Just Guess

It started with a birthday dinner for a vegetarian guest of honor.  The weather has been topsy turvy and a slight nudge of chill and wet revived my longing for soup.  I settled on a variation of vichyssoise but wanted the onion flavor to be less dominant and substituted a vegetable.  Somehow, the vegetable became the…

Warming Up

I didn’t make kima for years.  To be truthful, I didn’t make it at all.  Ever.  The thinking went . . . who needs to make some Indian variation of ground meat hash when there’s so much other stuff to cook?  I ignored the kima completely but little did I realize that others were making…

Under the Chicago Sun

Every year we buy two sweet basil plants. They are easygoing herbs and ask for little. They withstand storms and seem impervious to bugs. The basil flourish, and right around this time each year, the plants delight in flowering and producing seeds, wanting to continue their enchanting circle of life. But we frown when our plants…

The Main Course

Bengal’s culture of fish has been determined in large part by its geography. Most of Bengal is an alluvial plain, giving rise to rivers and wetlands that are partial to growing rice and prone to flooding. Kolkata sits at the mouth of the Hooghli River—a tributary of the Ganges—where it meanders through its delta into the…

Spring Chickens

It’s time.  Yesterday I went to the garden center and bought pink dahlias, purple daisies, and some fancy dirt.  Also floppy petunias, striated coleus and the start of a little herb garden.  I am a city gardener, a small timer who dwells on the third floor and has access to a back deck overlooking a…

Anticipation

Spring has arrived.  We are apparently saving daylight, (saving it from what, I am tempted to ask) and finally, we are past the threat of snow.  The boxwood in our front yard have begun to release their pungent, sandy smell, the daffodils have broken through the cold soil, and the tulips want to test their…

Make It Fast

Make it now.  Make it taste good.  And make it nutritious too.  These are the demands of busy families.   The timeline of cooking shifts when children are present, especially the littlest ones who demand our constant attention.   Long hours spent in the deliberation and preparation of food suddenly give way to “what can I make…