Dalai Mama Dishes

by Catherine Newman

Catherine Newman cooks for the family

Dalai Mama Dishes

Catherine Newman cooks for the family

Gratitude

Posted March 21, 2011

I read Birdy the last chapter of Little House in the Big Woods last night. It's only been a couple of years since I read it to Ben, of course, but I had nonetheless forgotten how incredibly good it is. How Zen, honestly. It ends this way, after Pa plays Auld Lang Syne on his fiddle and Laura climbs into bed:

"Laura lay awake a little while, listening to Pa's fiddle softly playing and to the lonely sound of the wind in the Big Woods. She looked at Pa sitting on the bench by the hearth, the fire-light gleaming on his brown hair and beard and glistening on the honey-brown fiddle. She looked at Ma, gently rocking and knitting.
She thought to herself, "This is now."
She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the fire-light and the music, were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can… Read More
47 people found this post helpful 251 Comments

Mexican Rice

Posted March 14, 2011
The brown-rice version. My 98-year-old uncle died last year, and my inheritance was a tremendous set of Le Creuset cookware.
In the past week, we've twice surrounded ourselves with college students in order to gorge ourselves on buffalo chicken wings at the local chicken-wing bar. The first time it was because we'd heard they had great wings, and the second time it was because indeed they *had* had great wings the first time. They are crispy and saucy and finger-lickingly insane. If you're the kids, you mostly stick with the honey-barbecue strips ("Boneless wings?" Ben said, and flapped his arms… Read More
9 people found this post helpful 9 Comments

Brown-butter Whole-wheat Shortbread

Posted March 07, 2011
Ben is hoping to make the Guinness Book with "world's longest hair." The fact that the current record is held by a woman whose hair trails 18 feet behind her is no impediment to his hirsute zeal.
I've told you before, I'm sure, about one of Ben's classmates, and how years ago, when they were mapping out their hearts for a school project, she had divided her affections among all the usual stuff (family, animals, TV, the earth, candy) and then devoted a large section to "really strong wind." And I am so with her on that. Maybe it's people who tend to be agitated who love the wind the most: we think, "Well, at least it's… Read More
13 people found this post helpful 8 Comments

Smoky Saucy Chickpeas with Spinach

Posted February 28, 2011
This is one of those dinners--an excellent meal that everybody eats and likes, even though nobody's clapping and barking like an excited sea lion.
We were eating dinner with friends on Friday, and their son sighed and said, "I love beans. If I could, I'd eat beans every night." I watched Ben and Birdy to see if their pleasant good natures would crack open to emit a geyser of steaming culinary rage and boredom: "Are you crazy? We eat beans every single night! And it totally sucks!" But no. Just a mild: "Wow, you should come live with us, then!" Indeed. We eat a… Read More
19 people found this post helpful 16 Comments

Roast Chicken with Ginger Vinaigrette

Posted February 20, 2011
A roast chicken is such a company dinner, a Sunday-night dinner. I love it.
I don't actually tell you everything. There are some divergent food paths I must travel alone--recipes or obsessions that really seem too strange and idiosyncratic to be useful to you--and so I don't mention them. Or I wait and see if they ultimately translate themselves into a recipe that might be simple and appealing enough to post, and often they do. David Chang's Momofuku cookbook, which I have checked out of the library, is like that right now.… Read More
14 people found this post helpful 7 Comments

Butternut Galette

Posted February 14, 2011
Nothing says "I love you" like, um, squash.

Okay, I know it's Valentine's Day, and I should be publishing a recipe for Love Cake with I-Love-You Sauce, but seriously. If pie for dinner isn't romantic, I don't know what is.

Plus, if you made those pickled beets last week, then you're in luck: cut hearts out of them (I used a very small cookie cutter for this) and then either add the beet hearts to a salad or use them to print hearts all over bread or… Read More
8 people found this post helpful 4 Comments
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About Catherine Newman

Catherine Newman is the author of the memoir, Waiting for Birdy: A Year of Frantic Tedium, Neurotic Angst, and the Wild Magic of Growing a Family, available online and in bookstores nationwide.

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