Entries from June 2010
Big plans for today’s market bounty: sugar snaps, maitake mushrooms (holy s do they smell amazing), Tart Red Cherry Stomp from Red Jacket Orchards, some crazy looking pointy-ish mint, some sort of interesting iceberg, and strawberries, strawberries, strawberries!
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Tags:maitake mushroom recipe·mojito recipe·Red Jacket Orchard tart cherry stomp·strawberry recipes for kids·what's in season june
Question for you: Have you spent your entire tenure as a parent attempting to recreate the cozy, happy life of Charles, Caroline, Laura, Mary, and Carrie Ingalls? Their togetherness, their resourcefulness, their graciousness — their family dinners followed by Pa’s raucous fiddling?! (Please don’t forward me the New Yorker profile of Laura’s libertarian daughter, Rose, who, we know now, did most of the Little House writing for her mom, and also added the rosy hue to her family’s story in the name of commercial romanticism.) I’ve been reading one or another of the seven books in the series to my girls for the last three years and in addition to providing beautiful (more…)
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Tags:laura ingalls wilder·little house·little house recipes·michael pollan review of books·taste for civilzation janet flammang
Where: The Kitchen
When: Weeknight, Dinnertime
Who: Mother (in untucked work clothes and flip flops, loose pony-tail); Her 8-year-old daughter doing homework at kitchen table
8-Year-Old: Mom? What’s for dinner?
Mom: Bean cakes.
8YO: Mo-om! What’s a bean cake? [Pause.] I’m not eating a bean cake.
[Critical juncture: Does Mom engage? It would be SO fun to engage, she thinks. Does she use logic? i.e. You love beans, you love cake! You'll love bean cakes! Mom does neither.]
Mom: Ok, you don’t have to eat them. [Blase, casual.] You know there is always something on the table that you’ll like.
8YO: [Somewhat taken aback by lack of engagement.] OK.
8YO: Do I have to eat a bean cake, Mom?
Mom: No, I said you didn’t have to. [Flipping a hot one in front of 8YO's counter-high nose.]
8YO: Maybe I’ll try a bite. But only a bite.
8YO: Fine. I will only have two whole bean cakes if I can have sour cream on them.
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Tags:bean cakes·hominy grill·hominy grill charleston·sweet potato side dishes·vegetarian dinners for kids·where to eat with kids in charleston
For about four seconds in early 2010 I was going to name this website 4redchairs.com. My husband instantly put the kibosh on this (“too precious”) and we moved on to my multiple thousand other less precious and decidedly less good options. (A lowpoint: TheJenerator.com…Get it? Jenny? So bad.) But the truth is, when DALS reader Kristin wrote in last week asking me where I purchased the red chairs that figure so prominently in all my pictures (not to mention provide a crucial, unsung dinnertime role) she might have been the 100th person in 2010 alone to ask me that question.
The short answer is this: DWR.
The long answer is: The DWR outlet in Seacaucus, NJ and as soon as we spotted them we barely had a second to scratch our chins and consider the purchase before other shoppers began elbowing us out of the way to pull them off the shelves. So we grabbed the last four — and I think they might have been the last four in the universe because I check on their website periodically and they never turn up.
If you are in the market for bright, fun chairs (and if you’re not, why aren’t you???) my style-y friend Meryl who I worked with at Cookie suggests hunting around 2modern.com and hivemodern.com. She also pointed me in the direction of this very similar Steelwood Chair that is currently available at Conrans (at $644 a pop)…
…but for those of us with less in the budget, she suggests heading to Ikea and picking up a few Bojnes (for a more palatable $89.99 each) and painting them red.
Or paint them electric blue or bright green or yellow. Or mustardy brown for all I care. Just paint it whatever color it takes to get you and your family to actually sit down and enjoy a meal together.
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Tags:family kitchen design·kitchen chairs·modern kitchen chairs·red kitchen chairs
I’m sure you knew this one was coming — you’ve only seen the confetti-like pearly grains (that are technically not grains, but it’s just so weird to say confetti-like pearly chenopods) accessorizing my dinner plates for the last three months. All I have to say is this: Once you’ve tried quinoa, you will forever question your couscous and rice habit — well, I guess I can’t speak for you, but those were the two default starches on the dinner plate that I was raised with. Quinoa is a complete protein (which is why it’s so popular among vegetarians), it’s gluten-free (ditto parents of children with wheat allergies) and so freaking delicious (ditto people who like freaking delicious things).
You know that rule about how you have to put something new in front of the kids 25 times before they try it? Well, if that is indeed the case, we are about a month overdue for the under-four-feeters to swallow a solid forkful of quinoa. I’m not exaggerating — they’ve seen us spoon up a side of it pretty much every other night all spring long.
My friend and Time for Dinner co-author Pilar makes a vat of quinoa on Sunday so all week long it’s ready to be mixed into salads or heaped on her sons’ plates. (Supermom alert.) The few times I’ve followed her lead, this has been a boon for quick lunches, when I can toss in cooked vegetables (asparagus, broccoli), nuts (walnuts, slivered almonds), cheese (feta, goat) and dried fruit (cherries, pomegranates) with a basic vinaigrette.
But the dish above, Quinoa with Spinach and a Fried Egg, is the dish that really kicked my love for quinoa to Friday Night Lights-levels of obsession. It took less time to make this meal (that I would have paid $20 for in a restaurant) than to heat up a frozen Trader Joe’s pizza. And yes, it’s true that this comparison falls slightly flat since my kids will actually eat a Trader Joe’s pizza. But you might have better luck than me. (more…)
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Tags:easy quinoa dinner recipe·quinoa dinner recipe·quinoa recipes·vegetarian family dinner