I didn’t grow up in the kind of family with heirlooms. Our “good dishes” were a scalloped-edged Pfaltzgraff with a finish easily marred by butter knives. My mom’s modest collection of jewelry contained mostly the costume variety—sparkling, perhaps, but of no special value. We inherited no military relics or quilts sewn by great-great-grandmothers or brooches that crossed an ocean. But when the time comes (hopefully many decades from now) to divide my mother’s belongings, I will fight tooth and nail for one thing: her green plastic colander. Continue reading
Risotto with Bacon & Peas + Homemade Chicken Stock
What’s for dinner?
It’s a question I have either asked or answered most of the days of my life. I still hear it in our raucous little voices, our bodies bursting down the hallway to the chair where our mom sat reading the latest Karen Kingsbury novel or (quite possibly) “resting her eyes.” Her answer could make our day (Ham and cheese casserole!) or summon a terrible sense of dread. (Meatloaf. Ugh.) These days Jason is usually the one doing the asking, his variety of inflections—hopeful, dubious, confused—usually reflecting the aromas currently emanating from the stove. Continue reading
Bolognese Rustica (or How to Eat Well in the Desert)
This Independence Day marked the first time in seven years I spent my holiday somewhere other than a newsroom. In a word, it was magnificent. Instead of trying to cobble together a decent newscast from fifteen parades, one charity golf tournament, and a warning about undercooked meat, we hit the road with two friends, bound for Big Bend National Park. Continue reading