Peonies are my favorite flower. I love how they’re wild but also elegant — the two things I most want to be and secretly (or not so secretly) hope I already am.
Well, as it happens, it’s peony season, which is a bit like hunting season but without the blood.
On Memorial Day, while shopping for a potluck barbecue, I saw a tub of the most gorgeous peonies standing just outside the market day. Afraid they’d wilt in the car — and afraid that someone would nab them if we brought them in — we (or, rather, I) resolved to swing back after our cookout and pick some up. When we got back there, all that were left were the dregs. Should have bagged those bouquets when I had the chance (and dared anyone at that cookout to try to take them home).
Tags: Home, Peonies, The Life
Yesterday, I re-seasoned my cast iron skillets. If that sentence doesn’t make sense to you, then you definitely ain’t from the South. In the South, where my roots are planted deep, there’s just no good cookin’ ‘cept that you use cast iron.
I’m a Southerner through and through. Though I long ago transplanted myself — first to New York and then to L.A. — Southern roots run deep, which is why I found myself seasoning my cast iron, and thinking about meals eaten in my mamma’s house.
Cast iron lasts several lifetimes (we’ve been passing them down in Southern families for years), well seasoned pan cleans easily and never sticks, and cooking with cast iron even adds some low dose iron to every meal. Southern cooks fry chicken in cast iron, but I use mine to brown chicken on the stove before sliding it in the oven so it can bake. In fact, I love to cook anything in it that can benefit from the carmelized goodness that cast iron imparts better than just about any cookware I know and, unlike close rivals, like enamel coated cast iron favorite Le Creuset, cast iron is super affordable. Treat it right and you’ll be roasting potatoes and whipping up batches of skillet cornbread, and just about anything you can imagine, for years and lifetimes to come to come.
Tags: Cast Iron Skillet, Food, Southern Cooking, The Life
My not so guilty pleasure is what I like to call “high-end reality,” the phrase I use to justify my addiction to reality shows like Top Chef, Project Runway and, yes I’ll admit it, Top Model. I love these shows because they showcase people who are not only leading with their talents, but leading with their original vision, attempting to put their unique stamp on the world. These shows enrich my life in ways that “low end reality” shows do not. And yes, I dabble in a little of the low-end too I’m currently addicted to the decidedly low-end (with a heart of gold) Preacher’s Daughter), though I find that on the low-end just a dab will do.
Tags: American Idol, Gretchen Jones, Home, Project Runway, Reality TV, The Life
Happy Valentine’s Day, luvies! I hope you’re surrounded by love — today and every day.
Tags: Family, The Life, Valentine's Day
Yesterday I discovered an amazing website called Eat Your Books. It’s an online library full of your favorite cookbooks. Add them to your digital Eat Your Books bookshelf and voila! All of your cookbooks become searchable by ingredient, author, book title or recipe name. The entry level membership, which allows you to add 5 cookbooks to your shelf, is free. An unlimited shelf is $2.50 a month or $25 a year. There’s also a bookmarklet that lets you add recipes to your bookshelf from any website — I’m looking forward to transferring my Epicurious recipes here so I can have everything under one roof — and there’s also a blog and opportunities to engage with Eat Your Books through social media, so you can stay connected to other people who care about food.
Tags: Eat Your Books, Food, Recipes, TFRL, TFRL Lifestyle, The Life