Em-i-lis gorgeously featured on Food52

I awoke this morning with a sore back (too much garden) and a stopped-up nose (damn cold) but otherwise feeling quite good.

Then I saw this gorgeous story on Food52 highlighting a salad of mine of which I'm quite fond. Not only do I now have another photo of a dish of mine by the insanely talented food photographer, James Ransom, but also I'm so touched by the generous sentiments and tone in the article itself (written by another terrifically talented individual, Lindsay-Jean Hard).

She picks up on some of the things I most enjoy about cooking-combining ingredients not often thought of as friends- and on my effort to avoid food waste by finding new uses for bits and parts often tossed. 

It's a lovely surprise when you feel that quiet elements, things you take pride in, of your being are noticed and appreciated. What a Sunday surprise. 

PS- Nigella wants to eat it too! Lawd a'mercy! 

Okra and the 4th

So I realized last night that in my crisper drawer were the okra that T bought last Sunday. So fresh were they when purchased that they'd maintained their proud shape and verdant green hue. No need to risk missing the window: part of dinner they would be!

Do y'all know what okra love? Not gumbo, but bacon! Okra smothered in bacon drippings? 

There is NO slime in well-prepared okra: fried, smothered, grilled... Don't wash before cooking, and you're in great shape. 

So last night: bacon, okra, corn and more bacon. Delicious!

And watermelon and feta and watercress. And tomatoes and pea tendrils and blue cheese. And bourbon shrubs. And there you have it. 

I freaking love okra. Love it.

Today I spent large swaths of time either running (6.25 miles; legs now crying) or putting together the three-layer ice cream cake Jack requested for his birthday. My oldest baby turns 9 in the morning, and I just can't believe it. I mean, I can, but at the same time, wow. 

He does not like regular cake, and I enjoy learning something new each year as I make a new, celebratory, non-cake dessert.

Let me tell you the main thing I've learned so far: do NOT make your own Oreos. Accept the fake-o, chemical shit in the Nabisco ones and love them. They are the best. By far.

Tom bought Jack an inexpensive drone for his birthday and is playing with it right now like he's a seven-year-old who just received the most awesome thing IN THE WHOLE WORLD. It is crashing repeatedly into the windows, and the pets are vexed out of their minds. Men = boys = always kids.

Happy almost-4th, y'all!

Delicious meal for a chilly night


Everything about last night's dinner felt cozy and good: rosemary-rubbed salmon, roasted until just done; the piquillo-pimenton potatoes I'm still working to perfect; and a beautiful winter salad of minneola tangerine, butter lettuce, shaved fennel, candied pecans, blue cheese and a champagne-honey vinaigrette.