Our First Al Fresco Dinner of the Season

Al Fresco Dinner

I really don’t like candid photos. Whenever people want to take a picture of me, I a.) make them sign a contract that gives me full PhotoShop approval–in perpetuity–over any image of me they publish, and b.) insist on spending an inordinate time on my hair and teeth. Once contractual obligations as well as buffing and fussing are out of the way, I give the go ahead to take that sparklingly spontaneous shot.

But when I saw this little moment of supper loveliness tonight, I grabbed my iPhone and just snapped. I didn’t even have enough sense to remove the Costco salt grinder or fluff the spaghetti. This was our supper table, unstyled. But to me, it sums up everything about outdoor dining: casual, simple, unpretentious, and, yes, bounteous. (It’s The One and me we’re talking about here. That man can polish off three-quarters of a pound of pasta in a single sitting.) Read more »

Testing 1, 2, 3—I’m Hosting Martha Stewart Living Radio

David Leite on Martha Stewart Radio

Bear with me because I’m a little excited. Okay, a lot excited. See, this week I’m the guest host on the Martha Stewart Living Radio program “Cooking Today” on SiriusXM channel 110. Join me Monday, March 26, Wednesday, March 28, and Frida,y March 30 from 3 pm to 4 pm EDT as I chat with an incredible lineup of guests and divulge all kinds of recipes, tips, and topics. If you’re already a SiriusXM listener, you know what to do. If you’re a satellite radio virgin, fear not. To listen, either on the radio (do they still make those?) or online at your computer, sign-up for a free seven-day subscription that gives you unlimited 24/7 access to more than 100 of the country’s best radio stations. Read more »

Wiggle It, Just a Little Bit—Duck Stock, That Is

Duck Stock Recipe

Quick. What comes to mind when you think of stock?

Sadly, a lot of us think of tin cans or waxy boxes. From their shiny, happy faces, the packages shout “All-Natural,” “Lower Sodium,” Rich-Tasting.” But then I take a swig—yes, I swig broth—and the truth is revealed. Sure, some are, indeed, lower-sodium—when compared with a salt lick. But the murky liquid inside is a flatliner, one with nary a pulse of flavor, despite being riddled with octosyllabic ingredients that sound as if they belong in automobile lubricant.

Shame, shame on us.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Homemade stock, simmered for hours with as many bones as you can cram into the pot, isn’t only trés facile to make, it’s a thing of beauty, filling the house with the unmistakable scent of nostalgia. Standing in front of that burbling pot, the steam opening your pores and filling them with its animal essence, you have a sense of purpose. You feel like one of those earnest people in wartime posters, wrench in hand, ready to defeat the Axis powers and be back at the table in time for dinner. Read more »

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