My Beans are Gay

My beans are gay. Let me explain.

This morning I was messing around with Facebook Live Streaming. You know, that new thing where you point your phone’s camera at yourself and hope a lot of people will watch your antics. But I actually had a question I needed advice on from my Facebook followers.

You’ll see from the video above that I accidentally planted Royal Burgundy Bush Beans. I say “accidentally” because 1.) I thought I had planted pole beans (and was desperately trying to make them climb—which the plants, for some inexplicable reason, refused to do), and 2.) I didn’t consider the color purple even when there was a basket of plump purple beans on the package. I figured it meant Burgundy as in Burgundy, France, or, you know, Burgundy, Wisconsin. (Is there a Burgundy, Wisconsin?) Read more “My Beans are Gay” »

David Hosts The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table June 10

Heads up. You absolutely, 100 percent have to listen to the latest episode of The Splendid Table. And not because I’m hosting. Well, all right, maybe partly because I’m hosting. We have a remarkable lineup of talented folks and experts whose very words you’ll be hanging on to–whether they’re talking about love in all its egregious and ecstatic forms, the making of pie crust, or Peruvian-ified fried rice. And let’s not forget recipes.

At the top of the show is one of contemporary writing’s most outrageous and controversial memoirists–Augusten Burroughs, author of the bestselling memoirs Running With Scissors and Dry. Augusten sat down with me to discuss his latest book, Lust & Wonder. Also, don’t miss our podcast in which Augusten reads a hilarious excerpt from his book about Thanksgiving dinner and a lost tooth.

Then we shift to Splendid Table correspondent Shauna Sever, who talks preserving food Italian-style with Domenica Marchetti, author of Preserving Italy. (Trust me, you won’t want to miss out on Domenica’s Pear Mustard recipe.) Read more “David Hosts The Splendid Table” »

When a Stranger Cooks Your Food

I lost my virginity to Ron Leal. It happened recently, in the waning weeks of my fourth decade. The One was there, watching every move, every nuance on my face, as were four others, including Joseph Montebello, Ron’s partner. It wasn’t weird or freaky. In fact, it was one of the sweetest moments in memory: It was the first time someone—a virtual stranger, no less—cooked my food and served it to me and others at a dinner party.

Well, that’s not exactly true. There have been a few times that chefs have cooked from my book—most notably at the Quail Valley Country Club, in Vero Beach, FL. Chef Joe Faria whipped up a three-course dinner from The New Portuguese Table for 70 people. And it was exceptional, extraordinary. But the thing is: I expected it to be exceptional and extraordinary. He’s a chef, after all. But Ron is an ordinary guy of Portuguese descent whom I’ve met just once before, and he had the cojones to invited us over for an intimate evening of food, fun, gossip—all based upon my book.

From what I’ve been told, this is, without a doubt, an experience a cookbook author assiduously wants to avoid. Think about it: What if the cook can’t cook? What if there isn’t a dog I can surreptitiously feed my food to—or there is, but I do so too quickly and unwittingly encourage a heaping pile of seconds? What if the food just plain sucks? I’m no good at lying—blame it on Momma and Poppa Leite. In fact, I’m pathologically predisposed to creating astoundingly awkward moments as I tell you you’re falling out of your dress, you’re marrying the wrong woman, or you have a booger hanging from your nose—all of which I’ve done. (Note to self: Maybe that’s why we have so few friends.) No, this is a situation best avoided. Read more “When a Stranger Cooks Your Food” »