Something sweet happened this week as I was standing in line at Costco, flanked by cautious shoppers doing their best to not make eye contact and find their own space within the bright red dots on the floor.
I was feeling the heaviness of the lack of connection as we all stood as a collective body of people, yet still so detached with worry. Our carts overflowing with fresh meat and produce and oversized condiments to fuel and nourish our families but our faces covered and masking a longing for more. I have always associated food with comfort and healing as so many do, so when tensions in the world have been high it has seemed unnatural to go it alone. Experimenting with new recipes has always been a way to bring people together over a table of lovingly prepared dishes and I was feeling the effects of not being creative and not being able to share.
In an attempt at distraction, I reached for a copy of one of my favorite magazines. I have always found Fine Cooking Magazine to be the perfect combination of inspiring fresh recipes and relatable content that I can tweak for weeknights at home or when entertaining at the Farm. Just holding the copy in my hands felt like a luxuries escape from the chaotic times.
I shuffled forward to the next red sticker and leaned into the cart and cracked it open only to find the sweetest of surprises. There on page 13 was our little brand being showcased by Rebecca Freedman in the Great Finds - Summer Stock - Our latest picks for the kitchen and table.
While this wasn't a complete surprise as we had the privilege of meeting Rebecca while we were in New York earlier this year the timing could not have been better.
Just like that I was reminded and filled with hope that connection still exists and sharing brands and stories and recipes with readers is such a beautiful way for our customers and neighbors to fill themselves with new ideas of how to entertain and share love through food from their homes.
I left the store (with a copy in hand) with a renewed sense of calm. While the outside world may still feel so different even as it does its best to open itself back up, some of the familiar things that we love so much as still skipping away sharing joy and comfort. Thank you Fine Cooking for not just always getting it right when it comes to how to prepare our favorite ingredients but for also reaching us wherever we are at. And! For including us in your June/July issue.
So enough about us! I wanted to share a few of the things I can't wait to try from this issue.
The first thing I will be doing is purchasing a copy of The New Homemade Kitchen by Joseph Shuldiner. This book prides itself as being a modern-day throwback to some of the lost culinary arts. Think contemporary tweaks on the basics like canning and pickling to the fun things we are all trying now more than ever like our own sourdough starters and roasting your own coffee.
Next up is the 'Salad Days' section. Buratta may be one of my biggest weaknesses. There is just something so delightful about the way this creamy, perfectly textured cheese can transform pretty much anything into Heaven. In the recipe on page 18, they are combining it with watermelon and avocado to make a Caprese salad that I am sure will be a new staple this summer on our deck.
If Andrew could eat a rib-eye steak every day of his life he would. No joke, he would rotate this only with hotdogs if I didn't experiment with different dishes. So when we do grill up the beast with the best marbling and that signature eye of fat I want to make it special. I have grown attached to the guy and refuse to allow him to consume delicacies like this daily so I cant wait to try out the grilled rib-eye steaks with shallot-jalapeno-tomato butter. Pairing this with a summer salad and the magic of summer is here.
Nanette Maxim has done a lovely feature called 'A River Runs Through It' capturing two chefs out of Cambridge who prepares a feast inspired by the farm, fen, and wild English meadows. Using things like elderflowers to infuse gorgeous liqueurs for summer cocktails to ricotta, pea, and pickled beet crostini I loved learning about how these two chefs are using fresh locally harvested ingredients to create simple yet beautiful dishes.
Finally, there is a brilliant section on discovering Pinsas- grilled flatbreads with incredibly sweet and savory toppings.
As I dig in and try to create some of these new dishes to share with my family (and ideally perfect by the time we can entertain again) I encourage you to grab a copy and throw yourself into something new as well. Because we are only as detached from the things that bring us joy as we choose to be. There are so many ways that we can find renewed pleasure for ourselves and our family by just flipping a page.