Mio nipote e qui; dessert


Aah, my darling nephew (mio nipote; and also my fabulous sister and her fabulous husband) arrived this afternoon. We are all so happy to see them, and they us. I made a scrumptious dinner of salad and that seemingly omnipresent caramelized shallot, cabbage and tasso tart; we have no leftovers so I'll take that as an affirmative that all was well-liked.

I also wanted to mention the random dessert I made last night which was both a result of a thorough freezer cleaning and delicious: warm biscuits with a sour cherry-currant compote all drizzled with cream. Outstanding!


Why the thorough freezer clean you might ask? Well because yesterday, while Ol was home sick and I was rummaging through the fridge looking for something that might constitute lunch, I discovered an insidious black mold in the way-back-bottom of our fridge. Dis-gusting. My Sherlockian suspicions believed this gnarly fur to have grown from a large maple spill that, when I discovered it, had become an intractable, crystalline shellac. When did that happen? I unloaded everything, shelf by shelf, and decided to spin the left turn to nowhere into a positive: how old was that teriyaki sauce? What was that now-gelatinous blob?

After a half-hour, I'd had no luck removing anything but the Styrofoam inserts I think were meant to be permanent. My pink, 1950s-housewife gloves got a hell of a workout, as did an array of toothbrushes, sponges, scrubby brushes and cleaners. I even called in the A-team troop known as bleach and later decided to move on to the freezer just because I'm that girl.

Later glad was I when, having thrown out all things freezer-burned or unrecognizable, I was left with sour cherries, currants and biscuits. Hence this dessert which I will most definitely replicate, purposefully, in the future. Lemons into lemonade, y'all.

Shrimp, cherries, a very good article

T and I have been burning.the.candle y'all, just burning away at both ends. Yo! I am what's called tuckered out. He is in bed right now. Not even kidding. Oliver spent the night with a friend last night which seemed like a big deal to everyone except him. For god's sakes, Jack has never even had a sleepover. Second children for you! He had an absolute ball. I mean, it was a homerun of a sleepover, and I say hat's off to friend E's family. He is completely wiped out now, naturally, and is vacillating between bliss and batshit. Cue the early bedtime music. I think J-bird needs to go in that direction too. He ate an entire(!) order of 2Amy's meatballs + bread + an ice cream sundae last night before bathing and then asking for another meal. We watched a movie and this morning went to the farmers market. He has been eating ever since and is gaga because his mind is a hamster wheel on speed. Our family is positively abuzz, people. Last night, Tom made me dinner: shrimp and grits, and it definitely hit the spot. He made shrimp stock from the shells, used sherry and butter, the works. He did manage to dirty ever pot and bowl we own, but bygones; he cooked for moi!


I was extremely pleased to find sour cherries at the FM this morning and bought three quarts which I've just finished pitting. Some are already freezing; the rest will be made into a pie sometime very soon. Sour cherry pie is an absolute highlight of this time of year.


Lastly, I want to draw your attention to this article, The Trauma of Parenthood, published in this morning's NY Times. Though trauma is a heavy word, this piece is right and important, especially in its call to spread kindness not judgment towards parents. The easy or blissful time you might be experiencing may be something someone else only feels fleetingly, and a lack of support for their tougher times only serves to make them feel judged, lonely, guilty and/or other negative things. I emailed the author, Eli Finkel, to say thank you, and he emailed me right back. Turns out we were a year apart at Northwestern, where he is a professor now. Very cool!

Richly hued Monday

Despite the shroud of gray accompanied by intermittent bursts of rainfall outside , my home inside is a richly hued one. It is quiet and still, with only the hum of the oven whispering solemnly in the background. On occasion, Percy might snore or Nutmeg adjust nap position, but otherwise, we are a mute, peaceful bunch making our way through a tired Monday. I am grateful for this, as I am for the happy array of farmers market flowers on my table -bright and white snapdragons, stalks of wild mint, ever-elegant hydrangeas, a few stems of bee balm from my own yard, some graceful white blooms whose name I can't remember- and for the beautiful bounty of produce with which I've been working all morn.

I bought a flat of sour cherries yesterday because one never knows how many weeks they'll make an appearance in the farmers stalls; it's never for long. I sometimes wish I were ambidextrous because then I could face them armed with a cherry pitter in each hand, perhaps making my way through the pitting process a bit more quickly. Alas, I am not, and anyway, it's such a lovely, meditative act when you can sit and just do it at a pace that suits you in those moments. And to think of the jam, pies, cheesecake topping and all else that will literally be the fruit of my labor.

sour cherries

A tart sounded divine for tonight's meatless meal, and so I began by making and chilling a crust and then slow-roasting some tomatoes in a low oven.

slow-roasted tomatoes

Meanwhile I ran to the market and while there picked up some farmers cheese. Chives, basil, parsley, an eggy blend, some of the farmers cheese and pecorino...I can't wait to eat this and bring some to the grands later today. I was absolutely smitten by the colorific mix of the herbs atop the tomatoes so paused mid-cheese to snap these.


chive, basil, parsley tango atop tomatoes