The Modern Nomads

Posted by    |  June 23, 2010  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home

That’s right. We’re relocating.


For those of you who know me only through this website, I should elaborate. This will be our fourth move in 10 years. It’ll be our third relo since starting our family. The sequence goes like this: New York City to San Francisco to Connecticut to Chicago to New York City- or maybe a suburb, but I’m cheering for the city this time. Read more

Life is like a bowl of berries

Posted by    |  June 22, 2010  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home, Ingredients


We had the most decadent breakfast Monday morning.  All it really involved was washing some fruit and serving it in a bowl.  But it was indulgent.

The next two weeks are the apex of berry season.  Strawberries are on the outs.  Raspberries and blueberries are debuting.  For just a brief period of time, they’re all appearing together.  This is the time to eat berries with abandon. Read more

Buttermilk Pancakes

Posted by    |  June 22, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes



Pancakes and bedhead just go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated’s “Best Buttermilk Pancakes” recipe

My mom and I have an ongoing rivalry about simple vs. good food.  I’ve won her over on the superiority of homemade chicken stock and grass-fed beef.  She’s still been pushing back on the breakfast foods.  She routinely treks to Williams-Sonoma for their crepe mix.  She swears by it.  It makes me laugh because, seriously, the ingredients for a great crepe are just flour, eggs, milk, butter and vanilla.  One year for her birthday, I gave her a mason jar filled with flour that I’d labeled “Jill’s Homemade Crepe Mix.”  The instructions specified “Add 3 eggs, 1 C milk, 2 T melted butter and 1t vanilla to ¾ C mix.”

She’s also busted on me about making homemade pancakes.  You know the argument: “Why make them from scratch when the mix is so easy?” I insisted on making these when we were all up at the Lake House for Memorial Day weekend.  Everyone was amazed:  “They’re so light.  They taste so great.  That didn’t take long.”

I TOLD you! Read more

Country Seasoning: Frying Pans Into the Fire

Posted by    |  June 10, 2010  |  Filed under: Food Foibles, Home

The gopher lady's husband

There’s a summer flea market only ¼ mile away from my parent’s lakeside cottage in Michigan.  I’m drawn to its characters and culture.  It’s a sweaty, gritty, oddball lot.  There’s facial hair in lengths I never see elsewhere.  There are a lot of hairy, tattooed, sunburned bare chests.  Few places remain where folks are in less of a hurry.  No one is checking his iphone while you talk about the provenance of a 1970s lamp.  There is a genuine quality to the smiles and conversation that is uniquely endearing. Read more

Cast Iron Pans

Posted by    |  June 9, 2010  |  Filed under: Equipment, Home

Have you ever known a bubbie?  I’m talking about one of those Eastern European grandmotherly types.  Her face reveals the days of joy and sorrow she has lived in its lines and folds.  Her body is sturdy though her movements are deliberate.  Her hands are knowing and confident in all that she does.  Her eyes still twinkle.  She understands so many things you don’t.  She knows you can’t yet understand them.

Cast iron pans are like bubbies.  They’re reliable, versatile, functional.  They’re absolutely beautiful with their dark sheen, dings, and the patina qualities that only come with age and use.  I can’t imagine buying a new cast iron pan from a store.  There are so many floating around garage sales and flea markets.  The older they are the smoother their surfaces and deeper their seasoning.  There’s also a sense of being a part of history- continuing a culinary tradition that someone else began in that pan 50 or 75 years ago. Read more

My Own Farmer’s Market

Posted by    |  June 8, 2010  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home

My Farmer’s Market opened on Monday. It felt like the first day back at school.  I was embarrassingly giddy.  The kids were ecstatic to see what goodies would be laid out on the tables.  There were a few “new kids-” the honey man has his own stall this year and there was a produce vendor I didn’t remember from last year.  I ran into lots of my friends.  I caught up with my farmer friends about the happenings of life during the off-season- weddings, births and natural disasters.  There’s something about this that feels like a homecoming. Read more

Canapés with Walnut Butter, Apples and Aged Gouda

Posted by    |  June 3, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

I’m going to tell you something about myself that will seem very incongruous with what you think you know about me.  Revealing this bit of information forces me to uncover that- deep in my heart- I’m not as gracious as I aspire to be.

I hate bringing food to potlucks.  I hate being asked to bring an appetizer, or side dish or whatever.  That seems weird, doesn’t it?  I mean, I love to cook and I love cooking as a gesture of affection.  What’s my problem? Read more

Drinking With Your Kids

Posted by    |  June 1, 2010  |  Filed under: Foodlife, Home, Recipes

It is finally hot out- truly sweaty, summery hot.  It’s the kind of hot that makes you thirsty.  You know how important it is to keep yourself and your kids hydrated in this kind of weather.  However, most parents turn to sugary or- just as bad- artificially sweetened drinks to whet their little whistles. Read more

The Miracle of Mirepoix

Posted by    |  June 1, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Ingredients, Technique

I’m gonna teach you about something so elementary that it will seem almost silly.  Being in possession of this grand culinary secret will make you feel like a gourmet insider.  It may be what some of you need to leap from recipe slaves to recipe architects. Read more

Walnut Butter

Posted by    |  June 1, 2010  |  Filed under: Home, Recipes

There are many reasons to love walnut butter:  it’s an interesting alternative to ubiquitous peanut butter, it’s rich with Omega-3s, and it’s incredibly versatile.  You’re already sold, right? There’s an even better reason to love walnut butter: it tastes kinda like cookie dough.  Really. Read more