Family and Friends

24
Dec 2016
Crab Bisque with Celery Root Flan

A friend and fellow food writer/cookbook author posted this a day or two ago: "For the next 2 weeks, I'm going to cook whatever I want and I'm not going to write it down, save the receipts, or set a timer. So there!" Which, to the average reader, might not make much sense. Or if it does, might not seem like that big a deal. Pfft, such a thing to complain about. Writing things down? Setting a timer? Oh, but I shook ...

09
Dec 2015
The Gift of Experience

As a culture we've gotten incredibly good at accumulating things. Buying things that we need. Things that we don't need. Replacing things with new things because we get bored. Buying shiny-pretty-ooooh-gotta-have-it things just because. And then trying to figure out where to put it all. So then, what are we to do when those holidays hit? Just shift gears and do the same for others. I'm not dismissing gift-giving altogether, of course not. I'm not that much a Grinch! Finding items ...

19
Nov 2015
The Joy of Thanksgiving

This time next week many of us will be scrambling around the kitchen, tending to a bird, popping a batch of rolls in the oven, trimming Brussels sprouts to steam, setting just-baked pies aside to cool. For some I know this can be a stressful occasion, whether it's because of pressure to not mess up the beloved meal, or in anticipation of the potentially-awkward dynamics around the dinner table later. (After ...

18
May 2013
Sharing France: Cocktails with Dad

My first three trips to France came over the course of about five years and the length of each trip increased about five-fold from one to the next. First, one month with about 20 students for a Winterim term in Paris. Next, just six of us from the same university returned for the inaugural year of our school’s study-abroad program, a semester at the Université de Dijon. Then came my cooking school adventure, which I thought would be ...

12
May 2013
Past and Present at Pere Lachaise

It’s Mother’s Day today, at least back in the United States (the French will celebrate la Fête des Mères in two weeks). So what I did I do to honor the day in Paris? I took a walk through Père Lachaise cemetery. Not out of some grim impulse to acknowledge the eleventh Mother’s Day since my mom passed away. But because it felt like the right kind of soulful environment ...

19
Dec 2012
A Most Magical Christmas

I didn't want to break the spell. When I left Seattle to go to cooking school in France, it was a major adventure, a big step into an unknown future, a dream come true. Belongings that I wasn't taking with me went into long-term storage, since this was to be an open-ended trip of at least nine months (ended up being 2 1/2 years). The last thing I wanted to do was break the momentum and serendipity of my time abroad with splashes of my ...

03
Aug 2012
Green Goddess Crab Salad

It's such a delightful problem to have. More crab than you can eat in one sitting. Friends who have a home on Whidbey Island had had pretty good luck with the crabbing last weekend,  got through as much as their family could consume, then dropped a quick email to see if we'd like to take some off their hands. Next thing you know, we're picking a parking lot to meet in, they handed off 4 Dungeness crab that had been caught-and-cooked the ...

12
Oct 2011
In Honor of Mom

I can't say how many times a food story I've written, or recipe I've developed, has come with a story of my mother. My favorite is this one, which ended up getting picked up by Saveur's online offerings and has, in the long run, become one of the most popular posts on my blog. Which I'm proud of not at all for the number of visitors it represents. But instead for the fact that each person who landed ...

29
Mar 2010

At one point during the evening Saturday I got up to close the sliding glass door alongside the dining room table. Not necessarily because it was getting too cool (a glorious warm spring evening it was, matter of fact). But out of worry that our raucous laughter might be disturbing the neighbors. One unexpected side effect of finally breaking into that Apples to Apples game  I bought a ...

02
Mar 2010

It's funny that it took this long. But for a variety of reasons, it wasn't until a couple of weeks ago that my husband and I played in our first poker tournament. We go to Vegas pretty frequently and have been invited to join in poker tournaments down there now and then, but have always found the prospect just too intimidating. After all, we never even play casually at home (for whatever reason our game-playing crowd doesn't include many poker players....). Sitting ...