On Beans and Bay Leaves


adding chopped parsley at the end adds a welcome touch of color…

My last dispatch was about braised lamb shanks. You’ll find it archived beneath this one. We ate them with these creamy white cannellini beans simmered with a base of diced carrots, celery and leeks; with oversized wedges of fennel that softened with the beans over time, and lots of bay leaves. The recipe follows, but first— a word on bay leaves. Continue reading “On Beans and Bay Leaves”





Summer’s almost gone, and it’s a sad and beautiful time at the foot of the Rockies, as we say a tearful goodbye to chilled rosé, and a hello again to the charming allure of red wine.


No matter how tempted we are by the fresh crop of cabbages at our local farmers market — just one look sends me into salty fermenting memories of shredding and pounding last year’s kraut — or by the new crop of hard squash, which, as I leer into the bin, finds me rekindling a summer long, lost relationship with my oven; it pleads and cajoles: come back to me baby, turn me on, lay something on my big steel rack — I still, during these last beautiful days of autumn, only have eyes for the love apple: the pomme d’amour, the wild and unkempt luscious heirloom tomato. Continue reading “Gazpacho”

Nettle Soup

Nettle soup



People seem put off by eating nettles. First of all, they’re a weed, whatever that means, and you can’t buy them from an approved source — like a Safeway grocery. A name that, when you think about it, preys upon and inflates our fears about foods that you don’t buy from them. Their foods are safe — the name implies — and clean. So why risk another way? Why risk a walk on the wild side?

Continue reading “Nettle Soup”