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Blog Archives

Pea and Mutton Salad

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Pea and Mutton Salad

“We’re creamy,” said Luci Brieger, a vegetable farmer, when I asked how she and her family were doing. “We’re having a creamy summer.” She said this knowing I’d called to discuss her salad dressing, which goes by the name “Creamy.” It was also understood that we were talking about something larger. On that Victor,...

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Eggs with Dregs

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Eggs with Dregs

There was a brief, glorious period in my life during which I thought I had invented a delicious breakfast dish that, it turns out, has long existed. Migas translates from Spanish into “crumbs.” In Portuguese the word is migalhas. In both countries, “crumbs” are typically made with day-old bread, and a varying mix of...

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Just don’t call them flowers

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Just don’t call them flowers

The term “scape” describes a structure that emerges from the tops of some garlic plants. Scapes are not flowers, but are often referred to as “garlic flowers,” and are flower-like in many important ways. For one, they’re beautiful, shooting from the plant like a slow-motion rocket ship. It charts a circular path, with two...

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Mangoneada: a raging shakedown in your mouth

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Mangoneada: a raging shakedown in your mouth

On paper, a mangoneada has no business tasting this good. There are too many big personalities involved, too many loud notes of sour, salty, sweet, and heat. It’s too crazy a combination to work. But it does, because unlikely as it may seem, these contrasting flavors play remarkably well together. From place to place,...

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Cheater’s Chicken Dinner

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Cheater’s Chicken Dinner

Cheaters never win, or so we’re taught. But I cheat at chicken all the time, and I never seem to lose. To cheat at chicken, buy a roasted chicken at the store, bring it home, and use it as an ingredient in some other dish, like enchiladas or stir-fry. Regardless of the final form...

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Cioppino, from Liguria, via San Francisco

May 16, 2014
By Ari
Cioppino, from Liguria, via San Francisco

Cioppino is a seafood stew that originated in San Francisco, supposedly a creation of the Italian-born fishmonger Achille Paladini. It was originally a stew made with whatever fish was available when the boats came back, aka catch of the day, with some Dungeness crab thrown in the tomato and wine-based broth. Cioppino is thought...

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The Bitterness Belongs

May 16, 2014
By Ari
The Bitterness Belongs

The bright glow of dandelions emerging in springtime is an important seasonal milestone for many creatures. For bees, the golden flowers are an important source of early season nourishment from pollen and nectar. For lawn keepers, meanwhile, the appearance of those persistent weeds marks the beginning of another frustrating summer. While it can be...

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Lawnicide

May 16, 2014
By Ari
Lawnicide

When Michelle Obama converted part of her lawn into a garden six years ago, she made it look easy. And lawn killing certainly can be easy, depending on your game plan. Or it can be a difficult, frustrating failure. The First Lady’s method was detailed in a recent story on The Atlantic online, written...

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The Toy Ecosystem

May 16, 2014
By Ari
The Toy Ecosystem

I used to garden as if I had something to prove, as if my garden was a measure my worth. I had clear production goals, and took it as my duty to put food not only on the table, but in the freezer for a winter. Those days are over. Now my garden is...

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The wild and tame sides of asparagus

May 16, 2014
By Ari
The wild and tame sides of asparagus

In the title chapter to Stalking the Wild Asparagus, Euell Gibbons describes a fishing trip along the banks of the Rio Grande when he was 12 years old. On his way to the fishing hole, he was distracted. “Happening to look down, I spied a clump of asparagus growing on the ditch bank, with...

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