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I said to a friend the other day that all I want to do in the evenings is a little yoga and then read Wolf Hall. I was explaining why I haven’t been writing much and since saying it nothing has felt more true. With one baby off to bed and another on the way, food has taken a back burner. It doesn’t help that I think the New York Times and Washington Post food sections are suffering under the leadership of Mark Bittman and Joe Yonan. Or that I’ve recently tried several M.F.K. Fisher books and couldn’t get into them. But mostly my taste isn’t what I’d describe as super these days.
This time of year seems to bring a lot of impromptu hosting. With this in mind, I stocked up on some cheese and salami (and olives and crackers) to have on hand for hungry friends. And because many of those friends also arrive chilled this time of year, I make sure to have a pot of soup on hand. This week I did spicy chorizo and greens and chicken and barley soups.
When it comes to buying olive oil, like wine, I might as well close my eyes before making my selection. It seems that every store carries whatever random brands they choose and I never see the same bottle twice. However, I do enjoy olive oil and used to work somewhere high quality varieties were sold. Jim Shahin’s Smoke Signals column in the Washington Post caught my attention because he promises that the smoked olive oil from the Smoked Olive will wow your dinner guests served simply with bread for dipping. Add that to your shopping list.
There’s a great used book store I like to go to when I visit Connecticut in the summer. Traditionally I head for their food section and stock up for the year, but this summer I detoured to the children’s books. And I discovered a lot of overlap. There was Popcorn, Pizza, Pasta, and Panda Cake and that was just in the “P” box. I found I gravitated to the food-related titles and the two I came home with both ended up surprising and amusing me.
When we asked the proprietor of Cairo Liquor in Dupont Circle if he carried this herbal liqueur, he asked if we were Czech. Not a lot of requests for the highly alcoholic anise/cinnamon flavored Becherovka from Bohemia. But there’s one …
It’s ironic that I’m about to recommend you buy a cheese board. On countless occasions I’ve wondered how it is that I own so many. I mean you only really need one, right? But they are popular gifts, so if …
After limping along with caffein-free Twinings for the past months, I decided to invest in some herbal teas from Harney & Sons. There were many new additions to their offerings and now they are brightening up my daily sacraments. Sure …
The June issue of Food & Wine has a little piece by Josh Dean on the luxury of experiencing Alaska by cruise ship–an option he says 60 percent of the state’s visitors opt for. I, too, have enjoyed the Holland America guide to Alaska, and if you are wondering if you are really the “cruise type,” I have two words for you: taco bar. That’s right, at nearly any hour you can fix yourself a taco poolside. And at that very moment you smack your lips and look around, imagining that there might be a cold beer nearby, a waiter materializes to confirm it.
Two years ago Jason Wilson wrote in the Washington Post about a fortified wine called Cocchi Aperitivo Americano. Basically fortified wines are what the name implies: wine plus a spirit, usually brandy, and also sometimes botanicals. The Cocchi is a …
The primary thing I learned about navigating an abstemious 5PM is that there are scant non-sweet options. I didn’t drink juice or soda before I went on the wagon, and I wasn’t about to start. I was grateful when I could find a non-alcoholic beer, but the majority of places don’t offer any. Servers are, of course, happy to ask the bartender to whip up something, but then we are back to juice.