Posts tagged: fall
January 9, 2009

Cauliflower Gratin


There is a passage in The Gastronomical Me I haven’t been able to get out of my head for years. It seems to me there may not be a more perfect meal, and certainly not a better telling:

As I remember, the thing we all liked best, with the salad and Lawrence’s wine, was a casserole of cauliflower, and bread and fruit afterwards. I made it so often that it became as natural as sneezing to me, and I was put off track completely when I got back to America and found how different it was. . .the manner of doing it, the flavor, everything.
There in Dijon, the cauliflowers were small and very succulent, grown in that ancient soil. I separated the flowerlets and dropped them in boiling water for just a few minutes. Then I drained them and put them in a wide shallow casserole, covered them with heavy cream and a thick sprinkling of freshly grated Gruyère, the nice rubbery kind that didn’t come from Switzerland at all, but from the Jura. It was called râpé in the market, and was grated while you watched, in soft cloudy pile, onto your piece of paper.
I put some fresh pepper over the top, and in a way I can’t remember now the little tin oven heated the whole thing and melted the cheese and browned it. As soon as that had happened we ate it.
The cream and cheese had come together into a perfect sauce, and the little flowers were tender and fresh. We cleaned our plates with bits of crisp bread crust and drank the wine, and Al and Lawrence planned to write books about Aristotle and Robinson Jeffers and probably themselves, and I planned a few things, too.
And as I say, once back in California, after so many of those casseroles, I found I could never make one. [. . .] I could concoct a good dish, still. . .but it was never so innocent, so simple. . .and then where was the crisp bread, where the honest wine? And where were our young uncomplicated hungers, too?

Hoping that I am in possession of a young, uncomplicated hunger, I finally set about making my own cauliflower gratin, following Fisher’s narrative recipe, fingers crossed I would find it as magical. My cauliflower isn’t grown in ancient soil, but it is grown in fine organic dirt somewhere upstate. And with what is, for now, an uncomplicated hunger, I think that should more than suffice.

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November 6, 2008

8 Things I’m Happy About in November


this guy


image via richardspics

getting back to yoga


finally reading and loving The Principles of Uncertainty


playing with my deco file at without accumulating more paper clutter


starting to look at wedding dresses online (not ready for the in-store madness quite yet)


The Simple Living Guide (this book rocks)


brussels sprouts

my favorite holiday

and you?
October 24, 2008

7 Fall Weekend Ideas


pick your own apples, and while you’re at it….


très chère but très cute jacket by Built by Wendy

…wear plaid!


watch the very clever, mind-bogglingly chic Mrs Bradley Mysteries (love her!)


Could you guess this is one of Martha’s Good Things?

make a jack-o’-lantern that never rots…


Super amazing nightmare inducing jack-o’-lantern by pixability

…or one that does.


photo via ming chai

take a bike ride (or a walk) and find new paths


photo via dogged knits

enjoy apple cider, and if you are very lucky, an apple cider donut.

happy weekend, everyone! what delicious fall things will you be doing?
October 10, 2008

Mixtape for October: Music to Drive Out of Town To


pumpkin photo by sandy in seattle

How is it possible I forgot just how magical this time of year is? I am crushing so hard right now on the brisk mornings and the soft, bright light. The air makes me want to hop in my imaginary car wearing my new clogs and a soft sweater and just hightail it out of town, poking along country lanes and singing along with Aretha Franklin. I know I’m not the only one who has this urge. Following is an autumn road trip inspired playlist for journeys out of town both real and imagined, as well as all this month’s cooking (have you ever made farro risotto?) and craft (something pink) projects. I hope you have an inspired, restful, hilarious weekend!

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Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
- Henry David Thoreau