Every morning, I light the burners, trim the vegetables, and lumber toward some ineffable sense of progress. Hours later, I’m scrubbing the counters, scouring the burnt edges of the stove with a steel wool pad, waiting for insight. All I ever seem to get is a trail of breadcrumbs, a tiny string of clues about…… Continue reading Breadcrumbs

Once upon a time in Palermo : Caponata

In his chapter on Sicily in The Food of Italy, Waverly Root quoted Sicilian writer and scholar Gaetano Falzone: “He who has not eaten a caponatina of eggplant has never reached the antechamber of the terrestrial paradise.” Last fall, I found myself in Palermo, Falzone’s hometown, tasting caponata for the first time. That feels like…… Continue reading Once upon a time in Palermo : Caponata

How to take care

I collapsed into the stiff-backed wooden chair. We’d been driving all day. As the coastline receded in the rearview mirror and our little green Fiat climbed higher toward the island’s core, my mind ruminated over that thing I search for three times a day, that ephemeral, ecstatic feeling of stumbling into sustenance. The hostess appeared…… Continue reading How to take care

A chilled delight : Espresso granita with marscapone cream

It’s January, not exactly granita season in the northern hemisphere. In Chicago, the snow is falling faster than anyone can shovel it. But I served granita last Saturday at a catering event and it was a hit. Perhaps the guests were buoyed by the experience of eating with others. There is a warming quality that…… Continue reading A chilled delight : Espresso granita with marscapone cream