“May the blessed light be on you, light without and light within. May the blessed sunlight shine on you and warm your heart until it glows like a great fire, so that a stranger may come and warm himself at it, and also a friend.” –Irish Blessing
It is the seventh day of December and thoughts of the brevity of time swirl in my head like a winter storm. The light of day is brief; it is 4:30 in the afternoon and I light a candle, an instinctual and essential ritual that helps to keep the darkness at bay. For the sun sets early here in New England in the great woods of New Hampshire, where December can be a month heavy with darkness. Read more
“At rural kitchen tables, apple pies and tarts were served as routinely as bread. For families on hardscrabble farms in the Northeast, suppers through the winter might consist of nothing but apple pie and milk, day after day. For those with means, the better city restaurants served dessert apples in little individual boxes, stem and two leaves attached, with a card noting variety and grower…Apples were so much a part of the public consciousness that people came to be described in pomological terms: crabs, bad apples, apple polishers, apples of one’s eye.” –Roger Yepsen, Apples
One of the best things about Autumn, aside from the brilliant colors of falling leaves, is apples. And with each new autumn, there seems to be a new variety of apple that I spot in the grocery store confirming that there is, in fact, an Apple Renaissance that has been taking place in the recent years.
This year I read about “Pink Pearl”, an apple that is, according to Roger Yepsun in his book Apples, “descended from Surprise, an old English variety named for the pink flesh that hides beneath its ordinary yellow exterior.”
Frances McDormand, in a recent article in the New York Times Magazine, mentioned carrying the Pink Pearl and some cheese with her on a hike up a mountain, one of my favorite things to do with an apple – pairing it with some good Vermont cheddar for a snack after an autumn hike. Read more
“Biting into summer. Sitting on the lawn, feet bare eating hot buttered corn. Just picked. So good.” –Ruth Reichl, My Kitchen Year (2015)
September is a month of abundance to savor. From the heavenly days of blue skies and just-right temperatures, to the dreamy cool-night-open-window-sleeping, there is an abundance of all things good that infuses the September air.
You can hear the abundance in bites of crisp apples just picked from a local orchard; you can see the abundance in the roadside farm stands along country roads; you can feel the abundance in the buzz of city farmer markets; and you can smell the abundance in blueberry muffins, apple pies and apple cider donuts baking in ovens – and in the vegetable soups and chowders simmering on stoves.
So in these last days of sweet September, gather some of this month’s abundance and simmer it on the stove, taking one last bite into summer with the “All Things Corn” recipes below. Read more
It’s been a busy summer, but we’re excited to be back and grateful for all your support and emails as ATG continues to evolve!
“The dictionary makes little distinction between hunger and appetite, but we tend to understand that hunger is the need to eat, almost entirely physical, while appetite is the desire to eat, stimulated by smell, sight, or the memory of certain foods or even the desire to satisfy emotional needs. Hunger indicates necessity; weakness is the result if it is unsatisfied. Appetite has more to do with interest and allure. When the two are combined we have someone very ready to eat. The problem is to keep them away from the bread.” —Taken from the book Life is Meals by James and Kay Salter
Below is a recipe from the Inn at Sunrise Point on the Maine coast for a hearty, chewy, and satisfying bread that is perfect for morning toast and adds an extra specialness to an otherwise ordinary breakfast of scrambled or fried eggs.*
Layered with sweet cream butter and fresh blueberry, raspberry, or strawberry jam, this special homemade multi-grain bread is hard to stay away from! Read more
“You need to have the soul of a rabbit to eat lettuce as it is usually served – green leaves slightly lubricated with oil and flavored with vinegar. A salad is only a background; it needs embroidering.” –Paul Roboux (taken from M.F.K. Fisher’s The Art of Eating)
Just as dreamy summer days are a background for endless possibilities of outdoor entertainment, summer salads are a background for endless possibilities of gastronomic entertainment.
Below are seven different recipes for your summer salads, one for each day of the week (note: we’ve included three different versions of the Nicoise Salad at the end). Happy Summer! Read more
“…you dream about food – not just any food, but perfect food, the best food, magical meals, famous and awe-inspiring, the one piece of meat, the exact taste of buttery corn, tomatoes so ripe they split and sweeten the air, beans so crisp they snap between the teeth, gravy like mother’s milk singing to your bloodstream.” –Dorothy Allison (writer, 1949–)
Thinking of the Kentucky Derby this weekend – where “Always Dreaming” made two Brooklyn boys’ Derby dreams come true – Mother’s Day next weekend and The Blue Coffee Pot restaurant where I had the best biscuits and sausage gravy I’ve ever had in my life.
What made this unexpected, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere breakfast on an Indian Reservation in Kayenta, Arizona something to dream about? The scrambled eggs and the sausage gravy were like taking a bite out of a perfectly seasoned feathery light pillow of deliciousness. Never, in all of my biscuits and sausage gravy travels, have I experienced such genuine affection for what typically is a heavy lump of a dish that favors the appetite attentions of hungry men. Read more
“You must have always a great and progressive show and also one which is clean, pure, moral and instructive. Never cater to the baser instincts of humanity…and always remember that the children have ever been our best patrons…” –P.T. Barnum’s last letter before he died (1891), written to his “well-loved” James Bailey
“Circus XTREME”, which is making its very last appearance in Providence, Rhode Island this weekend, is Xtremely entertaining and there is no doubt that P.T. Barnum would have been proud of this very “Xpert” creation for having lived up to his life motto “Excelsior”, a Latin word meaning “ever upward” and “still higher.” Read more
“I consider myself a poet first and a musician second. I live like a poet and I’ll die like a poet.”
It has been quite a journey through the month of April with Bob Dylan. It was my desire to do a little piece on him as the recipient of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature in recognition of National Poetry Month, and so I retrieved all things Bob Dylan – books, CDs, albums, magazine articles, etc. – and started digging in. And now, many days later, I am still going strong, ever more moved and ever more amazed by his body of work, his art, and his genius.
“He is our greatest living poetic voice, the Bard of the Age, our rock and roll Shakespeare….[t]he Nobel committee say they are honoring Dylan ‘for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition’ but he did way more than that. Dylan utterly exploded the form, enabling the simple song to become a vehicle for every shade and nuance of human thought and expression, unleashing incredible forces of creativity on this ancient sturdy folk medium – and did it with a flowing electrifying word smithery and innate, almost mystical wisdom that has created a body of mind-blowing work that will resonate for centuries to come.”Read more
For a perfect ending to April, and after a month long celebration of poetry, and in recognition of the “changin’ times” wrought by the Swedish Nobel Committee awarding, for the first time in its history, a songwriter (Bob Dylan!) the Nobel Prize in Literature, have a listen to Bob Dylan’s song “Series of Dreams” (from The Bootleg Series Volumes 1-3, rare & unreleased):
“…If my thought-dreams could be seen they’d probably put my head in a guillotine”, while making “Bob Dylan’s Perfect Meatball Recipe” below.