There is something about the light of February – its intensity and crispness – that speaks of what’s to come. When the brightness is combined with a deep blue sky, it only heightens the sense of possibility. And eating a fresh apple, one that has been stored well over the winter and come through from the other side of the year with taste and texture intact, is remarkable. This crispy apple – a Honeycrisp, I think – is perfect in its sweet-tart balance, and sharp as a tack.
Eating this Sancocho de Gallina (Columbian chicken soup) on a Sunday afternoon. Thick enough to be almost a stew, this soup is filled with hunks of yuca, potato and plantains, and is topped with optional chopped cilantro whose green perfume rises up from your spoon. It was a perfect libation on this cold afternoon after walking through the thin, low sunlight of a January day.
The other side of the year means hot, hazy evenings with muggy breezes and mosquitoes. And it means tomatoes of all sorts. Late July.
I had no idea it was snowing until I heard the unmistakable sound of a shovel grazing the pavement. I peeked out the window just now to see that everything is covered in a blanket of white. I’m very much looking forward to venturing out into it – with my freshly-frosted cake in tow – as walking outside on a snowy evening is one of my most favorite things of all.
I find a little ray of sunshine and happiness in these bright golden egg yolks which I discovered on a camera card I hadn’t looked at since last June. They seem to inject a rush of summer air into the brittle cold snap we’ve been experiencing for the past few days. The thought of eating that herby egg salad with a crunchy Finn Crisp cracker on a warm afternoon is a happy memory.
A delivery of potato chips the day after hurricane Sandy hit NYC.
Sand, sun, maple sugar, shadow, lines, rows, tawny tones. The sand appears almost edible, the maple candies structural. These photographs were all made within the past week and were unintentionally parallel.
I am back from points west and while it may not have been all that warm (actually, it was downright freezing during most of my visit to Southern California), it was sunny and there was fruit on the trees! I came back with three lemons in my bag that had been plucked off the small, potted backyard tree of friends and handed to me as a gift the day before I departed.
I also came home with a small bottle of meyer lemon agrumato that I bought at a farmers’ market in L.A. An olive oil in which lemons (or other citrus fruits) are crushed together with the olives in the same mill, agrumato has a pure fruit flavor. I had never tasted it before, but all the things I’d read about it are true – the clear, acidic aroma of the lemon rings loud and clear and mingles with the peppery flavor of the olives to create a delightfully fragrant oil. This afternoon, I combined a spoonful of the oil with a squeeze of juice from one of the lemons and tossed them together with a grated carrot and sunflower sprouts (from my winter CSA box and my neighborhood farmers’ market, respectively) for a bright little salad that combined local ingredients from two coasts. The combination of colours and crunch and citrusy zing helped a little bit in easing back into January in NYC.
Cutlery designed by Arne Jacobsen and used as props in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Currently part of the Stanley Kubrick retrospective at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art).