This is the time of year when we have what we call “summer food” dinners. Mainly those dinners are about the vegetables. It’s a time of year when it’s a pleasure to cook.
People often talk about having to sneak vegetables into their children’s food. With two children and three grandchildren who have rarely refused a vegetable, who snack on vegetables, it seems to me that kids do not have an inherent dislike of them — they somehow learn it.
Maybe they were fed too many canned green beans, maybe they think of vegetables as overcooked mush instead of crisp and crunchy. Maybe they developed a taste, along the way, for…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:
My family isn’t overly fond of cake, which got me to wondering about the history of the ritual. How is it that cake and candles are such an entrenched tradition that people who don’t even really like cake still have it at a birthday celebration?
(To be honest here, Chris at Parker Pie made this year’s birthday cake, and most of us confessed that we did, indeed, like it. So maybe it’s just the cakes we make ourselves that we’re not so fond of.)
Apples of Uncommon Character: 123 Heirlooms, Modern Classics & Little-Known Wonders, by Rowan Jacobsen. Published by Bloomsbury, New York City, 2014. 311 pages. Hardbound. $35.
At this time of year, even a short walk along any back road will reveal the remains of a long-passed way of life. At intervals, forlorn apple trees, still bearing after years of neglect, will offer their meager , or occasionally abundant, fall harvest.
With the advent of grocery stores and the availability of any fruit or vegetable we might desire regardless of the season, we have moved away from the world where apple trees were a necessary luxury.
A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything, by Maximus Thaler and Dayna Safferstein; published by Quarry Books, Beverly, Massachusetts, 2014; 160 pages, softbound, $24.99.
There is hardly any point in searching for a topic for this column. Like a cow grazing in the field, the writer is best off using what he finds before him.
In this case it is A Curious Harvest: The Practical Art of Cooking Everything. Elka Schumann handed a copy of the book to me a week or so ago while we stood talking in the kitchen at the Bread and Puppet Theater in Glover.
Marcie Kaufman is a professionally trained chef who lives in Jay. She graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier in 1992, but began her career earlier, in 1987, as an apprentice boulanger and patissier.
To translate broadly, that means she is a very good baker and pastry maker.
Ms. Kaufman has now written a cookbook called Seasonal Appetite, a Chef’s Celebration of Vermont’s Seasons. She says the solitude of her own kitchen has replaced the restaurant’s “animated discourse.”