In the winter months in particular, it is easy to get wrapped up in such frivolities as Salted Pecan Candy Cap Sables, or Double Chocolate Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting, and to forget that sometimes the best foods are the most simple and straightforward.
Sandy, buttery cookies become an addictive conversation piece with the addition of ground candy cap mushrooms and flaky sea salt. When dried, candy caps taste like an earthy version of maple syrup, and add delicious flavor to many baked goods.
I have a bit of a problem. I seem to accrete jars of jam. I can’t help it. I don’t have compulsive-jam-buying disorder or anything; people gift them to me, homemade-style. I also make jam myself at a rate which far exceeds my jam-eating capabilities (which happens to be rather low). Few activities feel more satisfyingly domestic goddess-ish than lining up a dozen warm jars of freshly canned preserves, listening to the ‘shluurrp’ as the lids seal themselves down, one by one. Gazing upon their jewel-like colors induces daydreams of ‘larders’ and ‘simpler times’ where ‘homesteaders’ had to ‘put things by’ in order to last through the ‘lean winter.’
There are a lot of places in the world I haven’t traveled to; like, most of them. Being terrified of flying doesn’t help matters. My earliest memory is of running along the beach in Hawaii when I was three; I’ve been around the states a bit, including, unfortunately, Texas; Jay and I roadtripped up to British Columbia last fall; I spent a year living in Bologna, Italy, during my junior year at UCSC, which had been preceeded by the obligatory, drunken, post-high-school romp through western Europe. But that’s about it.