The Dump

I used to complain to my wife about the fact that her sister — a caterer — would often drop by and “gift” us large quantities of food leftover from one of her jobs. There would be big Glad bags of pasta salads, large chunks of picked over cheese and half cakes.

I called it “the Dump,” and came to resent coming home to discover a fridge full of leftovers from someone-I-didn’t-know’s wedding that I was now responsible for either eating or assuming the guilt of throwing away.

Heirloom tomato & corn risotto with parmesan scallops, straciatella

Heirloom tomato & corn risotto with parmesan scallops, stracciatella

We don’t see her sister often these days, and it’s probably been nearly a decade since we last received a drop off. But our friends, Kristine and Simon, just moved to Lake Tahoe, and were back in Topanga to pack up. We invited them to dinner, and Kristine showed up with a canvas bag full of stuff. More

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Jean-Georges, Bittman and Me

Awhile back, my pal Alex sent me a link to a video from the New York Times of Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Mark Bittman preparing a scallop sashimi dish.

“This looks great,” Alex said in his email. “I sure would like to try something like this.”

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Now usually when one of my pals tells me they sure would like to try something, what that actually means is they would like me to make whatever it is for them. To Alex’s credit, he fessed up immediately when I responded: “Does that mean you want me to make this for you?” More

Combating Watermelon Fatigue

One of the best and worst parts of summer is the watermelon. Sure, everyone loves watermelon, and nothing says summer like a cold, sweet slice on a hot afternoon. That’s the good part. The bad part is that even the “mini” ones are larger than a child’s head. And the big ones are the melon equivalent of a Cruise America RV.

By some point into the summer — usually early to mid July — I begin suffering from watermelon fatigue. My kids insist on watermelon, so I buy the smallest one I can find. And then people begin showing up with them. More