Recipes and Stories

30 January 2013: Celebrating Simplicity—Thin Spaghetti with Butter and Scallions

January 30, 2013

Tags: Simple Cooking, Pasta, Classic Italian Cooking, Scallions, Spaghetti with Butter and Cheese, Spaghetti

Thin Spaghetti simply sauced with Butter, Cheese, and Scallions
Sometimes the very best cooking is barely cooking at all. That’s partly because the most important skill in any cook’s repertory is that of knowing when to stop.

For example, one of the best of all possible ways to sauce pasta, whether it is fresh egg noodles made at home or dried factory pasta, involves no cooking at all: it is simply tossed with just butter and freshly grated Parmigiano. (more…)

25 January 2013: The Elements of Style and Change

January 25, 2013

Tags: Kitchen inspiration, Making changes

A little change can sometimes make a big difference: our "new" breakfast room coffee station
I don’t need a physicist to prove to me the law that objects at rest tend to remain at rest. All I have to do is look around my own house.

We really are creatures of habit, and once something comes to rest in a spot, that’s where we tend to leave it. That may not be a particularly Southern trait, but anyone who visits the South could certainly build a strong argument in its favor. We Southerners are masters at design by default, (more…)

23 January 2013: A Trilogy of White Bean Soups

January 23, 2013

Tags: White Bean Soup, Bean Soup, Classic Italian Cooking, Classic Southern Cooking, Cannellini Beans

White Bean Soup II, with Garlic and Rosemary. If you're feeling the need for pig, ramp it up with pancetta or bacon
A welcome nip in the air has conspired with a touch of homesickness to bring on a craving for hearty, old-fashioned bean soup. There are so many good ones—from my father’s simple mélange of copper-brown pintos with ham and onion (eaten with hot cornbread crumbled into the bowl) to the suave, sophisticated puree of black beans that once graced so many Savannah dinner tables. I love them all, but my favorite is a simple, hearty white bean soup. (more…)

4 January 2013: Black-eyed Peas Beyond New Year’s Day

January 4, 2013

Tags: Field Peas, Black-eyed peas, Historical Southern Cooking, Classical Southern Cooking, Lowcountry Cooking, New Year's Day Fare

Black-eyed peas, seasoned with ham, onion, garlic, herbs, and hot peppers, are too satisfying and delicious to limit them to one day at the beginning of the year
Though black-eyed peas have become to New Year’s Day what turkey is to Thanksgiving, the uniquely marked field pea with one of the most evocative names in the vegetable kingdom is a year round staple for Southerners. And while they’re commonly associated with humble tables (the superstition associated with having them at new year is that beginning the year with such “humble” fare will bring prosperity), they really know no social, ethnic, or economic boundaries. (more…)

3 January 2013: Winter Greens

January 3, 2013

Tags: Classical Southern Cooking, Historical Southern Cooking, Collards, Winter Greens

Collard greens, judiciously seasoned with lightly caramelized onion, garlic, and ham should not be limited solely to one day of the year.
One of the most satisfying, calming rituals of the new year in a Southern kitchen is the cleaning, prepping, and cooking of that obligatory mess of collard greens. For me, this ritual is almost as satisfying as eating them. (more…)