Meanwhile, Back In The Kitchen

The small, emerald padrón peppers available last week at the vendor’s stand are gone, so instead I scoop up two big handfuls of pale green, slightly wrinkled guandilla (guindilla) peppers and place them into a bag. I adore these slim, elongated chiles that in their immature green stage have a very mild pungency. They remind me

© L.R. Heartsong

Cookbooks and Lemons: A Taste of Morocco

For a once-professional chef, I don’t own a lot of ‘cookery’ books, as my dear British friends call them. A decade ago, I possessed a significantly larger number than I do now (books, that is, not friends). As a cook and self-confessed bibliophile, well, it was a bit of a love affair in the larder.  In


Polenta à la Marlena: Food for the Soul

“Stirring polenta counterclockwise is to flirt with calamity.” Such are the words of author Marlena de Blasi, relaying old Umbrian folklore of kitchen wisdom and superstition in one of her bestselling memoirs. For several years now, ever since reading The Lady in the Palazzo (the first book of hers I discovered, though it actually comes


Poor Man’s Soup: A Farro Stew

The sky outside is a low ceiling of hammered grey tin. I’ve spent most of the day tucked indoors, new French scarf wrapped around my neck, a birthday present from my beloved, writing at the small table beside the front windows. Occasionally I look up from my scribbling work and glance out at The Grandmother,