially because it was the only snow this year that has been wet enough for making Elinor’s first snowman. Out in the poultry yard, the snow did not phase the ducks. They walked in it, rested in it, laid their large eggs in it. But the chickens avoided it like a pool of molten lava, either attempting to fly high above until their stamina gave way or camping out in the coop—at least until hearing the familiar tap, tap, tap on the food

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LAMB STEW WITH ROASTED WINTER SQUASH, POMEGRANATE MOLASSES, AND MINT

I have been meaning to give you this recipe for a few weeks. Not yet having done so, I find myself in the unusual state of hoping winter will stay and chill us just a few days longer, until I can share this recipe with you. As such, my heart saddened a little as I saw the pale pink blossoms while walking with Elinor through the park a few days ago. But I was fortified to see the daffodils with their green blades still merely stretching for the clear, blue sky, not yet smiling up at us with their open-topped top-hat blossoms. A false prediction of snow last night, what would have been the first in 35 years in San Francisco, was also encouraging. So I have made it, pushing the “publish” button while it is still a nippy 40 degrees outside,

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ApresFete - Such a beautiful dish which makes it great for entertaining. I love the heartiness of the lamb brightened by the fresh tang of the pomegranate. Such a well rounded dish. While I’m ready for Spring (peas, asparagus, spring onions, green garlic!!) I appreciate the delicious recipe. Looking forward to your interpretations of the next season.March 19, 2011 – 11:23 pm

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) - I’m intrigued by the pom molasses. Sounds very interesting and flavorful.March 16, 2011 – 11:37 am

Hoddy - So colorful!March 9, 2011 – 12:18 pm

Alana - The first time I had this was when you made it for friends and it knocked us out it was so delicious and it looks beautiful. The next time you asked us to make it. I was skeptical to begin with as there are many steps. It turned out to be simple though since each step can be done individually at any time during the day and then just compiling it right before serving!! Thank you for introducing me to another wonderful recipe!!February 28, 2011 – 2:27 pm

Soames - I wish you had posted this when I was looking for something to do with the thirty pomegranates we had just havested from the Haver’s tree! I will keep the molasses in mind for next year.February 28, 2011 – 2:22 pm

A WINTER SALAD OF RAW BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH CASTELVETRANO OLIVES, SUNCHOKES AND A MYSTERIOUS VINAIGRETTE

Oregon—Portland, specifically—is home. Growing up, it meant summer afternoons spent picking from neat rows of small, glossy strawberries or tangles of blackberries, which left my hands stained purple and forearms stinging from crosshatched scratches. In the winter, we would trudge up snowy forest roads deep into the Mt. Hood National Forest, insulated bottles of hot chocolate (and the requisite permit) in tow, until we found the perfect Christmas tree. The ocean, mountains, high desert, and idyllic pastureland were all within an hour or two, and we took advantage of them all.

Originally known as “Ouragon,” Oregon is beautiful country, but I left it in 1998 in exchange for a state known

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ApresFete - Just divine. This piece took me on a ride of nostalgia that pulled at my heart’s strings and, at the same time, had me yearning for the Portland that is now. The local, the real deal, the we mean business (and pleasure) eating of now. I want to respond to every word: Oregon berries, breweries, Powell’s, the salty air of the coast, early a.m. walks with an infant and castelvetrano olives (why are they so good?). Thank you for your wonderful writing and for a recipe that makes my mouth water. I’m all for words like ‘mysterious’ in more recipe titles.January 25, 2011 – 10:41 pm

Alana - Thanks for a mini tour of Portland, my favorite town!! It sounds like you had a fun time. So many new places to try!
Your story telling is always really interesting and something I always look forward too! Keep it up!!!January 25, 2011 – 6:30 am

Soames - welcome back, old friend.January 18, 2011 – 6:14 pm

HOT BUTTERED RUM

Transporting butter across state lines with the intent to combine with intoxicating liquors. Not a crime, but it should be, given how balmy and festive hot buttered rums are, particularly when made with homemade butter. They are just the thing whether the thunder is shaking the house on a wet Oregon Coast night (our experience the last few days) or the heavy, white clouds are laying down their fifth foot of snow today or you are all together at last. Pick up a bottle of serious rum and mash together the base, most of the ingredients for which you likely have on hand. Then wrap yourself in a downy blanket, cue my favorite Christmas song, and sip away. Happy Christmas, gentle readers.

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Nikki - Perfect, even for a rainy post holiday day in SF! Love it!January 7, 2011 – 4:41 pm

ApresFete - I have to admit, I have never had a hot buttered rum, though I sure do love the sound of them. Since I am in Oregon, and the snow just started, I will have to make this the afternoon that I have my first. Pretty sure this will be the greatest father/daughter bonding moment to date. If Dunc loves one thing, it’s butter. Thanks for the inspiration and picture of holiday coziness.December 29, 2010 – 12:55 pm

hODDY - The title of this post is so racy – but hey it got my attention. Hope Oregon is fun!December 25, 2010 – 4:03 pm

Alana - Homemade is so much better than the store bought versions which I think are too sweet. You painted a cozy picture with your story that makes me yearn for a hot buttered rum right now !!!!December 24, 2010 – 3:00 pm

Susan - This sounds amazing. I’ll definitely be trying this recipe this holiday weekend!December 23, 2010 – 9:34 am

HOMEMADE BUTTER (AND BUTTERMILK)

My love affair with dairy fat has been going on for at least three decades behind metals beaters pirouetted in pillows of cream and slippery pieces of butter-stained paper.

As it turns out, my earliest memory in the kitchen is of the most famed dairy fat of all—butter. I am standing at my grandmother’s refrigerator, its long, almond-colored right door pushed back entirely, reaching on my tiptoes for a stick of butter. Curling my little fingers over the smooth, vellum-like wrapping, I persevere until I nudge it off the shelf and onto the floor. I rescue the austere little package from the linoleum and pull back paper slowly, expectantly, and hold the slick sheet in one hand and the pale yellow brick in the other.

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torrey - I happened across this recipe looking for a use for some whipping cream that I was afraid might go bad if I didn’t use it soon. I poured it into my stand mixer and just let it go and omg butter! I’m so excited. I have some chicken out for dinner tonight too that I might use the buttermilk onJanuary 31, 2012 – 4:38 pm

AngelaL - So my eldest was also a “straight up” butter eater. I thought it weird but she did grow up to be a great cook. Enjoyed your post!December 28, 2010 – 7:01 pm

Alana - Fun! Fun!! Fun!!! Your journey with dairy fats is spun into a heartwarming tale that makes me smile!! I took a break from butter for a long time, but now we are best friends again! It is sooooooooooo good!December 24, 2010 – 3:08 pm

tania - I like this photo! Lovely!December 15, 2010 – 12:59 pm

ApresFete - Love your passion for the cow’s glory. This is a must do. Of course, you know having me pining for some buttered toast. My favorite treat as a baby was ‘butter bites’; has Elinor explored? Beautiful photo!December 14, 2010 – 1:57 pm

foodies at home - Butter is the secret to life! LOL Can’t wait to try making my own! Thanks so much!December 13, 2010 – 11:05 pm

Erin - Thanks for reminding me about the buttermilk, Carina. I forgot to mention it in the post. I was a bit disappointed with the buttermilk, which, as you say, was more or less whole milk. I keep meaning to culture it to give it some more character. Excellent tip for getting all the buttermilk out, too. Thanks!December 13, 2010 – 4:10 pm

Carina - Butter made this way is SO GOOD. 2 things to keep in mind, though:

1) All the buttermilk must come out or you will have rancid butter in a few days (learned this the hard way). You can make sure it’s all out by kneading in cold water until the water runs clear.
2) The liquid that runs off butter made from heavy cream is not “real” buttermilk. It can be used as whole milk in recipes but not as buttermilk because the cream does not come from soured milk.

But! This butter really is amazing.December 13, 2010 – 3:22 pm

Nikki - Witty! Simply genius! I loved every letter of this post. The same as I feel about butter…I want more, more, MORE!December 13, 2010 – 1:36 pm