Food Stories


Tomatoes laid out before baking

Love apples

I sometimes measure the success of my summer by the number of tomato sandwiches I eat. Few things capture the essence of the season better. (Except perhaps a white peach. Or grilled, buttered corn. Or fresh blackberries with cream.) A really good tomato is like a vivid, voluptuous expression of the sun.


Photos by Randazzo Blau

​Lovage

All you need is lovage

Among the first plants to flourish in my garden come spring is lovage (Levisticum officinale). Known to the French as céleri bâtarde, “fake celery,” this stalk-less leafy herb does have a very similar green, slightly salty flavor with a pleasant hint of bitter.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston
Cooking lamb ragu with peppers

Looking good

You have undoubtedly heard the phrase “you eat with your eyes.” To a great extent, this is true. Otherwise, cooks and chefs alike would disband with plating and garnishing food in an appetizing way. On the other hand, some have such an avid following they don’t bother with appearances.

A one-of-a-kind pastrami soup

Last month, husband Stephen came to me and suggested that we try to make pastrami.

Pastrami is a beef brisket that is brined (for 10 days!), then crusted with spices, smoked to 150°, and then steamed to 203°. When he described it to me, it seemed like an enormous amount of work, and it also seemed like an enormous amount of fun.


TRR photos by Laura Silverman
Quick breads can contribute to any meal, sweet or savory, from breakfast to dinner.

Loafing Around

When you’re dreaming of cake but short on time, the answer is quick bread. Leavened with baking powder or baking soda, these easily assembled and quick-to-rise batters range from sweet to savory, dense to crumbly.


TRR photo by Laurie Stuart
Husband Stephen and I eat most of our meals out of hand-built bowls by the late Cecily Fortesque. They are such a wonderful shape and feel—which adds comfort to the meal.

Linguine with white clam sauce

One of the challenges of our hectic lives is preparation of family meals that are quick and relatively inexpensive. With that in mind, pasta with white clam sauce is one of my go-to recipes.

I use canned clams, because they are easy and they are a consistent product.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston
Crispy baked gnocchi alla Romana with rosemary

No nookie

When you work in a shop that specializes in the foods of a foreign country, as I did for 10 years, you often run into customers who aren’t quite sure how to pronounce an ingredient or product they want to purchase.

TRR photos by Laurie Stuart

Homemade spaghetti and meatballs served with Brussels sprouts make for a comforting and nutritious combination.

Spaghetti and meatballs: A comforting combination

When I was a girl, I loved making spaghetti sauce. The recipe was simple: brown one pound of ground beef, add onion flakes, one can of tomato paste, two small cans of tomato sauce, some water (rinsing out all three cans), one teaspoon each of oregano, basil and garlic powder, some salt and pepper and a bay leaf.

TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Resolutions

I’ve never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, partly because I could never think of something substantial-sounding, and I didn’t think I’d remember I’d made a resolution in the first place.

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