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Recipes and Stories

19 October 2022: Autumn Flavors and Pan-Roasting—Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sage and Marsala

Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Sage and Marsala, here accompanied by roasted sweet potatoes, peas with butter and scallions, and herbed dressing


As we begin our second year living in Virginia, we're also enjoying our second full Autumn. This has always been my favorite time of the year. Maybe it's the invigorating coolness in the air, the golden light and brightly colored leaves, or the fact that it's harvest time, but this inward-turning season always seems more hopeful. It's also when I'm happiest in my kitchen.


For four decades, we lived in a place where the only hint of the season before November was that golden light. The warmth and autumnal aromas that filled my kitchen often did not go with what was happening outdoors: The frost on the windows was on the outside, where the still-warm, humid air collided with glass chilled by the air conditioner.


So it's a blessing to once again be living in a place where we have real autumn weather and my kitchen's warmth is actually welcome. It's been fragrant with Read More 

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20 October 2021: Making a Vacation Kitchen Home and an Autumnal Salad

Autumn Salad with Apples, Bacon, and Pecans before adding the Buttermilk Ranch Dressing.

20 October 2021: Making a Vacation Kitchen Home and an Autumnal Salad


This weekend we will have been gone from Savannah for a month. We're settling in at our house in Virginia and it's finally beginning to sink in that we're not on a vacation that will soon end: We're really and truly here to stay.


The most challenging and yet welcome transition for me has been the kitchen. Bright, sunny, and more inviting than any of my many kitchens have been, it's also been better equipped than those of most vacation houses. But while perfect for the on holiday cooking I've done in it, there's still been a lot of making-do.


Now that all the equipment has been reunited in one place, you'd think it would've been perfect.  Read More 

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25 October 2019: Soup Season and Beef Soup Monticello

Beef Soup Monticello

Last weekend, more than sixty members of my high school class gathered in the cool of a rainy upstate Carolina evening to celebrate the anniversary our graduation into adulthood. It was a welcome refreshment of the spirit, not only in the renewing of old friendships, but in the taste of distinctly autumnal weather afforded those of us who now live away from those hills.


The respite from our lowcountry heat made it easy to get into a fall mindset for the research and development of seasonal stew recipes for my regular newspaper column. But a bonus was that the combinations of flavors that came to the fore inevitably brought me back to a favorite recipe from a favorite kitchen of the past: Beef Soup Monticello. Read More 

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30 October 2017: Chicken Pot Pies

My Chicken Pot Pie, with carrots, celery, onions, and peas and a basic pastry topping

One of the most welcome of all supper dishes on a crisp autumn evening is old-fashioned chicken pot pie. For warming comfort it may have its equals, but it has no superior.

Like so many homey dishes of its kind, there are probably as many versions as there are cooks, ranging from the elegantly simple triad of chicken, gravy and pastry to those loaded with vegetables, herbs, and spices. Some are even embellished with hard-cooked eggs and ham.

Some are made only with a whole chicken that was cooked specifically for the pie, while others are only made when there are leftovers that need using up. Read More 

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9 October 2017: Broccoli, Bacon, and Potato Soup

Broccoli, Bacon, and Potato Soup

This morning, my office window looks out on an autumnal scene that seems like the beginning of perfect day for soup. Through the dwindling leaf canopy of the old pecan tree that dominates the view, the early sun occasionally peeks weakly through clouds that promise rain. There’s even a bit of frost on the window panes.

Unhappily, appearances, as they so often are here in Savannah, are deceiving:  Read More 

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2 October 2015: Walter Dasher’s Port-Braised Short Ribs

Walter Dasher's sublime Port-Braised Short Ribs with Celery Root Mashed Potatoes, photographed by John Carrington in the dining room of the historic Battersby-Hartridge House

The first days of fall in Savannah were actually almost like fall—cooler, low-humidity, and believe it or not, even a few turning leaves—just enough to really tease the senses and get our palates primed for fall flavors.

This being the Georgia Lowcountry, of course, the weather was soon back to hot and steamy. Now, a tropical storm bringing rain by the gallon is running up against a cold front bringing the cooler temperatures—the perfect weather for indulging an autumnal palate.

It’s just the kind of weather for braised short ribs, Read More 

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