Blizzard Beef

We're Frozen!

I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but after more than seven feet of snow pounded us last winter in Connecticut, I miss it. Sure, the entire back of the house was destroyed by ice and took weeks to repair. And, yes, it’s true, the bushes out front still haven’t recovered. But I miss snow. So does The One. We’re snow freaks. I think it comes from a cellular-level aversion to humidity. He grew up in the steam oven called Baltimore, and I, the South Coast of Massachusetts, where Narragansett Bay is fond of making it near-impossible for clothes to dry on the line in August. The minute the weather gets sticky, on goes the central air conditioning and in the freezer go our heads. Read more »

20,000 Thank Yous

Reprint of New Portuguese Table

Well, today was already special because it’s The One’s birthday. We have a whole bunch of festivities planned to mark this momentous occasion: a) my setting up the new stereo system I bought him (The One is a horrible technophobe and simply refuses to interact with the iPod that docks on the stereo—no matter how much our friend Ellen, the media-tech goddess, tells him that it’s the future); b) a stroll down Fifth Avenue to see all the holiday decorations (yes, we’re gluttons for punishment because we know we’ll be pushed, elbowed, stepped on, and carried along by the throng of holiday revelers, but, hey, our walk is a 16-year-old tradition); and c) a quiet dinner at Hearth (he’s been craving venison, and they have it on a special tasting menu). Now, for anyone, that would be a fantastic, memorable, write-in-your-journal day. Read more »

The Beauty of the Ugly Celery Root

Celery Root and Potato Gratin Recipe

It looks like something from the prop room of Star Trek. It could easily double for a whorled alien brain, a hairless Tribble, or an E.T. with one hell of an ugly mug. As if its low score in the looks department weren’t enough, it goes by several aliases: celeriac, turnip-rooted celery, knob celery. I even saw it christened celery globes at my local supermarket. To confuse matters even more, it isn’t the root of the popular stalk celery we all buy to add to a crudité platter, but rather the root of the less common variety, rapaceum. So it’s no wonder that for nearly 200 years people have been reaching past celery root to choose other vegetables for dinner. Read more »

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