Cooking For Sig

A Sous Chef and Her Stories

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The Birthday Post

imageWednesday was my office birthday. You know, that day when your coworkers surprise you with flowers, a card, and a box full of ridiculously awesome pastries from a local bakery? Oh, your office mates don’t do that? You should probably just submit your resignation now. Because I’m telling you, office birthdays are THE BEST and everyone deserves one. Even better than the sweets and flowers, birthdays in my office also come with a special birthday question, compliments of my boss. I knew the question was coming, so I prepared as best I could, by trying to summon up memories of birthdays past. Continue reading


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Egg Noodles and Boozy Chicken

IMG_1573For Tuesday night’s dinner I unearthed a recipe I haven’t used in years. And I think I’ve only cooked it once, for our friend Aaron (and maybe my mom?) when Matt and I were living on Shepard street, just outside Harvard Square. It’s the only recipe I have that calls for juniper berries, which means that I am still using the same jar of junipers that I bought many years ago for the last time this dish was made. Clearly, I am not one of those people who diligently disposes of herbs and spices on a regular basis and replaces them with fresh ones. I’ve heard the shelf-life for most spices is about a year if you want them to be pungent and bright. I’m mildly ashamed to tell you that my jar of cardamom pods has outlived three apartments. I just can’t bring myself to throw edible (if not quite fresh or good) food away. Continue reading

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The Matt Chronicles: French Stuff

cassouletMatt and I honeymooned in France. We spent the first half of our trip exploring Normandy, including the beaches, cemeteries, and museums that commemorate the soldiers who lost their lives on D-Day. Romantic, no? Well, for us, it was pretty perfect. (Kind of like when we went to Hawaii and spent 5% of our time at the beach and 95% of our time learning about the history and culture of the island.) Lest you think we spent our whole honeymoon entrenched in the study of death and war, don’t worry. We also saw Mount Saint-Michel when the water was high, which was something straight out of a fairy tale. A tiny turreted village with a monastery perched atop and a labyrinth of alleys and doorways weaving their way toward the summit. We explored the Loire valley, touring the chateaux and drinking local wine, and ended in Pairs. Ah, Paris. It was beautiful, perfectly beautiful.  Continue reading

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A Wedding and A Recipe

gumbo potEver since dad died and mom sold our house and moved to Maine, I knew I would never be able to go home again, at least not home as I had known it. There would be no bedroom waiting for me and no family meals around our old kitchen table. I wouldn’t be headed home for Thanksgiving to catch up with all my childhood friends. Of course I would visit my mom in her studio apartment in Maine and of course I would visit Boston every once in a while and stay with a friend or a relative, but it would never be “home” the way it once was. But this weekend, I was proven wrong. Matt and I stayed with my cousin Anna in her one-bedroom apartment in the North End. She gave us her bed, with fresh sheets and a set of towels at the foot. It was a cozy and happy home base. We were in town for the wedding of one of my very best friends. I knew it would be fun, I knew I would see lots of people that I hadn’t seen in a long time, but I was not expecting a homecoming. And yet, that’s exactly what it felt like, being surrounded by so many people with whom I’ve shared so much of my life. I was home for a few hours – not because of the house or the city, but because of the people. Continue reading

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For the Birds

jerkTonight, Matt and I are eating jerk chicken for dinner, which I’ve been making for years. I used to cheat and use a bottled sauce, but ever since I discovered the glories of homemade jerk, I will never go back. Habanero, fresh ginger, garlic, and scallions. The house smells like the Caribbean and the warm September weather has me tricked into believing that summer has just begun. Continue reading

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The Proverbial Chicken Soup

soupTonight I am returning to routine, preparing to wake up to an alarm, and trying to remember how to survive a 9 hour workday. It was a beautiful last day of funemployment in Washington. Fifty-five degrees when I went for my morning run. It warmed into the low seventies, with a light breeze, and full sun. I opened our windows and the music and buzz of conversation from the annual neighborhood street festival drifted in. It felt like fall and a warm bowl of chicken noodle soup struck me as the perfect back to school dinner. Continue reading