Eewww!! Yuk food but also that which is delicious


Oliver recently informed me that despite the many delicious lunch offerings at school, he chose to make a ketchup sandwich. Can I just pause to hurl again?! A ketchup sandwich??? Oh.mah.gah. Have I taught him nothing about the pleasures of good food? Did he truly enjoy that concoction? I think I died a little when he told me and have since been recovering from the shock and sadness.

Ketchup is one of my least favorite condiments. It's a toss up between it and tartar sauce. Tartar sauce is probably worse, not least because tartar makes me think of dirty teeth.

In my opinion, ketchup is only good on steak fries and the occasional tater tot. Fully aware that I am in the minority on this one, I nonetheless maintain this viewpoint with the strength of Job.

And I thought Jack's jelly sandwich phase was bad. Hah!


Today's canning class was such fun. We made Apple Chili Chutney which really is divine. You should try it- a 1x recipe needn't be waterbath processed, so folks out there who are nervous about preserving stuff don't need to even think about anything more than refrigeration. You can do it!! And then go get some sharp cheddar, roast chicken and good bread and make yourself a fabulous sandwich.


When was the last time you really, really wanted something? Not an object or anything. More along the lines of an accomplishment or a role. I am in the seriously-covetous phase right now. Not gonna tell you about what, but it kept me up the other night which was kind of exciting. I love projects or goals or whatever it is that gives me this inner fire. The feeling is positively livening! ```````

Now I'm hungry. However, I'm outside in AROMO enjoying the brisk air, everything that's chirruping and unable to go inside because the kids and a sitter have not yet retired upstairs for bath time. I'm not so hungry as to interrupt all this, but I'm starting to get there. What will dinner be tonight? Hmm. ```````

Nutmeg, in case you've missed him:

It's not all about basil! Ginger Golds, chutney and a canning tip

While I love well-spiced food, it's worth remembering just how fresh, or not, your dried peppers are before adding them generously to a dish. Yo on my chutney and the ruby specks from a new jar of crushed red pepper flakes that makes it hop. I added a bit more apple and sugar towards the end to cool things down a tad and this will definitely still raise a sharp cheddar and roast chicken sandwich to new heights.


I find -and here's a helpful tip for you new'ish canners out there- that seasoning elements like spice and herbs tend to mellow as your jam or chutney cools and ages. So do err on the side of really being able to taste what you've added or you risk having it be a lost flavor later.

This is a great recipe, is posted in my Jams and Chutneys section, and I highly recommend you trying it out. I'll be teaching a canning class in Fairfax in October, and this is the recipe we'll be making, so come one, come all. It's a perfectly seasonal recipe too in the sense that it utilizes the wonderful-for-cooking Ginger Gold apple which is coming into season as I type (I bought a half-peck a couple days back and put most to use in this batch of chutney). Lest you worry that the Ginger Gold is the same apple as the horribly underwhelming, mealy and sad Golden Delicious, NO! The yellow delicious is one of the parents of the GG but it was partnered with the Albemarle Pippin which adds crunch and kick and a nice shade of green to the peel.

Last night, I had a slight revelation via pizza. Sage is great in addition to or alongside basil. Sage is fabulous in general, an under-utilized, under-appreciated herb, in my opinion. You'll see I have two different sage pesto recipes in Dressings and Sauces, just yesterday I made another batch of my Blackberry and Peach Crisp with Sage-Brown Butter Topping, I love the blackberry-sage jam I concocted last month, and the fried sage leaf/sage oil drizzle atop my Pappa al Pomodoro is the cat's meow.

Sage, known as salvia in Italian, was first described by Linnaeus in the 1750s. Long considered to have many medicinal qualities, the scientific name for sage is Salvia officinalis with officinalis deriving from "officina, the traditional storeroom of a monastery where herbs and medicines were stored." Sage is a hardy plant that's easy to grow in most spots; it's one of the few things I can cultivate without fail. In fact, it overtook a planter of mine so I transferred the whole plant (bush really) to the ground, and it's thriving.

Its leaves are utterly pleasing in shape, feel and color: kinda of sweetly furry, soft, sizeable and a comforting, beautiful shade of green.

Happy Friday: it's cookin' time

Yesterday, in hushed tones and bear-hug snuggles, Oliver and I shopped on amazon for a Cinderella dress. "Mommy, it's a secret. I don't want Daddy or Jack to see. Can we please buy my Cinderella dress?"

We found the perfect one -the skirt lights up via some bizarre battery pack!!- and some delicate slippers that bear an image of Cinderella and with which Ol was immediately besotted and ordered everything after he assured me he would actually wear the items. He tends to treasure his princess acquisitions in serious secret; I found his Wonder Woman journal hidden in the depths of his closet earlier this week, for example. I do not want the same fate to befall the too-pricey dress and shoes coming our way.

This morning, a warm little body moved quietly into bed with me. It was Ol, and he said "Mommy, I love you. When is my Cinderella dress coming? And, I think I need the pretty gloves too." The elbow-length satin ones. Oh lord. We proceeded to have a lovely conversation about the dress and we might consider the gloves but let's wait and see a bit when it occurred to me to check the time.

3:31am people. 3-honking-31.

I said "Oliver, it is more than definitely time to return to bed as it is the middle of the night." He obliged and then climbed back in at 6. What a cutie. Then Jack got in and pretended to be the cat, purring with abandon and so forth. These kids just wake up at 100%. Was I ever like that?

After a meeting at school this morning, I made a beeline for the gym and then headed home to get my cooking on. A triple-batch of apple chili chutney is now cooling, and I devoured some seared tofu with lemon-yogurt-tahini sauce and just-picked greens from my garden. Dee-lightful!