Usually, I get so caught up during holidays that my celebratory posts don’t appear until around midnight. While it’s been hard to post while I’ve been away, I didn’t want to let the day go by without putting my roundabout father’s day post.
Of course, my father had every reason to expect a boy – they already had a girl after all. Though I rarely met him even halfway (tee-ball, soccer and tennis were disasters), I did prefer Star Wars to Barbie (there was a princess in it), wasn’t squeamish about what went in the frituras de sesos he love to make, and stayed awake during The Right Stuff – so I don’t think he minded too much. A foodie before the word, he gave me sugar cane to cut my teeth on, took me to the docks to buy fish as the boats came in, presented me with meltingly tender Italian prosciutto like it was a visiting dignitary, and charmed a fast melting cooler of Mexican guanabana ice cream through customs. Read more
Beginning next week, I’ll be taking a pretty extensive cookbook research break that will keep me away from this site well into June, so I didn’t want to miss the chance to post one more time. In what might be the most boring premise for a reality television show ever – leading up to any trip, I stop buying food and try to only use what I have on hand. That left me with a few links of chorizo bought for garbanzos, an extra 2 pounds of malanga that never became fritters, and a half bunch of parsley because – well there’s just always parsley.
A couple of springs ago, I went behind the Solber Pupusa stand at Ft. Geene’s Brooklyn Flea to learn how to palmear or shape their famous corn flour cakes. I loved the process of mixing up the dough with my hands, tucking in the filling until it looks like an overstuffed dumpling, then passing it back and forth until it was a smooth disc again. They were like the play-dough cakes I would have made as a kid except they turned into something you’d actually want to eat. The first one weren’t very pretty but they improved with practice. Read more
I just missed the last year’s Brooklyn’s Food Book Fair, so it was loooong wait for it to come around again. This makes it that much more exciting to not only attend but participate at FBF’s Food + Conflict panel with Joan Nathan of the New York Times on Saturday, May 5. I’ve tried to single out a few talks or demos to recommend, but there’s such an incredible diversity of opinion and approach that I don’t know where to start – except to say they all deserve a close read. It’s going to be a great weekend full of not to be missed events – mostly taking place at the Wythe Hotel or Williamsburg mother ship – and nearby venues. If you need extra motivation or are still trying to figure out what to see, here are a few discounts to help you make up your mind. Hope to see you there! Read more
The weather is defrosting, but I spent Sunday half inside my freezer where I found the nearly forgotten bag of moras. Also called Andean blackberries, moras are a little more tart, firmer, and brighter than the blackberries commonly found in the US. I’d picked them up in an amazing Latin American market in Jackson Heights. Well-stocked with incredible variety but hard to get to, I brought back as much as I could carry. A few months later, I’ve barely made a dent in the frozen guavas, jarred loroco, or guasca leaves I stockpiled. I was looking to change this and remembered a dessert my friend’s mother, Mari Ines, made when she was teaching me how to make ajiaco Bogotano. In the time it took her to finish the ajiaco, she simmered the berries in syrup and served them with queso fresco. After calling Mari Ines for the recipes and ratios, I quickly made it for friends that night. There are so many things I’m looking forward to this summer, but in these in between days, it felt good to take advantage of what I already had. Read more
Now that it’s almost over, I can admit that this winter has been hard. It wasn’t the severity but the unpredictability that had me – and almost everyone else I know – on edge. Desperate for any lasting sign of spring, I wrote this short piece on getting through the final weeks for Devour. Last week, in a fit of spring induced optimism, I brought an armful of herbs home from the farmer’s market. I’ve never been great with plants, but seeing them lined up along the windowsill, I’m hopeful that these will be different. Read more
Since I started researching my cookbook, I’ve been almost entirely dependent on the kindness and generosity of friends of friends and near strangers. Whether it’s recipes, or advice, or just a great story, I’m amazed at what people are willing to share when their sharing food. I think it was wanting to bring some of that back into my site that sent me looking for empadinhas at my friend Claudia’s and prompted me to hit up my family for a recipe for capirotada, a Mexican lenten bread pudding. Read more