I ate curious foods around my grandparents' table, although they never struck me as unusual. When my family visited my grandparents, we’d gather around for an array of German products I never saw anywhere else: liverwurst, weisswurst, gooseberry fool, little pickles, dense, grainy bread, Westphalian ham. My grandmother hated the kitchen, but my grandfather loved food. It was around their table that my identity as “feinschmecker” was born.
Though she wasn’t much of a cook, my grandmother baked, and she passed down her love of sweets to me. Every visit brought the promise of cookies, cobbler, or my hands-down favorite plum torte.
You may have noticed it’s tomato season. Time for Caprese salad, tomato and mayo sandwiches (yum, btw), fresh tomato pasta sauce, tomato this, tomato that. One of the perks of the perfect tomato is that it’s best eaten as is, out of hand, like any other delectable piece of juicy summer fruit. But the thing is, with all this fresh fruit around, sometimes you just want something a little bit more satisfying (read fattening). That’s where this week’s recipe, tomato tart, comes in.Read More
It’s mid-August, people. When and how exactly did that happen? Out here in the ‘burbs (also known as my parent’s house north of NYC), my mom is reaping the benefits of her vegetable garden. Kale is ready to be cut, eggplants shine in the summer-sun, basil plants are knee-high, and, somehow, there is a new zucchini on the vine each time you blink. Wasn’t it just a moment ago that the farmers’ market was brimming with spring’s sugar snap peas, asparagus, and strawberries? This morning, it was overflowing with the high-summer harvest: beans, corn, summer-squash, peppers of all colors and kinds, and tomatoes, tomatoes, and more tomatoes.Read More
Last week, as a sticky heat wave descended upon New York City, I went on a mini-vacation to Vermont. There, I enjoyed country air, pastoral views, cool, fresh breezes, a swim in a crystal clear river-bend, and a much-needed break from the sweltering temperatures (oh, and lots of Vermont cheddar cheese).
Then I returned to New York, and the heat felt even hotter. As steamy weather always calls for light meals and cold food, I decided I’d make use of summer’s bounty by using my farmers’ market beets to make a classic cold soup: borscht.Read More
In my little bitty NYC kitchen, I haven’t had the heart to turn on the oven, or, frankly, even the stove. So I started to ponder what I could make this week that wouldn’t require actual cooking, something ideal for grazing and munching on while enjoying cocktails and conversation with friends. This week, I hope I can help you beat the summer heat by sharing a Hungarian recipe that I think you should include as part of your next cocktail party: Liptauer cheese.Read More
My low-key Israeli boyfriend doesn’t usually bubble over with enthusiasm about food. In fact, in comparison to, say, me, he almost never speaks about something he’s eaten with the kind of fervent excitement that peaks my curiosity and makes me want to try it too. Given his usually measured temperament, it is particularly notable that I’ve heard him rhapsodize passionately about only one food: knafeh, a Middle Eastern pastry made with shredded filo pastry, sweet cheese, and sugar syrup. He waxes poetic about knafeh in a way that makes eating it sound like nothing less than a religious experience.Read More
My Hungarian-born grandma’s Bronx apartment always smelled of paprika and chicken fat, the scent of which permeated the upholstery and lingered in the air. Even in the heat of summer, Grandma Rose cooked Hungarian foods that were unapologetically hearty, like stuffed cabbage, and chicken paprikas with nockedli. One perennial summer favorite broke the pattern, though: meggyleves, cold sour cherry soup. Of all the foods I was ever served by my Grandma Rose, it was my hands-down favorite.Read More