Jude's Culinary Journey


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Herb heaven (and haven)

Planning and plotting

I have a small, fenced-in garden just steps from our front porch, making it a breeze to snip a handful of chives to garnish a cherry tomato salad or grab some mint for mojitos when we want a break from margaritas.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

The first chives of the season brave the cold April weather.

Winter, then mud

When my sister, Janet, and I were in Mexico a couple months back, I heard her tell a Californian we had befriended that the season after winter in upstate New York is mud. It certainly seems an appropriate description as I am writing this is in early April.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

The decor at La Olla is bright and appealing.

Comida Corrida

This February my sister Janet and I hightailed it, as many of our friends do, to a warmer climate. We chose Oaxaca, Mexico, a favorite vacation destination for years.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Chicken tajine

February baby

I was born in late February, not by choice, and I’ve never gotten accustomed to the cold as apparently some do when thrust into this world while snow swirls in the streets and the temps hover in the teens.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Spinach and grated parmesan

Tradition!

The first time I had a Christmas tree, I was somewhere in the ballpark of my early 40s. My sister, Janet, and I were renting a house (we would later own) in the Beechwoods area of Callicoon. We had never had a tree before because we are Jewish.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Butternut squash, kohlrabi and red cabbage

A Greek in the woods

I answered the phone to hear a man speaking loudly, not in an angry way, more excited with anticipation. I had trouble understanding him, his accent heavy and exotic, then heard the words, “Zenon Taverna” and realized he had first said, “It’s Stelios.” Then I knew who he was.


TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Raw tomato, basil and mozzarella sauce for pasta

The tomato ceremony

If you are an antsy person, as I am, the wait for the annual planting season can seem interminable. Where we live in Sullivan County, one generally doesn’t put trowel to earth until the first week in June for fear that a stray frost may unexpectedly hit and kill your newly planted herbs and vegetables.


Chicken fricasee with tiny meatballs

Bella

My sister-in-law was visiting, and I brought her up to my bedroom to show her some changes I’d made to the décor. After she’d admired my new acquisitions, she looked down at an old wooden child’s chair on which sat a large, gangly stuffed animal, a monkey. She made a disparaging comment. “That’s Bananas,” I said defensively.


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.


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.

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