Cooking Class

Harbinger of Spring

Asparagus1Tall, slender stalks of asparagus standing at attention like soldiers guarding the pump on Uncle Loy’s farm come immediately to mind when I feel the first breezes of Spring. I’ve always loved asparagus. As toddlers, my sister and I used to pull up those first stalks, rinse them off under the cool water from the well, and eat them raw. When a plate of perfectly cooked spears are set before me, I anticipate their lovely crunch. They need no fancier topping than a touch of sweet butter and a splash of fresh lemon juice. I’m in heaven! Read more »

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Hearty Beef Stew in Red Wine with Onions and Mushrooms)

hearty and warming dinner for a cold winter's night

hearty and warming dinner for a cold winter’s night

I can tell the story of my life with this dish. It was the first dinner I ever cooked for my family. I was eleven and used the recipe from Mom’s Joy of Cooking. We all loved stews and braised meats, so I made it many times. Then Julia’s version came along and mine took on new dimensions. Eating it in France brought still more depth. It is surely one of my favorite dishes to eat or to serve to loved ones, and the one I traditionally make for my birthday dinner.

This is an essential dish to have in your repertoire because, besides being heart-warming and delicious, it benefits from being prepared in advance and reheated; AND leftovers freeze well. What’s more, you may be surprised to learn that almost exactly the same recipe, when prepared with chicken instead of beef, becomes the world-famous (and equally tasty) Coq au Vin! [You are welcome to message me to obtain the transitional recipe.] Read more »

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