When I was a kid, if I got a cold or the flu, instead of coddling me my mother would scold me for getting sick. She’d attribute my condition to either a weak moral constitution or my refusal to wear that embarrassing magenta snowsuit (that she had spent good money on!) to school. And then she’d cook me chicken glass noodle soup from scratch, with homemade broth infused with ginger, tender poached chicken, thin slivers of shiitake mushrooms, and silky glass noodles.
illustration: tram Nguyen
Almost as soon as I could write my own name, I was helping my mother in the kitchen. Most of the time I would be saddled with menial tasks, like peeling root vegetables or washing herbs, but my absolute favorite thing to do was help her assemble wontons.
Illustration: Tram Nguyen
Hello! We hope you can forgive us for this shamefully long hiatus between posts. We missed writing here and hearing from you guys!
Hello? Is there anybody out there? We apologize for our absence! Lucy and I have been up to our necks in writing, painting, and testing recipes for the book (also, hanging out this past weekend in Chicago—presumably to get some “work” done, but really just mainlining Gilmore Girls episodes on Netflix), but as soon as we knock this manuscript out we will be back with new recipes and embarrassing personal anecdotes in a few weeks.*
While we get our acts together, might we suggest you check out the nominees for Saveur’s 2015 Blog Awards? They assembled this list of the best and the brightest, whittled down from an impressive 50,000 submissions this year. Come vote for your favorites and discover a few new food blogs to follow. Voting is open until April 30th. Oh, and we were judges for the first round!
Warning: Completely irrelevant GG rants below the jump. Feel free to weigh in on the debate if you are also a big nerd. :)
It’s a testament to the infectiousness of Colwin’s enthusiasm that her recipes seem appealing even though the food she described was often unappealing to the point of being categorically gross – and she knew it. Her favorite foods include mashed vegetable fritters, meatloaf, steamed puddings, and the jelly that surrounds cold leftover meat, spread on toast and eaten for breakfast. Her enthusiasm for fermented Chinese black beans is boundless, and in several of her recipes these salty, pungent beans are combined with cheese, or yams. “A cold steak sandwich is sort of disgusting, but it is also sort of wonderful,” she confesses, after specifying that this sandwich must include the hardened cold meat drippings, plus butter, because “this is a recipe for people whose cholesterol is too low.” And “Chicken salad has a certain glamour about it.” In a chapter titled “Kitchen Horrors,” she includes a recipe for something called Suffolk Pond Pudding, a suet-heavy British dish that a horrified guest describes as tasting “like lemon-flavored bacon fat.” “I ate almost the entire pudding myself,” she gleefully reports. It’s also refreshing to read a cookbook written by someone who unabashedly confesses to having made baked chicken and a particular creamed spinach casserole literally every time dinner guests came over — for years.
This essential weirdness translates to a sense of unlimited permission, which might be why Colwin is especially beloved to people who, like her, specialize in writing non-expert, enthusiastic reports from the front lines of cooking trial and error – in other words, food bloggers. Indeed, some of them see her less as influence than as a sort of spiritual ancestor.
-Friend of the blog Emily Gould on Laurie Colwin.