March 4

by Kelsi in , , , ,


 

Ah Sunday. My favorite day of the week. Just today I feel like the cold I've been carrying around the last two weeks is finally on its way out. Right now as I type, I have some blueberry sauce bubbling away on the stove, laundry ready to be folded and a fridge that needs to be cleaned out and a grocery list to be made. This is the stuff of my days off, the basic routines and rituals that make me happy.

Also on task for today, I am attempting to make preserved lemons for the first time with the help of Renee Erickson's lovely cookbook...

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The light this week has changed and it finally feels like Spring is nearing. My rhubarb thinks so too...

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My raised garden beds still need some fresh dirt and amendments to get ready for planting but the prospect of digging in the dirt and getting things going puts a smile on my face. I am even more enthusiastic after reading about Dan Barber's new seed companyRow 7.

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Dan Barber's On Being conversation is among my top five (I mentioned it back here) and in that conversation he spoke about why pursuing flavor matters...

***

MS. TIPPETT: Right. And this wonderful — I don't know why it's surprising, but surprisingly, between doing the right thing and doing the ethical thing, is also the pleasurable thing. And that sustainability is also about resurrecting flavor.

MR. BARBER: Yeah. And the most pleasurable thing and the most delicious, so that they're all run along parallel lines. I mean, that's the serendipity of what I do, which is that, you know, my shiv is like I want to cook good food and it's in the pursuit of great flavor. It just so happens that you're attached to great ecology by definition. I mean, this is one of those things that's so axiomatic we forget. I think it's part because of what you mentioned. We went through this period, especially in the United States, where we're so removed from how food was grown and where it's coming from and who was growing it that we forget just the most obvious thing is that a delicious carrot, a delicious slice of lamb, has attached to it these decisions in the pasture and the field that are both thoughtful and intensely ethical as well as ecological, that you can't have an unethically raised lamb, an unthoughtfully raised carrot, and have a delicious lamb and carrot dish. It's impossible. Even the greatest chefs couldn't do that.

AND THIS...

MR. BARBER: There's two things really quick. The first is that I think one of the things that's been overlooked in this issue that we've talking about is breeders. I'm not talking about bioengineering, genetically modifying seeds. I'm talking about old-school breeders. At Cornell, they're like the hippies that came in the '70s that are there and have seeds literally in their desk drawers that we've been growing now; unnamed varieties of tomatoes, unnamed varieties of onions, unnamed varieties of squash have been sitting for years in the desks of these breeders.

So these breeders — and they are largely retiring, at least at Cornell — are the ones who have literally a vault — literally a vault — of information that I think is going to be so important as we transition away from the conventional mindset of agriculture and into this more regional look at agriculture, which is going to rely on these seeds that can withstand the challenges of growing locally and in a diverse system. So I'm really excited about that and I'm working with Jack Algiere and with a lot of these breeders in trying to get them to stay on and work more with us. What they say to me over and over again is, "No one's ever asked me about flavor." I hear it every time from the breeders. It was like clockwork, it's so weird. No one asks me about flavor. They always ask me about yield and about disease resistance. They're just like all we have to do is select for flavor.

***

I  want to try them all, but am going to start with the Badger Flame beet, Robin's Koginut squash, that tiny beautiful 898 squash, and the 7082 cucumber.

  Image from  Net-a-Porter

Image from Net-a-Porter

On the Spring fashion front, Trenchcoats are in and I like the way they're being styled. Time to pull mine out of the back of the closet. I have a great one from Everlane, but think this one from Zara is super cute!

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I also love these new little suede sandals from Loeffler Randall...

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I think I'm adding them to the wishlist...

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If you don't have anything in mind for dinner tonight, you should cook this simple and delicious dal with lime kale from Tejal Rao...

We devoured this last week and I plan to make it again this week. While you're at it read Tejal's guide on how to cook rice...

In fact, all the these NYT cooking guides are just fantastic resources. Even if you know your way around the kitchen, you'll learn some perfect little tip. 

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A few great ones...

How to Make Soup

How to Cook Asparagus

Basic Knife Skills

How to Use an Instant Pot

How to Cook Beans

My big plan for the evening is to sit by the fire and read my new book...

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A pretty perfect Sunday.