When I talk family traditions and family recipes on Savour Fare, I’m usually talking about my family – the family I was born into, or the family I’ve made with Ken and Nuni and Boo. My family is close (now that my cousin has moved back to LA from NYC, the farthest away anyone lives is about 2 hours), and we are all food people, so it’s natural to write about our places and recipes and stories. Ken’s family is harder — for one thing, they’re geographically scattered all over the midwest, the east and west coasts, and for another, most of their traditions center around things other than food (like golf. They play a lot of golf.) My mother-in-law is a born and bred southerner, from the hotbed of American regional cuisine, but she’s also a wanderer, and would be perfectly happy to live on seaweed and lentils.
There has only been one major food figure in Ken’s family since I’ve known him (which is why he eats what I cook so happily), and that is Quincey. Quincey was a substitute grandfather to Ken, whose own grandfathers both died rather young. He was a true Southerner, who lived his whole life along the Virginia North Carolina border – he was also a musician, and a storyteller, a former tobacco farmer, a general handyman, and a damn good cook. He taught Ken to play the mandolin, spent hours fixing up my mother-in-law’s house, and, the few times I met him, taught me a thing or two about cooking. Collards with fatback, corn pudding, sweet potato pie, and the best fried apple pies I’ve ever tasted. Quincey’s recipes were inexact — he measured with his fingers, adding a pinch of salt, a joint of butter. I always meant to get them down on paper, in a form that could be reproduced, but Quincey died last year, and I never did.
Continue reading Fried Dried-Apple Hand Pies
I haven’t been around here much, have I? I would say that I haven’t been cooking much, though that’s not exactly true. I haven’t felt like writing? That’s not exactly true either. I suppose you could say that life has gotten in the way. In all its messiness and joy and sadness and stress and angst. And that is not going away any time soon. But I do want to share. September is a hibernation month in Los Angeles. Everyone else in the world is all “lalala I love fall!” and you probably want to kill them because it is DISGUSTINGLY hot here and your sandals have a broken strap and you’re trying to stretch that last summer pedicure out as long as possible but you really shouldn’t be doing that. But October! October brings a little crispness to the air. Hot tea no longer sounds like an abomination. You might even consider wearing a scarf! (But not a wool one. Let’s be realistic.) So here’s my summer, in photos (mostly courtesy of Instagram. You should follow me there. But I will warn you that I work in an office and I thought people might get bored of the 873rd photo of my paper strewn desk and LA traffic, so most pictures come on the weekends).
Continue reading October
Thought I’d pop in to share what our dinner plans look like this week.
A few notes:
1) I love the Cozi app (which I’ve recommended before). It puts my dinner plans right into my calendar. I’ve been using it for grocery shopping, too, though I haven’t used their meal planning services. This is a screenshot.
2) I don’t work on Fridays so I usually do my grocery shopping (writhing toddler in tow.) My meal plan goes Friday-Thursday.
3) I was going to make dinner Saturday but ended up just grazing at book club. I made a butternut squash dip with tahini and date molasses out ofJerusalem, my latest cookbook obsession. (The eggplant recipe is also from there.)
4) We were exhausted by the aforementioned writhing toddler and decided to take the whole family (even the dog) to the beach yesterday. Dinner ended up being El Pollo Loco. And I’m fine with that. Though now I have three eggplants that need cooking. (The lamb is in the freezer anyway).
5) I get home pretty late on weeknights (after 7) so dinner is usually simple simple simple. The kids don’t always eat with us, either – Nuni usually eats at her after school program (or with my mom, who picks her up two days a week), and I usually feed Bootsy something as soon as I get home so we can get him to bed. He’s a big fan of leftovers – last week’s favorite was barley risotto with feta (also from Jerusalem).
Photo: Christie Cook Photography
1. From the archives:
Father’s Day is this weekend and if the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach then the way to my man’s heart is through pie. I think Ken is going to be presented with his favorite plum pie.
2. Listen to this:
In the battle of classical composers, I’ve always been a Mozart girl, and anyone who has ever seen Amadeus knows that his final Requiem is pretty compelling. I’ve loved it ever since I sang the Requiem in college, and now I’m minorly obsessed with this version of the Confutatis sung by the band Las Rubias del Norte.
3. Retail Therapy:
My friend Cynthia knows high fashion (she has a hobby of buying and selling Hermes handbags) and she recently launched the plus-sized fashion site and marketplace Abbey Post. If you are looking for that special outfit or have one to sell, check it out!
4. Don’t confuse a buckle and a slump:
With summer stone fruit season coming into its own, many people could use a refresher on the difference between a grunt, a crisp and a cobbler. This rant from Slate reminds us of what a cobbler is, and more importantly, what it is not (hint: if it doesn’t look like cobblestones, it’s not a cobbler!)
5. Don’t skip this PSA.
With summer pool season in full swing, please read this article: How to Recognize Drowning. Then share it with everyone you know. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death among children under 15, and this might just save a child’s life.
Bonus #1:. I love these Fairy Tales for the Modern Woman. My favorite? “Once upon a time a woman was very good at her job, and she knew she had added value to the company she worked for, so even though she was nervous, she talked to her boss, and asked for a raise, and she got it.
Bonus #2: I am amused by this tumblr listing Library of Congress summaries of children’s books. Makes you wonder what we are reading to our children.
Bonus #3: I’ve thought Henry Cavill was cute since I watched those first three episodes of The Tudors (After the first three I got a little bored because I knew how it was going to end) but seeing him in all the promo photos for Man of Steel has made me develop a full-blown crush. For the ladies (or gents who may be interested), here is some eye candy. You’re welcome.
My baby boy has just turned one, and I have no clue how that happened. Just last week he was a tiny little warm bundle, whose floppy body fit – just exactly – into mine. His head smelled like powder and was covered with just the whisper of soft peach fuzz. He slept (and woke!) every two hours, and I was his sun.
I blinked and suddenly he’s walking around the house like a bear on his hind legs. Often with something dangerous – a fork, a length of jump rope, a permanent marker – clutched tight in one grubby little paw. He has the most delightful sly little smile, which is slower to come than it used to be, unless there is something TRULY exciting, which must also be shouted at and banged upon – like a drum, or a dog. He likes to tell jokes, and he wants to know what everything in the world is called, pointed and gesturing, and always saying, “que?” “que?” The peach fuzz is still strawberry blond, but has lengthened into curls – CURLS, which hurt my heart to look at, because WHAT is more darling than a little boy toddling around with blond curls? When he wakes up in the morning, he goes hunting for his sister, who is the MOST fun person in his world. He’s not a baby any more.
As if to squelch any doubt remaining in my mind about the end of his babyhood, the cruel calendar came round to May, and his babyhood year (why only one year?) was officially over. Toddlerhood is officially here, with all the joys that entails (stairs! And talking!)
So we made cake. And because I’m busy chasing the little blond monster all over creation, I didn’t fool around with layers and creaming, and baking and frosting. I made icebox cake.
Continue reading Lemon Blueberry Icebox Cake