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Posts from the ‘General’ Category

Catching Up in Winter

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It has been a long time since I’ve written one of these catch up posts. It’s probably only because we’re deep into the snow-globe months that I’m able to now.  Seeing the links I’ve flagged over the last few weeks, it’s clear that each one has been an escape from black and white (or blue) days:

Since virtual travel is my only option these days, I’ve been spending a lot of time getting lost in Roads & Kingdoms. There’s an amazing scale to the photographs and balance in the stories that’s really lovely.  This Colombia’ Bloom Boom story is just one example.

I also loved reading this story about Puerto Rican chefs, purveyors and activists reinventing farm to table in the tropics (via the New York Times).  I had no plans to visit but this has me plotting a return.  In the meantime, there’s this Saveur round up of recipes from the island.

I’ve never had a problem with French waiters. I personally enjoy their polished but short-fused manners. But if you do, this article in their defense provides some context for the haughtiness.

Trying to go beyond understanding to actually making myself understood, I’ve been flipping through the Farm to Table French Phrasebook by Victoria Mas. It’s my latest attempt to build on the spotty movie French I’ll likely never use with some solid food French that I absolutely will.

I stop to read anything by or about Patti Smith but this brief interview in Medium ended with a surprisingly powerful description of her mother and her famous potato salad.

I rarely want to go out when it’s this ugly-cold which means I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about changing up anything and everything in my apartment – #cabinfevermakeover.  For inspiration, I’ve been looking here, also here, and sometimes here. When it’s time to actually time to do something about it, I’ll want to go here but will most likely end up here.

I’m also obsessing over DIY/start from scratch projects. I keep pricing pasta makers then remind myself in Carroll Gardens you’re always a block and a half away from freshly made pasta by people who know what they’re doing.  Low tech tortellinis,  however, are still on my list.  Tasting Table has been putting out great videos lately but this tutorial featuring Giovanni Rana has become a favorite.

Everyone was talking about the dress last week but it seemed like minor news compared to the discovery of tetrachromats among us, capable of seeing 100 million colors at once. I can’t imagine what that must be like but the incredible exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic gave me some idea of what it could look like.

Finally, it’s Lent but I haven’t decided what I should give up (though apparently I’m in good company).  My sister Carmen is doing a #somethingbeautiful series on instagram this year. I’m always amazed at the quiet moments she captures – especially when she hits Brooklyn. You can follow here.

Pascal’s Manale Bread Pudding

Pascal's Manale_IMG_4393I can’t decide if this post is too early or too late for Mardi Gras.  I’ve always associated bread pudding with Lent for some reason although there is nothing ascetic about pudding drowning in butter and bourbon.  While friends’ feeds filled with street scenes from the parades, I spent Sunday morning, on what felt like the coldest day in Brooklyn, standing over an enormous of red beans with smoked sausage and filling an enormous pan with bread pudding. Read more

Dulce de Toronja/Mermelada de Toronja

IMG_4262 Winter may feel endless just now but the season for red pomelos is way too short.  Only a few markets in my neighborhood carry them  and I all but missed them last year.  Sweeter than other varieties with a thick white pitch or albedo, pomelos are perfect for making dulce de toronja and I‘d been waiting all year for them to come back around. Read more

Storybook Ending

IMG_0925I’m known in my family for withholding information.  More absentminded than secretive, I’d forget to tell my parents about field trips, birthday parties, science projects, and even award ceremonies (never for science) until the last possible moment.  On the upside, friends can attest that I’m all vault.  Where it’s not so great is how slow I’ve been to post the good things that have been happening since the release of the The Cuban Table…and there has been a lot of good to share. Read more

Edible Everywhere

Page 1It’s Christmas Eve and I have a bag of sour oranges waiting for me on the counter of my mother’s home in Miami to make the mojo.  My family of 50+ and counting takes turns hosting Nochebuena and this year it fell on us (collectively known as las Peláez) to plan and my cousin Cecilia to host.  Ceci and I used to spend the weeks before Christmas looking for hidden presents after school and now we’re texting each other centerpieces and searching for the least plastic-looking plastic plates at Party City.  It’s been a lot of work but grudging fun.  With each run to find the best turrones or tub of manteca, I can appreciate how much easier it is to plan Cuban Christmas in an essentially Cuban city.  Still, living between New York and Miami, I always have the sense of missing home while being home.  This year I got to write about Bringing a Cuban Christmas -Mojo and All – to Brooklyn for Edible’s joint holiday issue (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, and East End) so in some way I got to experience both at the same time.  Wishing everyone and peaceful and happy Nochebuena!  On a side note, the planning committee nixed my idea for a snow making machine but that will just give me something to look forward to next time around.

Persimmon Hand Pies

IMG_0596The first time I had these persimmon pies I’d just hit send on a major deadline while on a press trip to Tabasco country in Lafayette, Louisiana.  After a sleepless night, I followed the smell of bacon to the Marsh House kitchen where chef and food writer Stanley Dry was making breakfast -chicory coffee, eggs, boudin sausage, fig spiced with fennel and bay leaves, and fried pies filled with persimmon jam.  It was all good, but I’ve always associated the pies with the heady sense of relief I felt that morning.

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The Cuban Table is here!

IMG_3828I am beyond thrilled to announce that The Cuban Table: A Celebration of Food, Flavors, and History is hitting both real and virtual shelves today.  Since our wonderful editor BJ Berti let us know that the finished copies were in the warehouse and on their way a few weeks ago, I imagined receiving them – usually in over-saturated, Doris Day technicolor.  The books would run straight off an assembly line, into a box, and onto a truck that would drop them at my door.  I’d coolly but swiftly rip it open, hand out the books, and and it would be champagne all around.  So many wonderful things have come from this book in the past few weeks that I just needed the one thing that would make it real.  The anticipation was maddening and when the books didn’t come, I took to sad-eying the UPS man when he failed to deliver.  Finally, just a few hours shy of today’s release date, the books arrived and…I wasn’t there.  I came home from a (very un-Doris Day-like) cardio kickboxing class and found the box on my coffee table with a lime green NEW TITLES  sticker splashed across the top and my yorkies yapping furiously around it.  It was later than I’d expected but exactly on time.  Most importantly, it was very, very real. Read more

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