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It's a gray and rainy day, and I've spent most of it writing and wishing for a steaming bowl of this soup… read more>
It's a gray and rainy day, and I've spent most of it writing and wishing for a steaming bowl of this soup ... cabbage, carrots, potatoes, beef chunks, and ladles and ladles of broth, topped with grated parmesan, a squirt of lime, and accompanied by pieces of crusty bread for those ladles and ladles of broth.
Not long ago I lived in Burlington, VT for a few months. During that time, I developed a love of hiking… read more>
Not long ago I lived in Burlington, VT for a few months. During that time, I developed a love of hiking, gained an appreciation for Joni Mitchell, kind of learned to play pool, trained for a marathon that I did not run, discovered that not all maple syrups are created equal, and met my canine life partner Rocco, a Boston terrier who gave me the best years of his life until this past April when he decided that I was grown up enough to be on my own, and he quietly passed away. That time in Vermont is also when I baked these persimmon tarts for the first time ... with Rocco shadowing my every step as I hovered over a very temperamental oven. Sometimes the best memories are also the saddest, and that's ok.
I'm an island girl who grew up surrounded by bursts of colors. Even the sounds of my childhood exploded with… read more>
I'm an island girl who grew up surrounded by bursts of colors. Even the sounds of my childhood exploded with colors. I spent my youth wrapped in the blanket of the melodies that my mother and her sisters, their mother and her mother, created as they bustled about, mothering, caretaking, cajoling, threatening, crying, laughing, shrieking, singing, cooking, praying, hoping and teaching. Their voices, raised or whispered, radiated green lushness, fire hot reds, golden yellows, cool shades of blues, and in their most fearsome moments, deep black. My memories shimmer in colors, and all of the colors radiate from those women in my life, and nestled at the heart was always a plate of food, then and now. ... Remember the Rain that Made your Corn Grow (Part 1: Gumbo)
I'm asked almost daily why I moved to New Orleans, and my responses vary depending on the day, my mood, and… read more>
I'm asked almost daily why I moved to New Orleans, and my responses vary depending on the day, my mood, and who's asking. Nevertheless every answer is true, and today I say it's because of Yakamein. Of mysterious origin and with no written recipe to be found, Yakamein consists of hot beef or chicken based broth poured over noodles and meat (beef, chicken, pork or seafood) garnished with a hard boiled egg and showered with green onions. These simple ingredients are seamlessly seasoned together from recipes that exist in memories and stories. Street food. Second line food. Festival food. Styrofoam cup food. Hangover food. Good news, bad news, sunny day, rainy day, any day kinda food. New Orleans food. And as far as the name, as one of my dear friends recently instructed, "It's not Ya-ka-mein, it's Yakamein. Say it like there's music in your voice." So, I moved to New Orleans so that I could be told exactly that.
The classic deviled egg... breakfast/brunch/lunch/snack/dinner/midnight snack/and the only appetizer that is… read more>
The classic deviled egg ... breakfast/brunch/lunch/snack/dinner/midnight snack/and the only appetizer that is unanimously loved. Hard boil eggs. Peel and cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the cooked yolks into a separate bowl. Add mayonnaise, Dijon, yellow mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Combine and mix until smooth and creamy. Season with salt. Using a teaspoon, or a pastry bag filled with a star tip, fill the eggs whites with the yolk mixture. Garnish with paprika and chopped scallions. Creamy, velvety, rich, salty and tangy perfection.
Every Monday, dinner in New Orleans is simply known as "red beans." In the days before washing machines… read more>
Every Monday, dinner in New Orleans is simply known as "red beans." In the days before washing machines, Monday was traditionally wash day, and it became necessary to create a wash day supper that wouldn't require much attention while the women were busy scrubbing clothes, which then had to be wrung and rinsed by hand then hung dry. Red beans and rice fit the bill and the tradition is still deeply embedded in New Orleans lore. A pot of red beans, a pot of rice, a couple skillets of cornbread, and a bottle of crystal hot sauce. No other requirements, no agenda. That is red beans.
My love affair with chicken began when I was five years old and decided that it was the only thing that I… read more>
My love affair with chicken began when I was five years old and decided that it was the only thing that I would eat for every meal. For some reason my parents allowed this, in what I can only imagine was a baseless hope that, being five, I would lose interest within the hour. Having known me for five years, they should have known better. We settled in for a battle of wills that lasted until breakfast on day five when instead of the chicken dish that I was expecting, my father firmly placed a bowl of cream of wheat in front of me. So technically they gave up, and I won, right