why I love/hate/have to cook

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I finally sat down and read all the pieces people have sent to me and the ones I’ve flagged as they show up in my never-ending “feed”. It seems, on the whole, to be an attempt at an honest conversation about home cooking, although I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

I’ve got responses and feelings and a few expletives (you cross my line when you badmouth Jenny) to this collection of pieces, but this weekend, I decided to put them all together to try to see if I could hear a real conversation here. Although I certainly crafted a few soap-box speeches of my own, I realized that instead of talking at you, I really wanted to talk with you. And it did help me to see these all these pieces together as one complete picture.

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carrot top pesto

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My friends, Jen and Pete, have a farm in Tyringham, Massachusetts called Woven Roots Farm. I’ve known them for over a decade and they’ve been farming even longer, but ever since I tasted the first salad they brought to a potluck when our babies were all really babies, it’s been clear to me that their vegetables are… special.

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einkorn teacake with nectarines and honey

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Someday I’m going to start a bakery where all I sell is everyday, unexceptional, nothing special, totally delicious cakes. They’ll mostly be in square pans, and I’ll fill a whole fridge in the kitchen with buttermilk. There will be tea, too, and I’ll open from 2 to 5 so people can come and sit and have a little slab of everyday cake and recharge their batteries (metaphorically, not attached to their cellphones) and get ready for the rest of the day. (I’ll add it to the list of business ideas.) This one would be on the menu.

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lacto-fermented hot sauce

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Last weekend, I got to teach a preservation workshop with Margaret Roach. I loved it–the group was wonderful, we were surrounded by ripe tomatoes, and it all happened against the backdrop of Margaret’s garden, which is a truly inspiring place. It was such a success that we decided to make it the first in a series, and I’ll tell you more about that soon as we firm up the details.

Although our main preservation techniques for the day were canning, freezing, and dehydrating, I let it slip that my favorite current method of preserving happens in a crock, and that at that very moment I had 4 or 5 crocks going in my kitchen, each with a different ferment inside.

“And why fermentation over canning?” someone asked.

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summer music

DSC_0300Joey said something last week–that you never know what the summer music will be until the summer’s over. We always end up with summer music, and it’s some cd we actually splurged on at the record store so we could listen to it in the car, or it’s something someone brought over to a party and it just never left the cd player in the kitchen. But we never hear music right off the bat and say this! this will be the music of the summer! Instead it just happens to be playing all the time, and we end up associating every single memory with some song or another. In the fall, or even the next year, we know that that was the summer music.

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