A few weeks ago, I interviewed Fany Gerson for The Latin Kitchen about La Newyorkina on New York’s High Line which has become my favorite stand at one of my favorite city spots over two seasons. I love the way the park cuts into the sky line, but I hadn’t appreciated what the expanding line-up of food stands brings to the space until Fany described seeing her incandescent pops walking along the railway paths. Read more
It’s been coming for awhile, but instagrams are now everywhere. Nostalgia for the present makes sense in the summer and that seems to be the app for it. While I love the effects, there’s something unearned about tapping an icon and adding a 1977 filter to a 2012 happening. As someone who already has a seventies-circa filter coloring their earliest memories, it can be disorienting, erasing the line between then and now. Read more
When it’s warm, I miss the cold and when it’s cold I miss the warmth, though I miss my Snoopy sno-cone machine more than both combined. This weekend I tired out different granizado recipes for a Devour post armed with little more than a metal pan and a fork. I never get the results I want from my ice maker and there are worse places to spend a boiling New York summer day than half in the freezer. Loading up on guava, passion fruit, and mango pulp from a nearby market, I headed home and started mixing. Read more
Some days, Manhattan’sChinatown could pass for Miami’s Little Havana. I have better luck finding tropical produce there than some of the smaller bodegas or upscale markets where a few tiny specimens are overpriced and undersold. A couple of weeks ago, I took the long way home, working my way through the East Village going along the Bowery to Canal St. where the fruit carts are piled high with pitayas, sapotes, and fresh guavas. Coming across a stack of carambola, I heard music. Read more
I usually write about what goes in the pot, on the table, or fills the bowl. This post is about the bowl and where to find it. I’ve always found interesting things in my neighborhood – gadgets, housewares, and yes bowls. Shopping in Brooklyn stores is a unique experience. Relatively small, most shops have their own aesthetic with a limited but well thought out selection. Excited or bored, helpful or indifferent, there’s always the likelihood that the salesperson is also the owner/designer/artist/buyer of the merchandise your casually turning over and commenting on with your friends. It makes you think about what you say, and leave with a goodbye and thank you – like you would in Paris or an Ernst Lubitsch movie. Read more
When the heat broke last week, I thought we’d finally been granted a reprieve from the brutally hot New York summer. Little did I know that it was only recharging. From the number of friends posting screen shots of the weather forecast on Facebook, I know I’m not the only one mildly hysterical at the prospect of a 102° week. At least I had rocket pops on standby.
I didn’t realize what a hard winter we were having until it got warmer this week and everything became SO much easier. I was in a neighborhood shop the other day when someone asked what I’d been up to. My mind drew a complete blank – I couldn’t remember what I’d been up to because I felt like I’d just woken up. We’ve been so storm tossed the past couple of months that it felt like winter was having us. It’s been weeks of face down, boots on and scurrying from one place to another. All that changed overnight – which it always does though I always forget.
Maybe it’s because of the “what I did on my summer vacation” essays, but summer always feels like a project. You’re given 2-3 months to put together a set piece for future memories and expectations are high. Even as an adult, fall blends into winter which blends into spring, but summer stands apart. It’s hard not to spend Labor day weekend thinking about what I did or didn’t get to do. It also marks my 100th post since I started writing this blog, though some days, I’ve felt like it’s been writing me. Still, I love where it’s taken me, and I’m still hungry for more. I wanted to end the season with fresh cava sorbet, a mix of Spanish sparkling wine, strawberries and oranges. It seemed like the right palate cleanser to catch my breath, send off summer and start making plans for fall. Read more
Anyone who has ever chased an ice cream truck, begged for an Italian ice on the way home, or broken their new Snoopy snow cone machine on Christmas morning (still bothers me), will understand how excited I was when my friend sent me this article by pastry cook Gaby Camacho, A Chef Perfects the Paleta of Childhood, from the San Francisco Chronicle. Raised in Tijuana, she sets off in search of the paletas and raspados of her childhood. Remembering flavors like cucumber and lime, rose petals, and tequila, I could understand why she would be nostalgic. As an adult, I’ve stayed away from raspberry blue popsicles and radioactive snow cones, but I love the idea of making them with fresh ingredients from home. Trying the raspado de tamarindo first, I used all natural tamaring pulp from a nearby bodega to make the syrup. I’ll try it again when I find fresh tamarinds and some of the other combinations she suggests as longs as the heat lasts. It can’t be harder than chasing ice cream trucks.
I love guava in all its forms, but they can be a hard sell. When I was in college and brought back guava pastries from home, I could see my friends’ initial enthusiasm for an authentic Cuban indulgence give way to politeness with the first taste. Rich and sweet, they’re not for everyone. That’s why I was excited to see a recipe for guava sorbet included in Kate Zuckerman’s The Sweet Life: Desserts from Chanterelle, one of my favorite dessert cookbooks. I’d been looking for guavas all winter, but only found them a few weeks ago during a market tour in Chinatown. Less fragrant than red or strawberry guavas, I almost passed them by. Left to ripen for a few days, they made a refreshing sorbet, not at all too rich or sweet by any standard. Read more