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
Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
After a few false starts, fall has finally settled here in north Texas—and nowhere is this more evident than the bowls of produce on my kitchen counter. My tableau of stoplight tomatoes and blushing peaches has given way to the jeweled tones and dappled textures of autumn: leathery potatoes, emerald apples, freckled pears, garnet grapes. Standing in my kitchen, surveying my farmers market bounty, I understand why artists have been known to break out their oil paints in the presence of such exquisite, accessible beauty. Continue reading
Roasted Chicken with Zucchini Orzo
This is the story of a Sunday meal come full circle.
It begins around the dining room table of my childhood. We are gathered there after a harried morning of getting ready for, attending, and coming home from church. My siblings and I are fighting over who gets the “chicken bones” on this week’s rotisserie bird. (My mom, wise as Solomon, later created a chart tracking whose turn it was for the coveted legs.) The poultry came swaddled in a plastic roasting bag and was always served with a side of Lipton Alfredo noodles. We ate in silence, for it was delicious. Continue reading