During the summer, it’s easy to drift into your own world enjoying long days and longer weekends, but there was an intensity to this July that didn’t allow for easy disconnect. There was tragic and terrifying news , too soon goodbyes, and on a personal note – friends facing unthinkable and unexpected challenges. On the other extreme, I got to spend last Sunday at City Hall with two other friends who’d just won the literal lottery, allowing them to make it official after 27 years on the first day that it was legal to do so in New York City. Swinging between high anxiety, deep sympathy, and pure excitement, I couldn’t say the news has been all good or all bad but the past few weeks, I’ve been constantly reminded just how fragile it all is, or maybe it was the heat making everything tremble. Read more
With the days a blur of pollen and rain showers and my 200th post coming up, I thought it would be a good time to take a break, update my site and catch-up on my reading. ABC New recently posted a list of recent cookbooks on Latin cuisine and I can’t decide if I want to start with Nirmala’s Edible Diaryby Nirmala Narine, Jose Pizarro’sSeasonal Spanish Food – a finalist for this year’s Julia Child IACP award for a first book, or Daisy Martinez’s latest – Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night (click here for her interview with A Chica Bakes). I’ll probably go with The Brazilian Kitchen by Leticia Moreinos Schwartz because it’s because it’s been leading my wish list since I tried her recipe for coconut brigadeiros last month. There have also been some interesting one ingredient articles. Now that the weather is fit for wandering, I plan on seeking out new markets and sources to include here. Apart from last week’s look at cilantro, which always elicits strong opinions, John Willoughby’s Pimentón: It’s Spanish for ‘Better Than Paprika’ had me triple checking the denominations of my paprika, and I’m still not sure what the Indian spice asafetida does but can’t wait to find out. That’s my spring break plan – cooking, reading, and shopping. I’ll be back next week, still hungry and with a lot to talk about, unless I decide to ditch it all for sunbathing, flirting with Ivy Leaguers, and bebop. Stay tuned.
I had resolved to take a dessert break last week but made an exception for this batch of Mexican Chocolate Crackle Cookies from The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet. They were made on request to take as a gift so I wasn’t tempted for long, though the box did go out 1 or 2 or 3 light. Similar to nutty Mexican polvorones known as wedding cookies here, the recipe calls for added chocolate, coffee, and optional ancho chile powder. Though the recipes in the book are pretty foolproof, I didn’t think the chile could only be optional if they were to give an authentically Mexican kick to the crackles. Read more