if my mom made potato salad
I know a Nora Ephron character who bears a striking similarity to my mother. I should emphasize—a striking similarity. In most other ways, they’re nothing alike. Her name is Rachel Samstat. She’s the narrator in Heartburn (if you haven’t read it, really, you should), a pregnant cookbook author with an asshole husband. And my mom isn’t pregnant, or a cookbook author, and my father is the nicest man in the world. But. Both Rachel and my mom preach crispy, crunchy, crackly potatoes. As if making them any other way is a sin.
brown butter coconut cookies
I have a love / hate relationship with brown butter. Admittedly, a sentence I never thought I’d say, but I really do want to talk about it. Brown butter. The best thing since butter. The new “It Girl” of the internet. The secret ingredient. That je ne sais quoi. Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.
spicy stir-fry shrimp with rice noodles + coconut milk
Yesterday’s discovery of the A & C Supermarket began in the Whole Foods tea aisle. If you’ve never been, really, you should go—it’s just as wild as you’d expect. Every tea—as in, every tea that’s ever existed—comes in a colorful tin and each one promises to make you more balanced or more beautiful or more “zen.” One day, when I’m don’t-worry-about-the-money-honey rich, I plan to shop at Whole Foods for all my groceries. You know, like cereal and milk and cat food and bottles of electrolyte-spiked water. Just because I can! Er, I mean, could. When I’m rich. For now, Whole Foods is the place I go to find ingredients to which other supermarkets say, Eh! Gross. Who would buy this? And I wail in response, Me! Me! I would buy unsweetened coconut flakes. And tahini. And matcha.
julia’s blender hollandaise
We don’t know what to do with Julia. Right now, she sits in a corner, between the living room window and the patio door, smiling at us from a chair in her own home. There, the world is black and white, Paris, 1953, give or take a few months or years. Minette (“puss” in French) perches on her lap. You’ve seen the photo before. I found it in Cambridge, MA—one of the places where Julia lived—last summer and hung it above my desk in August when my Cookbook Adventure began. She was my guardian angel. And now, we don’t know what to do with her.
do-it-yourself pizza dough
Greetings from the sun! Oh, I’m only kidding. Greetings from Raleigh! The south isn’t that scalding. Every (indoor) inch is air-conditioned and there’s always an icy glass of sweet tea to cool you down. But. For what it’s worth… it is amazingly hot and humid here—like, so humid, that when I hung my just-washed running clothes on the patio to dry, it took me two days to realize that they couldn’t evaporate. (Okay, that’s a lie. I didn’t even realize it. One of my best friends, who’s lived in North Carolina for the past four years, solved the mystery when I was musing to her about how weird it is that my wet clothes were magically not-drying.) Whew. I have a lot to learn.