travel

Slow Cooking Saves the Day

Over winter break, we rented a sweet little ski cabin. On top of the ski pants and snow boats and snow coats and groceries, I stacked my slow cooker. This was completely against my best-practice packing instincts, but I had a feeling it would make my after-slope life much easier. Truly, I had no idea.

That first snowy evening, I put on a pot to boil water for pasta, the light went on, the water started to steam, I heaped a salad into a bowl, and ten minutes later, the coils were ice cold.

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Learning to Eat: Fish

by Caroline

If you’re spending a sunny day on a small boat in the Mediterranean and your captain leaves briefly, in an even smaller boat, to do some fishing, then you’ll have a conversation with your vegetarian children about fresh food, trying new things, being polite to one’s hosts, and eating the best of what a place has to offer.

It’s a conversation you have often, though you have never done it in a bathing suit, rocking gently on the waves.

When the captain returns with his catch, you remind the kids about their great uncle and a lake in the Adirondack Mountains and some small bites of fish, many summers ago. They don’t quite remember, but they believe you. One boy looks away while the captain prepares the fish but the other watches closely:

The first boy is not too happy that the gangplank/diving board has become part of the kitchen:

But he is mollified when he sees how much else is available to eat:

And his younger brother eats with gusto, having learned to eat fish:

Farmer’s Markets, Turkish Style

by Caroline

We shop at farmer’s markets so regularly, they are such an unquestioned part of both Lisa’s and my weekly routines, that we don’t actually write much, specifically, about them here.

We have written posts about various fruits or vegetables we’ve introduced to our kids, new recipes found at the market, the farmers or fish mongers we visit, but, as it turns out, not much about the market scene: the day of the week, whether we walk or drive, what the kids like to buy, and how we haul our pounds of produce home.

So I’m looking forward to all of you discovering the three, very different, market essays in our book (available for pre-order now!) and for now, am continuing to punt writing about my local market. Instead, to supplement what I’ve written already about the fabulous street food we found in Turkey, I thought I’d offer a peek at the amazing variety of goods you can find in the local markets:

spices

dishes

more spices

nuts and dried fruit

dates

olives

essential Union Jack sunglasses

backgammon sets

jewelry

fruits and veggies

fresh crepes

nuts

spices and soaps

headphones and Smurfs

more beautiful fruit

fabulous green veg

more glorious spices

just couldn't get enough of the spices

And what, after all this, did we actually buy? Eli bought a laser pointer. Ben bought three different bags of this kind of weird, granulated fruit tea:

And the adults bought the fixings to make a few meals like this:

Four Things We Learned About Food in Istanbul

by Caroline

  • Turkish chocolate-hazelnut spread is every bit as tasty as Nutella:
  • Yogurt drink — ayran — is not milk! But it actually tastes delicious on muesli:
  • You can’t have too many ways to make coffee:
  • And street food, as in many cities, can be varied, healthy and delicious. But some of these were new to us:
  • roast corn

    rice and chickpea pilaf

    roasted mussels with lemon

    popcorn popped over a brazier

    more roasted corn on the cob, chestnuts

    little nut cakes

    My Favorite Food in Paris

    by Caroline

    As I wrote earlier this week, eating in Paris is not, for my family, a happy feast of escargot and steak frites. But it’s not all vegetable sushi and Italian take-out, oh no.

    When I think of eating in Paris, I don’t dream (as my children do) of nutella crepes and ice cream from Amorino. My mouth waters for a more savory, spicy, vinegary meal. I wait in line for it. I submit to the typical Parisien bureaucracy and love of paperwork by ordering inside, obtaining a precious ticket, and collecting the food outside. I brace myself and summon my best, most curt French to respond to the surly busy Parisien staff.

    I consent to eating it standing up, outside, with oil dripping down my hands. And then I tuck in to this:

    Falafel. Falafel with broiled eggplant, pickled cabbage, sour pickles, hot peppers, hummus, and yogurt, stuffed into a pita. It’s my favorite food in all of Paris.