Recipes for Things I Love

Things I Love: A Sprightly Salt

July 5, 2017

I’m not one of those people who has an entire wardrobe of flavored salts. Lots of different salts, yes, in various shapes and colors. But salt flavored with smoke or seaweed or chile has never done much for me.

Then I discovered Shed’s Shiso Salt.

It has a bright flavor unlike anything I’ve encountered before; somehow it mellows the bite of shiso, giving it a lovely hint of sweetness. Rumors of sunny fields float through this salt, along with a tantalizing herbal lilt. Lately I find myself sprinkling it on just about everything: eggs, bread, tomatoes, salad.  Made a lamb curry the other night, and found myself shaking some into that as well. It was the perfect touch.

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Things I Love: Lamb, Feta and Spinach Sausage

June 10, 2017

The bear has been prowling around lately – I took this picture from the dining room table – but I can’t say I blame him.  We were sitting there eating the wonderful lamb, spinach and feta sausage from Jamison Farm, and it’s enough to drive anyone crazy.

I’ve been eating John and Sukey Jamison’s lamb for years; they were the first farmers I knew who raised little lambs entirely on grass. They also harvest them at a very young age, as they do in France.  I think it was the late (and much lamented) Jean-Louis Palladin who first told me about them, practically weeping as he described the flavor.  “This is like my childhood,” he said. “So sweet and fresh.  You can taste the grass.”

Their lamb IS fantastic: smaller and milder than the robust lamb you may be used to eating.  We had a little leg for dinner the other night – rolled around parsley, lemon and garlic.

But this morning we ate Sukey’s fine savory sausage for breakfast.  You can order it online, but beware: try it once and you’ll always want to have some of this delicious stuff stored away in the freezer


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Another Gorgeous Way to Boil Water

June 3, 2017

My newest teakettle is made in America, dates back to the 1930s – and with its bakelite handle, is even more beautiful, I think, than the Scottish Picquot Ware version.

This Wagner magnalite kettle – manufactured by a family firm in Sidney, Ohio, is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art.


They’re not all that hard to find, and they’re not (yet) as pricey as Picquot Ware.  And while we’re on the subject, the Wagner company made many other casseroles, pots and pans of great beauty.  Google Wagner, and an astonishing collection comes up.

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Things I Love: Another Great Kettle

June 2, 2017

I’ve written about my Picqout Ware tea kettle before.  I think it’s the most beautiful kettle I’ve ever seen. But once again, some negligent person (I’m not pointing any fingers here….) left it on the fire too long and burned off the handle.

In the past, you could send the kettles back to the factory in Scotland for a replacement handle. But sadly, the factory has now closed.  So I’ve been looking for a replacement.

This one turned up!  I was confused because it’s not labeled Picquot Ware, but rather Newmaid.

Turns out, however, that it’s the same company: the first kettles made by Picquot were marketed under the trade name ‘New Maid’ in 1946- 47 .  They changed their name to Picquot Ware in 1951.

You can read about it here.

I also turned up another, older kettle.  It’s American – and it’s the original.  Tomorrow I’ll show you this 1936 beauty.

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Things I Love: Green Serpentine

May 29, 2017

When I asked for marble counters, everyone told me I was crazy.  “It will pit,” they said, “it will stain.”

But I didn’t care. I’d always dreamed of marble counters to roll out my pie dough. I’d had granite before, and I didn’t like it; such a cold, unforgiving stone.  I love the soft warmth of marble – and I kind of liked the idea that it would show wear, change over time.

So I got my green marble.  Or at least I thought I did.  It’s lovely stone, and it’s great for rolling out pastry, or kneading bread, or making pasta. But I’ve had it fifteen years now – and despite slamming burning hot pots onto it, slicing with sharp knives and spilling endless foods from coffee to red wine to beet juice – it looks as new now as it did when it was installed.

Turns out it’s not marble after all.  It’s Vermont green serpentine – and it is, without any doubt, my favorite thing about my kitchen.

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