My mother called Thursday night just as my friends and I were about to sit down to a huge Thanksgiving feast. In New York, three hours ahead of us, her meal was long over.
“How was it?” I asked.
“Delicious! But we forgot the green beans in the microwave, and the creamed onions on the stove. I didn’t even realize it until we were done eating,” she confessed. “Can you believe that?”
Yes, I could. This happened once before on Thanksgiving—my mother reheated the turnips at the last second when she realized they’d gotten cold. We proceeded to stuff our faces with the rest of the 7,452 sides on the table and didn’t discover the turnips in the microwave until it was time for dessert.
I got off the phone and told everyone about what just happened to my mother’s creamed onions. That’s when I realized… Read More…
I started drinking coffee when I was five years old. Half milk, half coffee, lots of sugar. In my sippy cup. It may be the reason I am so much shorter than both of my parents.
But I loved it—I loved the sweet milkiness and the warm comfort of my sippy cup. I loved reaching for a toothpick when the milk skin would plug up the tiny holes of the cup’s spout. I loved that I was given this “adult” treat in the morning. It felt special.
My mother is very particular about her coffee, which may be why she understood that her young kids would want it: Because a morning doesn’t start off right without a nice hot cup of coffee. Read More…
I’m baaaaack! With no excuse for my absence. All I can say is: Here’s to hoping that with the summer and all of its frenzy winding to a close, I can make this a more regular activity. But we’ll see. I know better by now to make a blog promise I can’t keep.
For now: Lemon thyme ice cream.
Let me start by saying: It is HOT in Portland right now (which, for us, is in the mid-90s). It rained like winter all throughout July and now here we are in the fall wondering if time has rolled back a few months.
Thanks to the arrival of Summtember, cold treats are now in high demand. In the last two weeks alone, Martin and I plowed through all 30 popsicles I made after developing a crush on THIS AMAZING COOKBOOK (which, side note, I highly recommend). So last night, with a distinct lack of popsicles in the freezer—and zero fresh fruit on hand for new ones—I decided: WE NEED ICE CREAM. Read More…
I have so many stories in the docket, and yet I’m not ready to share them. Right now, amid the horror that Japan is experiencing right now, it feels trivial to be writing about the pleasures of food and the memories those pleasures have brought me. I spent the first four days after the earthquake and tsunami glued to the news coverage, followed then by a state of panic over the Cascadian subduction zone off of Oregon’s coast that experts say is going to do some serious damage sometime in the next 50 years.
Martin and I made a pact to give up meat for Lent. Not that either of us is a religious person, but both of us have, you know, plumped up quite a bit over the last two years and we figured we might as well give the meatless thing a try.
We also tossed in a “no alcohol” challenge for good measure, but quickly dialed it back to “nothing but homebrew,” because I mean, really, how could we let the best beer in Portland go to waste? Read More…
“Everyone seems to have such strong memories associated with food.” A coworker of mine observed this after a meeting of our weekly writers’ group. Our task had been to write a series of six-word stories about family—and most of us ended up writing stories related to food. “Why is that?” Read More…
(If you missed the first part: Chocolate pudding, part I)
The chocolate pudding has thus far been a disaster.
Or, not a disaster exactly, but I certainly did not have the outcome I’d hoped for.
What I’d hoped for:
- The Jell-O chocolate pudding would be exactly what I remember having as a kid—mild yet smooth and chocolatey—and the very taste would immediately transport me back 22 years to lying on my parents’ bed with my dad, watching the 49ers knock out the Broncos in what is still the most uneven win in Super Bowl history.
- My homemade version would be just as smooth and delicious as the processed Jell-O version—with the same light chocolate touch—but much, much better.
What really happened was a little different. Read More…
Much like Picasso had his Blue Period, my mother had a Risotto Phase. Every Saturday for what felt like a year, we ate risotto.
“Risotto, again?!” I can still hear my 13-year-old ungrateful self whining about my mother’s menu planning choices. I hated it. Shrimp risotto. Squash risotto. Who-knows-what risotto. If it was in the fridge, it eventually became risotto. “I hate risotto! It’s gross!”
Of course, now that I am in the process of becoming my mother, I love risotto and I make it damn near weekly (I guess this is Risotto Phase II?). I can see why it was her go-to meal: it’s easy, fast and you can make it with almost anything you might happen to have on hand, as long as you’ve got arborio rice, stock of some variety and Parmesan cheese. A little dry white wine doesn’t hurt, either. To make a risotto, essentially, is to prolong the inevitable trip to the supermarket. Read More…