Thursday, May 26, 2011

strawberry basil sorbet

one giant scoop

For many of us Memorial Day signifies the official start of Summer. And while our calendars tell us that Summer doesn’t really kick off for another few weeks, in my mind it has already arrived. Strawberries have arrived at the farmers’ market.

I look to strawberries to signal Summer’s approach, and as soon as they appear at the farm stand, I proclaim it to be summer and proceed with all kinds of strawberry shenanigans. Last year they were added to a blueberry pie (technically making it strawberry blueberry pie), were introduced to buttermilk granita, and folded into a dimply buttermilk cake. The year before, they played a leading role in a shortcake production.

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

asparagus caesar salad

asparagus caesar salad

Poor Caesar salad. For the remainder of Spring and all of Summer it’s filed away, not once remembered. We think of it only when the weather turns on us – cold rain becomes an everyday thing, sweaters and scarves emerge, and we put away iced coffee and leave home clutching our thermal mug full of the hot stuff.

I, for one, lament this unceremonious Caesar salad dismissal. I miss the emulsion of lemon, garlic, Parmesan, anchovy, and olive oil, and could eat it practically every day. I’ve been known to make this slurry and slather it on a thick piece of country bread. It’s so good, so potent, so unapologetically bold – it’s not some small-time vinaigrette, delicately coating your salad leaves.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

strawberry rhubarb banana bread

strawberry rhubarb banana bread

To think that this strawberry-banana bread was a result of an injury – might seem a bit far-fetched, but it is absolutely true. An injury that occurred almost one year ago, from which I’m still sporting a bone bruise, and what is probably permanent ankle swelling from the trauma. This clearly is price I pay for an idea that’s going into my regular rotation. I’ll take asymmetric ankles any day, even if that means favoring pants in lieu of dresses to hide the unsightly thing.

How did I get myself into this pickle? This was a classic case of wrong place, wrong time. A woman slammed a door on my foot while I was trying to get a strawberry-banana smoothie. There, now you know the origin. As for those other questions you might have, like “Why would she slam a door on your foot?” or “How hard must one slam a door to inflict what seems to be permanent damages?” – I’ll answer briefly. The woman didn’t do it intentionally, which doesn’t make her actions any less wrong – she was simply not paying attention to me and was yelling at her toddler twins who were strapped into one of those twin strollers. In a fit of exasperation, she slammed the door – and my foot just happened to be there (ouch!). As for the second question – well, she was angry. I yelped in pain, she apologized profusely, but I could barely pay attention to her – my foot immediately turned myriad different colors; there was even a trickle of blood.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

roasted rhubarb with vanilla and rose syrup

roasted rhubarb with vanilla and rose syrup

These days, if you find yourself at the green market, you’ll hardly remember the cold days that are not-so-long behind us. Gone are the Saturdays when our only options were tubers and root vegetables. Suddenly the market is alive! There is plenty of green, new scents, new stalls. The overwintered leeks, the delicate new salad greens, asparagus, ramps! In no time we will see (and smell!) the first of the strawberries – these will be truly magical weeks when you’ll be tempted to eat your berries before you get home from your weekly trip.

But favorite spring moment at the greenmarket isn’t when I spy the first strawberries of the season, or the first green spears of asparagus. It’s when I find rhubarb, green with hot pink hues, firm and sturdy, piled high. Most people grab a few stalks satisfied with their bounty, but me – I get several pounds at a time, greedily stuffing my bags with the tart fruit.

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Monday, May 9, 2011

pickled ramps

pickled ramps

A few weeks ago, I was catching up with my parents on the phone. The conversation went a little bit like this, “So, I just got back from the market and ramps are back in season!”

Silence.

I tried again. “So, like I said, I picked up some eggs and milk and potatoes, and also ramps are back, and I’m going to pickle them, so I’m excited about that.”

My mother spoke up, “What are ramps?” she asked me in Russian. My dad piped in, “Never heard of ramps. How do you say in Russian?”

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Thursday, May 5, 2011

orange poppyseed scones

orange poppy scones

It’s been quite a busy week and with all the time I’ve been putting in the kitchen, I’m going to keep this post short. No long stories to regale you with, just a quick reminder that Mother’s Day is upon us – and I, for one, wish that Andrew’s and my moms were close by this weekend so we could make them a lovely brunch in celebration of the most important job they’ve ever had – taking care of their kids.

But we’re here in Brooklyn and our moms are in Boston. So it’s kind of an IOU to both of them. Moms – we love you and miss you and just want to say thanks on the interwebs!

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