Posts categorized as Food

Horseradish and Such

Harvested Root

First off, horseradish is terrific in a Bloody Mary – let’s get that out of the way. It’s thought to be native to southeastern Europe and western Asia. It’s used as a spicy condiment… and in Bloody Marys. On a more sacred note,  it’s also commonly used in Passover dinners as the bitter herb. But it’s not an herb! Even more strange, it has nothing to do with horses and it is not a radish. It’s a perennial root crop, part of the Brassicaceae family which includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli, […]

The Beaneater

Annibale_Carracci_The_Beaneater (1)

I spent some time this past week tackling a big clean out of the basement, which, up until that point, was a very dusty 30x60ft storage space. How does one collect so much stuff?  The plan is to transform the basement into guest quarters, for friends and family that visit this summer. I was sifting through some boxes and came across one labeled books – containing mostly my art history books from college. Distracted and tired from organizing, I started flipping through. A work by Italian Baroque painter Annibale Carracci […]

tagged in recipe

Modern Deviled Eggs

Eggs, for thousands of years and in many cultures are symbolic of birth and renewal. Deviled eggs* are commonly made as an appetizer (pickys!) on Easter Sunday for this reason. My family follows this custom every year. My mother has always used a traditional mix of mustard, mayo and egg yolks for her deviled eggs. She garnishes with a sliced black olive and paprika “for color”, as Flo always says. But there are many contemporary variations – you can use combinations of garlic, horseradish, pickles, turmeric, relish, chilis, salsa, thyme, cilantro, […]

tagged in easter, eggs, recipe

Your refrigerator is a microcosm of your life.

refrigerator

I may have a personality disorder. I like the front of my fridge clear of clutter but the side is busy with this and that. Previously published in The Wave. You know how people look inside their friends or family members medicine cabinets*? Well, I like to peek inside their refrigerators. How is the fridge organized (or not organized)? What kind of food is in stock and how much? Even the outside of a refrigerator is telling. One can learn a tremendous amount about who a person is, just by opening up […]

tagged in refrigerator

Grow an onion.

onion-sprout

I’m sure this has happened to you before. You buy too many onions because they’re on sale; you end up not using all of them and they sit for a while. Then, like magic, they start to sprout. While you can still eat sprouting onions, the flavor isn’t as sharp since the energy (sugar) is being used to grow the leaves. So what can you do with it besides composting? Plant it! Spring is in sight – and thank goodness because I’ve been antsy. I want to get out there […]

Day-Old Bread

spices-for-mexican-bread-crumb

Previously published in The Wave. My friend Rob had knee surgery. He’s been homebound on Staten Island* but last weekend he was feeling well enough to visit Rockaway. Since his leg is immobile, his mother Roberta helped out and gave him a lift to our place. Before Rob and his mother crossed the Verrazano, they made a stop at A & C Superette (884 Manor Rd, Staten Island) picking up eggplant parmesan, lasagna, roasted red peppers and  fresh mozzarella. They made a second stop at Pastosa Ravioli (764 Forest Ave, […]

tagged in staten island

Adulting is hard.

What-a-mess!

Previously published in The Wave. Sometimes I wish I could check out of adulthood. It’s hard. I don’t feel like an adult, I feel like I’m a 20 something*, faking it to barely make it. Last Monday everything was going well. I was caught up with work, the house was in order and I was ready to tackle those home projects that I haven’t had time for – cleaning out boxes in the basement from when we moved four years ago and reorganizing some kitchen cupboards. Then I got called back […]

tagged in lifestyle

Salty Sponge?!?

Tapenade,-Two-ways

My brother-in-law JUMBO says it’s like eating a salty wet sponge. This is highly upsetting to me. He and other olive-haters are missing out on one of the most delicious of Italian pleasures. The olive tree is native to the Mediterranean region, Asia, and Africa. It was one of the first trees harvested by humans some 7,000 years ago.  Now, it’s grown in warm climates worldwide. There are hundreds of cultivars with distinct, rich, savory flavors. Olives are commonly served in all manners of deliciousness – marinated, cured and stuffed. They’re […]

tagged in olive oil!, recipe, recipes

Run Those Pipes!

Opening-the-sheerock-above-the-bed,-eek!

Previously published in The Wave. Happy Birthday Matt!! On my husband’s birthday, which also happens to be New Years Day, we get a text from our tenants, “So strange, our water isn’t working.” “What?!!? Turn on all the faucets – hot and cold!” I went into red alert mode, grabbed a blow dryer and extension cord and ran upstairs. I tried to find access to the pipes but there were no major lines exposed. My husband spent the next hour or so trying to figure out where their pipes were in […]

The Feast of the Seven Fishes

IMG_5437

My favorite holiday has always been Christmas Eve, which Italians also call The Feast of the Seven Fishes. It’s been tricky to find out about the history, as it’s not celebrated in Italy. There’s no clear rationale for why it’s seven fishes*. The only thing we know for sure is that Christmas Eve is an official church holy day, so you’re not supposed to eat red meat. But the paisans beat the system, “No meat, no problemo! Let’s deep fry as many types of fish as we possibly can! Oh […]