For you folks following along via RSS, well, I’m glad you’re still here. I’ve been pretty quiet lately, and with all my talk about how maybe I won’t be writing here anymore, well…I can’t seem to quite walk away from my little home on the web here at The Kitchen Illiterate.
So I decided to renovate instead. This site has been move to a new domain, www.kitchenilliterate.com. So if you still want to play along, please update your RSS feed. I hope to have more to say soon, as I think I’m finally starting to get more settled into my new little life here in Oakland. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ll check out the new site.
Comfort food takes a new turn with split pea puree. Read all about it on my new blog, The Lone Gastronome.
Several months ago, as I probably too often do, I bookmarked a recipe. Most of the time these bookmarked recipes slip quickly from my thoughts, only to reappear when I occasionally actually look at my recipe page in Delicious. But this recipe stayed with me: It was (surprise!) a recipe from Smitten Kitchen, for a bacon, onion, and cream pizza. Shortly after taking note of Deb’s recipe, I had dinner at Brasserie Four in Walla Walla, where I noticed a very similar dish on the menu, called a Tarte Flambee. I ate it, it was spectacular, and I became a little obsessed.
Sometimes, when I’m walking home from work in the evening, or sitting on BART heading into San Francisco, or wandering through the Rockridge Market Hall drooling over fresh pasta, I’m overcome by joy that I get to live here, that this is, really and truly, my new home. Two weekends ago Mr. X and I took a trip into the city to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and I couldn’t stop grinning, despite the crowds and noise and madness. I felt like I was in my own personal version of heaven, surrounded by piles of glorious spring onions and purple carrots and flawless mushrooms of all kinds. I could spend hours wandering through that place, but luckily for Mr. X, I was content to cut the shopping short and sit down to enjoy a glass of cava once I found my new culinary magical ingredient: Umami paste.
I don’t have any proper pictures of this meal, but I want to share it anyway. There was nothing special in the cooking. There is no recipe here. But there is something awfully special in the meal itself: This was our first meal in our new home.
We moved in two weekends ago, after I spent a month living with my aunt and uncle and Mr. X spent a month back in Boston, packing and cleaning and saying good bye to the city where he lived for 13 years. It was a pretty joyous weekend, even with all the unpacking and cleaning, not to mention moving around those heavy boxes of books (oh, so many books). We were both fairly giddy, to be here, to be in our apartment, to be together.
But we were awfully tired after all the unpacking. So we went to Trader Joe’s and bought some marinated steak and some tortillas, an avocado and some salad greens. We had intended to fire up our new grill before we discovered that it’s out of propane, but this gave us an excuse to try out the convection feature of our oven (yes, I have a convection oven! Oh the joy!). We heated a cast iron skillet in the oven, and cooked the thinly sliced steak quickly, searing it and flipping it with just a few minutes on each side. We heated tortillas in the microwave, too hungry to warm them individually on the gas burner (yes, I have a gas stove again! Oh the joy!). We sliced cucumbers and avocado, and made a simple vinaigrette, and dinner was served.
There isn’t anything special about this meal in and of itself, and with no recipe to share, I wondered if I should write anything at all. But it was a wonderful meal, and testament to the fact that when you’re happy, even the most pre-prepared, labor-free food can be something memorable.
I’ve been blogging somewhere else. Yes, it’s true. I’ve mentioned a few times that I was feeling like I might be ready to move on from The Kitchen Illiterate and start a new food writing adventure, and I think I’m finally ready for the big reveal. Or, really, the small, shaky reveal, because it’s not completely 100% finished yet. But if you’re interested in seeing where I’ve been lately, The Lone Gastronome is ready for visitors.
This new blog is focused on cooking and eating well for one (or two). I try to take a Food Matters-style approach to cooking, and intend to offer plenty of advice for shopping, storing food, and meal planning when you’re cooking small meals only intended to feed one or two people.
It’s definitely a work in progress, but I’m hoping it will grow into its breeches soon enough. And truth be told, I’ll probably still post here from time to time, when I’m working on a recipe that doesn’t really fit over there or cooking something new and unusual. But posts here will probably continue to be fewer and further between.
I hope you enjoy the new blog, though! Please feel free to send me any feedback, too.
It is no secret that I’ve been at a real standstill in the kitchen lately. It isn’t just culinary inspiration that’s been lacking, but the writerly inspiration, too. Even when I do cook something fantastic, I can’t seem to find anything interesting to say about it. For example, this stew. It’s great. It’s full of unique flavors, and I got to use some new ingredients, and I found all kinds of delicious things to do with the leftovers. And I’ve been trying now for weeks to sit down and say something that would make you all want to rush into your kitchens to get cooking. How am I doing?