Fancy that!

16 February 2012

marinated olives with meyer lemon, coriander and bay

roasted almonds with rosemary and sage

piccolo antipasto of broccoli and anchovy toasts, carrot ribbons, chard and roasted red cabbage with raisins and pinenuts

overnight pork shoulder with marjoram, a turned potato, foraged chanterelles and roasted shallots

Eden’s lettuces

pink lady apple crostata with honey from our bees and creme fraiche


Simple and good, part deux

15 February 2012

poached eggs with polenta, bitter greens, chili oil and a browned leek

Parmigiano Reggiano on the table

Eden’s lettuces and watermelon radishes

a “practice” apple crostata for tomorrow’s fancy dinner

“Saint Stephen with a rose, In and out of the garden he goes” — Robert Hunter



A haiku inspired by the morning walk:

Lo, bird on the grass!

Your tune, a scrape of metal.

Alert, staccato.

14 February 2012

Valentine’s Day

oranges, blood red beets and roasted radicchio with shallots and hazelnuts

butternut squash tortellini with balsamic vinegar, brown butter, Parmigiano Reggiano and sage

homemade armagnac prune hot cocoa with honey from our bees

The kitchen soundtrack: “No Compassion” by the Talking Heads and “St. Stephen” by the Grateful Dead

Bobby Previte and Andrea Kleine

Simple and good

13 February 2012

pan fried chicken breast with Eden’s spicy mizuna, a little potato and a lemon wedge

a platter of boiled asparagus and cauliflower romanesco

Judy’s rocky road clusters

Special thanks to Judy Marcus for a nostalgic treat

From the Sunday market

Make-A-Pizza Party!

10 February 2012

Eden’s lettuces

wood oven + pizza dough + toppings:

tomato sauce, red onion, roasted broccoli, bacon, prosciutto, chanterelle mushrooms, hot pepper, lemons

mozzarella, pecorino pepato, Parmigiano Reggiano and ricotta salata

red wine poached pears with pine nut and rosemary biscotti

Special thanks to Bianca Sparta and Dustin Clark for hard work, laughs and delicious cookies

“I wanted to make you a diamond (by squeezing a piece of coal, like Superman) but it didn’t work.” — Bobby Previte

Last night, on a challenge, I forbade myself a trip to the grocery store.  Then, pen in hand, I proudly scratched my way to a menu that I baptized “vaguely thematic”.

Because I wanted my beggar’s purses to come out of the oven at just the right time, I planned to assemble them fifteen minutes before we sat down to eat the first course and pop them straight into the oven.  Feeling virtuous, in that “I’m-really-making-this-work” sort of way, I tore into the box of phyllo dough that’s days of residence out number my own, only to discover that its contents were positively polka dotted with mold.

I looked up at the clock, trying not to panic, then gazed deeply into the bowl of artichoke filling, as if it held a solution.

I remembered the wheel of tart dough in the freezer.

I looked at it, unwrapped it, said a prayer and even thought about putting it in the microwave; and I knew I couldn’t do that.  I pressed on it firmly with my warm hands, thinking that I might be able to defrost it with sheer will, but it was frozen rock solid.  I pretended that the problem was solved for a few moments, then sadly slipped the dough back into the freezer.

I didn’t even have enough butter to make a new dough.  In a flash of desperation, I leaned over the computer and quickly typed the phrase “olive oil tart dough” into the search engine and clicked on the first link that came up.  Then, I barked to myself, “Ratios. Ratios. Ratios.  Look at the ratios.  Recipe. Recipe. Recipe.  Look at it.  Make it.  Turn up the oven.”

In about five minutes, I made and rolled out the tart dough.  I chilled it for slightly less than ten minutes, assembled a rustic gallette, brushed it with the small amounts of butter and cream I had left, then chucked it in the oven.  It wasn’t the best dough I’ve ever made, but it baked faster than a butter dough, had a nice, crispy bottom and even exhibited some tenderness after it rested a while.  It was so much better than I hoped it would be.

I would love to re-evaluate my efforts this morning with a slice of tart, but there aren’t any left.

9 February 2012

potato and beets with sieved egg, pickled chilies and horseradish mayonnaise

artichoke, onion and goat cheese tart with a salad of foraged chickweed and watercress, parsley, mint and radish

left over persimmon sorbet

“The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real.” — Marge Piercy

In between courses, we traveled with our wine back into the kitchen.  We were drinking something white from Orvieto, a hilltop city in Umbria where all three of us have been at some point in time.  The wine, simple yet somehow ambrosial, reminded me of my morning walk in the woods, where even the shade seemed to smell cleanly of moss.

I chatted with Bobby and Andrea while making the carbonara.  We discussed the finer points of the dish in detail because they like to make it at home, too.  And Bobby kindly finished grating the pecorino for me after I managed to grate my knuckle and ran for a band-aid.

Though we’ll be knee-deep in artists by the middle of the month, I’m savoring the fat of this particular kind of interaction.  I didn’t feel like I was “feeding” myself and the two other artists in residence —  we were in conversation about food, creativity, music and distant lands as we migrated from room to room.  There just happened to be some delicious pasta.

8 February 2012

a chicken liver toast with fried rosemary and capers, roasted cauliflower with lemon and hot pepper, radishes and celery root with meyer lemon

spaghetti alla carbonara

kamut spaghetti with pancetta, egg, pecorino and black pepper

sorbet of persimmons from Montalvo’s Italianate Garden

“Do you wish to be seen, because I see you,” I quipped to the chanterelle whose ruffles poked through the leaves.

7 February 2012

vegetarian borscht with sour cream, scallions and dill

flat iron steak with herbed butter, chanterelles, butter lettuce and garlic rubbed toasts

slice navel oranges with honey from our bees

An Indian dinner for painter, composer and friend, Christian Muthspiel

6 February 2012

spicy carrot and fennel soup with spiced butter, scallions and lime


crispy lentil wafers

bhatura chole

chickpea stew with turnips, their greens and fried breads

ghobi aloo sabji

curried cauliflower romanesco and potatoes

basmati rice with cardamom, caraway and bay

mint raita

mint and garlic yogurt

Special thanks to Devin Rubinstein for kitchen assistance and bread frying prowess

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