butter braised collards with fire cider (and a giveaway)


I’m packing up today to to leave for a week, alone. The  kind couple who owns Spruceton Inn in the Catskills do this pretty extraordinary thing where they give residencies to writers and artists during their slow season. I applied on a whim, and even when it became a reality it seemed so far away. But now I’m leaving today, and then it’s just me and a project I haven’t started and a room on my own. I feel excited–more excited than daunted, which I think is a good sign. But I also feel a little more strongly than usual that that I need to take special care of the words I put out there. When I think about writing, that’s always what I end up with, that if there’s a page there and I’m going fill it up it better be worth its space (see exhibit A). So before I go, I’d love to do a few things here. First, to talk about one of the businesses that helps to keep this site up and running, second, to give some of their good stuff away, and third, to leave you with something that I hope can be useful, that is–let’s talk about what happens when we braise certain greens with butter.

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car snack 6: the moon bar

DSC_0344When I was in sixth grade, I went on a field trip to a community college where we spent the day in a spaceship simulator. I was given some difficult job where I had to have a steady hand and a quick mind, and although we nearly crashed to Earth, it took us all outside of ourselves enough that for the first time in maybe ever, I felt a part of that class–not made fun of for my inability to style my bangs right or roll my jeans in that funny tight way, but accepted because I was a useful part of the team that kept us from crashing back to Earth. That day.

I was absolutely sure I would be an astronaut. I was sure of it for a long time.

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how we ate


So we drove to Miami.

More specifically, we drove to Miami with a few very poorly packed suitcases, two kids determined to see their first palm tree, a fairly empty bank account, and a not-quite-yet house trained puppy. It was disorganized, not really thought out, and as all adult decisions go, probably irresponsible.

That being said, I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

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thank you



I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about our road trip eating, but today I just wanted to thank you for your stories in the comments on my last post. The winner of Aimèe’s book is Nancy, who shared the love story of her parents.  If you haven’t taken a few minutes to read through those comments, do! They are truly extraordinary.

Thank you.

I’ll leave you with a photo of the farmers’ market in Miami, where things really grow! (Also, homemade donuts.) If you’re in the frozen world like I am, I think it’s nice to know there’s something growing, somewhere.

Back tomorrow…


A different kind of love story (and a giveaway)


Today, a different kind of love story.

Last spring, we were on our way home from Montreal, and we had plans to stop at Aimée Wimbush-Bourque‘s house. She and I had never met in person before, but we’d corresponded over email a bit when my first book came out, and I’d sent her a note asking if she might want to meet.

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