November is nearly over and the daily temperatures in DC are still hovering around 65 degrees. You would think the mild weather would keep this Bostonian in t-shirts and short skirts all month long, but I boxed all the summertime clothes up months ago. This is mostly due to the fact that none of them fit me right now (more on that later), but also because I’m eager for fall to begin in earnest. I always love the change in seasons – regardless which season it is – but this year in particular, I’m ready for hot cocoa and chunky sweaters, the hiss and clang of radiators and bottomless batches of chocolate chip cookies. Continue reading
Perhaps you heard that the Pope was in town last week? In typical DC fashion, his visit was preceded by weeks of anxiety around how the heck we would all make it to and from work with the rolling road closures and heavy security. Being a car-less, Metro-less commuter, I could blissfully ignore this preamble and go about my merry way. Until my Wednesday morning run. I was headed up Mass Ave on my usual route, when I was stopped by two policemen at the corner of Rock Creek Parkway. “Ma’am, you need to cross here. You can continue north, but not on this side of the street.” “But that messes with my route,” I heard myself say aloud to the cop, as I dejectedly backtracked a block to Belmont. Continue reading
I think I am officially an adult. Last week Matt and I hosted Thanksgiving and we lived to tell about it. This feels momentous. We had all the fixings: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and the requisite green vegetables to cancel out the mass quantities of cream, butter, and carbohydrates we consumed. I am going to share the dressing recipe with you because frankly, I think it’s perfect. But first, let me share with you some stories of Thanksgivings past, because rumor has it that this holiday really isn’t supposed to be about the food after all. Continue reading
Whenever people discover that I like to cook, the first question they ask is, “Do you have a big kitchen?” I pause. “Well. Um. Not really. No. No, I don’t. I have a narrow double galley with limited counter space.” But as soon as those words are out of my mouth, I immediately launch into an extended explanation of the kitchen’s many benefits. There’s amazing sunlight streaming in through the window. When the weather is nice, I can open the door to the fire escape and let the breeze waft in. The previous owner put in beautiful cabinets with lots of storage, including sliding shelves and a large pantry. There’s granite and stainless steel appliances and it was all very nicely done, but it’s just not what I would have done. Continue reading
Since the end of last week, I’ve been promising Matt jambalaya. But first, I had to find a recipe to use up some old parsnips and then we both had a pizza craving and then I stayed out late with a friend and made Matt fend for himself. So finally on Tuesday, I headed off to work with every intention of making Matt his jambalaya as soon as I got home, when I got a text from one of my closest friends. “I’m going to be in town tonight,” she said, “Can we meet up?” Yes! Yes, of course. While in my head I was thinking, “But I have to make Matt’s jambalaya.” Continue reading
My mother likes to tell the story of the night she went into labor with me. She had been climbing a ladder at a client’s house just a few hours before, installing new drapes and valances in their living room. For dinner that night she and dad had salmon croquettes. And then a little while later her water broke and I arrived just before one in the morning on my due date. It’s a random little string of inconsequential events that she would otherwise never have remembered except that it happened to precede the birth of her only child.
I’m not sure if it’s the repetition of this story throughout my childhood or the fact that my final in utero meal was a salmon croquette, but I have always been incredibly found of all manner of fish cakes. I love the strange chewy Vietnamese fish balls in pho, I adore crab cakes and salt cod croquettes. It had been a long time since I had made fish cakes at home, so I was pretty excited to make a middle eastern inspired cod cake in a spicy, smoky tomato sauce for dinner on Saturday night. I thought they were delicious. Matt thought they were interesting. I wanted to call my mom and tell her that I had one-upped her salmon croquettes, but I didn’t. Continue reading