I think my relationship with New York is steady enough that I can admit we’d recently hit a rough patch. I’d spent so much time away last year that it felt like I was living consecutive winters. It wore me down and I took it out on the city that had become all work. Now that we’re having this beautiful summer, every day comes closer to New York’s song-and-dance ideal and I’m in love again. I even gave in and bought a new bicycle -albeit one that is technically older than I am – a copper colored Schwinn Suburban step-through with an honeywood basket. It’s heavy, impractical and my favorite thing in the world right now. Read more
For years, I’ve heard about the Puerto Rican families gathering in the kitchen during their endless Christmas season to make pasteles and felt a little jealous. Researching and writing about them for Devour felt like a lonely way to go about making what should be a communal recipe. To fill the kitchen, I consulted my cousins and aunt for the traditions surrounding Puerto Rican Christmas, my friend Carmen Rivera whose husband insisted raisins should only be optional, and my market friend Arelys Ocasio who suggested I throw in plantains to the usual blend of guineos and yautia. Jump to Devour to read more. Read more
I saw a reference describing end of summer/start of fall cooking as “valedictory meals”. I prefer to think of this time as a cross-fade. As one season quiets down, another one starts to roar, but for at least a moment they make the same sound. To take advantage of the markets in transition, I made an Argentinian Carbonada Criolla, a heavy beef stew lightened with peaches, pears and corn served in a pumpkin last September. This year I decided to try Mexico’s chiles en nogada. Pork or beef picadillo stuffed into poblano chiles, it’s covered in a chilled, creamy walnut sauce and garnished with pomegranate seeds. Read more
Whenever I think of eating at home, my mind extends to the Cuban restaurants that dot Miami. The tables were filled with people you knew, the waitresses treated you like a grandaughter, affectionate but critical, and the food was definitely home cooking. Masitas de puerco were my order from the first time anyone thought to ask me what I’d like, possibly because I knew exactly what I was getting. A few rounds of “guess what you just ate?” with my grandfather making me nervous about venturing to far from the safe and familiar (typical answers: pig’s brains and blood pudding). It may have been a game but I didn’t always feel like playing.