Water, the Essence of All

Begin with a washing of hands, cleansing and purifying, before approaching the stove, as to an altar. Pouring water into a pot, do you remember the source? Rain, clouds, rivers, streams, lakes, oceans … Transformation, from elements and compounds and chaotic matter to life. Essence. Alchemy. In your hands, a cook’s hands, water shape-shifts into…

If on a Winter’s Night, a Bowl of Garbure

Nights spent huddled by fires snapping  and popping and providing respite from the howling winds and wolves, when you think of the dark and the cold and the danger, don’t you — all snuggled up in your down comforter or quilt passed down from your great-grandmother — feel a slight shiver? Of déjà vu? Not the…

Winter’s Leafy Greens: A Romantic History à la Française

A few mornings ago, the pumpkins sprawling on my front porch sparkled with frost. And you know what that means. It’s time for some serious rustic cooking. (And I’d like to include a recording right here of someone yelling “Yippee!”) It’s time to turn to the hardy greens of winter, something that French cooks* use…

Cooking in French: Soup – Cuisine’s Kindest Course*

“The French peasant cuisine is at the basis of the culinary art. By this I mean it is composed of honest elements that la grande cuisine only embellishes.” ~ Alexandre Dumaine A succulent soup provides a glistening gem of daily nourishment during all the seasons of the year, but especially during autumn, that narrow doorway…