As Cathy so eloquently navigates on her site, cooking in New York City isn’t exactly a given/mandatory act, or certainly not the way it would be in a place that doesn’t have umpteen restaurant and take-out options in a four block radius. It very much a choice, something one opts to do out of interest in choosing what goes into their mouths in a place that makes it really easy to forgo this choice. Honestly, it’s not uncommon to look at an apartment in New York City and exclaim “Awesome! They just renovated the kitchen!” only to learn that new cabinets and appliances were put in two tenants ago, but neither got to turning on the oven. (Ahem.)
Every morning, I wake up and I have to remind myself that it is not spring yet. I push past all of the cute spring clothes I’ve overeagerly purchased and reach for one of the sweaters and lined pants I swear I have worn ten hundred thousand times since September and I was tired of them then: It’s not spring yet. I read food blogs from people in Paris and San Francisco, fawning over the new strawberries and colorful produce at their farmers’ markets and go to ours and see the same cabbage and potatoes (though I’m crossing my fingers for ramps today) as before: It’s not spring yet. And I honestly don’t know why I would expect to be spring in the first week of April when it is never spring in New York during the first week of April but still, I have never been more impatient for the world to warm up around me.
Here’s a typical Deb story for you: Still making my way through my awesome bean sampler from Rancho Gordo, I decided to conquer the flageolet beans next–they’re the ones that look like miniature white kidney beans, about half of which have the prettiest pale green hue. Since they’re often used in cassoulet, but I find traditional cassoulet to be way too heavy and fatty for my tastes, I started scheming my way to a delicious vegetarian version, keeping the mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery), thyme, tomato, garlic, etc. but nixing the duck let confit, pork fat and garlic sausages. I looked at half a dozen recipes, taking notes, keeping this, skipping that, and when I told my fellow cooking geek my plan, she said, “oh, you mean like the Vegetarian Cassoulet from the March Gourmet?”
- It only took us four months, but we have finally set up a store where those of you who are interested can buy prints of our photos. We ordered a couple of prints a few weeks ago to verify that the quality was what we had hoped, and were pleased with the results. We hope that you will be too. We’ve uploaded some of our favorite photos, but if there are any photos from our Flickr page or from this site’s archives that you’d like to purchase, just let us know and we’ll add it to the store. Unfortunately, you will find that many of our older pictures are not big enough to yield more than a small print–believe me, we’re kicking ourselves too! [The Smitten Kitchen Photo Store]
Thanksgiving usually marks the end of my yearly fall fanaticism, and the beginning of the inevitable resignation to winter that goes into full-swing after the New Years. I’m no longer obsessed with the myriad of fall flavors, its squashes and medium-body soups and wines, I just want to stay warm. I hibernate, so to speak. I start cooking meals at home with more regularity; I find excuses to stay in.
I know this sounds like the tiniest of triumphs in a world of people who have respectable accomplishments to be proud of, but nonetheless, it brings me great pleasure to announce that I have found a pumpkin soup that meets my approval.
Yes, I know, who talks about pumpkin soup in November? It seems like strictly an October affair. Pumpkins crowd the markets, and the people gather round with an evil glint in their eyes, eager to carve them up and roast their innards, mwa-ha-ha. You can barely turn your head without finding another half dozen pumpkin recipes, and oh, I know, I’ve spread my share around.
A small miracle happened in our apartment this week: we paid someone to clean it, and seriously, you could lick the floors [but of course, really shouldn’t for a reason that rhymes with Shmatatouille, not that I really want to get into it].
I have spent too much of my adult life trapped in this faux-Buddhist state of thou shalt clean thy own messes; it’s good for you, I reasoned. Cleaning should be a Zen experience. Please, stop laughing. Quit it.