lacto-fermented hot sauce


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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peach cinnamon yogurt pops


I woke up the other day in a not-so-good place. It wasn’t anything specific that put me there, but at the time it felt like a small storm of 2 weeks before book deadline/ money panic/ fear about how this book will be received/ what happened to the summer/ what will I do next/ and so on and so on. But most of all it was because that was where my head was, and it was hard to get out of it. Continue reading

August 6

DSC_0141When I was little, I went to a place I remember in my mind as Peace Camp. The camp director was the brother of a friend of my mother’s, and she worked out some deal to get me out of her hair for the summer. My first year, I was seven, the youngest camper there. For four whole weeks, I hollered Crosby, Stills, and Nash songs and created fairy alters in the woods with all the other kids of hippies and I loved every bit of it. But what I remember most from that first year and the next few after it was what we did on August 6, which I still think of as Hiroshima day. Continue reading



The other night, I was chopping onions. I’ve been doing this a lot lately, as I’m in the middle of final tests of all sorts of recipes for my next book that are no possible way seasonal. We may be surrounded by corn and tomatoes and peaches, but we’re eating soup and lamb shanks and pumpkin pie. (Also, tomatoes, corn, and peaches, but in between.)  We’re in the final stretch, and maybe because it’s taken me two years to figure out what this book really is (classic second book syndrome, I hear), it’s even more exciting to pull it all together. Last week, the girls were away at camp and Erin McDowell and Jen May spent almost the whole week working their magic here in the kitchen, and I can now officially say that we’re almost done with the photos.  Continue reading