Month: July 2005
It all started a year ago today. I tiptoed out onto a big, black screen and tossed up a few tentative words, and 365 days, 121 posts, 1 digital camera, a crowd of faces and names, tons of trial and error, and one birthday spiff-up later, here we are. I’d spare us all the “You’ve come a long way, baby,” but really, we have come a long way, baby. For such a little blog, Orangette has been an enormous adventure.
And it would have been a very lonely, bland one without you, dear reader, and your enthusiasm, support, and—most importantly—hunger.
Thank you for coming along with me.
For the restless kitchen-dweller or market maven, a calendar is redundant: we tell time by flora and fauna. Each season has its reliables, its rituals: a bowl of rhubarb crumble for March, roasted asparagus for April, paunchy strawberries in May, baby lettuces in June, July’s fuzzy peaches and dusty plums, August’s homely heirloom tomatoes, October’s abundant pumpkin bread, squat sweet-potato biscuits for November, deep red Dungeness crabs in December. If left to my own devices, I’d chart the progress of the year by food alone: it’s not winter unless I’ve braised a head of cabbage; spring waits for the first English pea; and summer hasn’t really begun until I’ve felt the delicious annoyance of a corn kernel wedged between my…Read more
For a good number of her formative years, my friend Jennifer was constitutionally incapable of following a recipe. It wasn’t an issue of willful aversion, nor or of culinary rebellion, but every time she tried to follow directions, something went horribly wrong. As a pre-teen, for example, Jen whipped up a batch of her mother’s famous banana nut bread as a gift for her teachers, but sadly, her loaves were destined for a different type of fame—an infamy reserved for flat, gummy quick breads entirely lacking in flour. Even cake mix was iffy: one babysitterless night, we together watched a straight-from-the-box angel food cake nearly explode in her parents’ oven. Today, after a recovery period of a decade or two,…Read more
I’m no jet-setter, but when it comes to planes, trains, and automobiles, I generally aim for the first, funds permitting. For someone who lives only an hour and a half by car from Vancouver, three hours from Portland, and a dozen or two (depending on your route) from San Francisco, I’ve put relatively few miles on the odometer. My road-trip record is what some might call tragic, and about a week ago, with summer in full bloom and my second-floor apartment feeling stuffy, we began to agree. So we packed our bags and crammed my old, bruised cooler against some freeway famine that was surely looming, and we sped south. It was as simple as that. First there was I-5,…Read more
I accepted the challenge, and I conquered: I cooked breakfast for Jimmy, the reigning king of Sunday mornings, and dear reader, he asked for the recipe. Never mind the fact that I had help (Brandon), or that the majority of the menu was decreed from above (Rebecca). I did it, and I did it my way, daring to use only the amount of butter called for—no more, no less—and tossing in a reckless amount of a “healthy” ingredient, oats. Certainly, there would be plenty of sugar and saturated fat, but this morning, we would really throw caution to the wind. The plot was hatched a few weeks ago, when Rebecca returned from a trip to her native land of St.…Read more
The Fourth of July is, no question, pretty exciting. There are the parades, the loudly flapping flags, and the burgers that dribble down the inside of the wrist; there’s the candy-sweet corn and the half-melted ice cream, the cold pool, and the icy beer. And of course, there are the fireworks—including unexpected blasts from a neighbor’s backyard two days too early, a little blitzkrieg that sent me ducking and cursing skyward on my walk home from the video store. But sometimes the greatest excitement comes with something smaller, simpler, more monochromatic, and less flammable—something like, say, a stack of humble homemade flour tortillas. This story begins a week or so ago, when I returned home from work to find Brandon…Read more
I am not, by nature, wildly energetic. I’m far from slothful—give or take a few semantic quibbles, of course—but I’ve never been one to wake up with itchy excess energy nagging to be burned. I have just the right amount of oomph to get me happily through the day, and though infamous in certain circles for my speedy stride, I’m really very good at sitting still. I’ve even been known to go horizontal—and in mid-afternoon, no less. All of this is to say that from my perspective, seated or supine, my half-sister Lisa is nothing short of superhuman. Mother to five talented children—ages (almost-)six to (almost-)sixteen—and husband to one lucky man, she almost never stops. Whether delivering the kids to…Read more