To prove their versatility, here are five out-of-the-ordinary ideas for cooking with green beans, each from a different world culture
July 26, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
When and where did people learn to cultivate one of our favorite snacks?
July 21, 2011 | By Jesse Rhodes
Meal planning has become like triage; we eat whatever is most urgently ripe
July 15, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
Summer and rhubarb go hand in hand. So do strawberries and rhubarb—in pie. But what else can you cook up with the vegetable?
July 12, 2011 | By Megan Gambino
The best way to eat watermelon? By the wedge, bare feet dangling into a pool or lake. But here are five other pretty good ideas
June 08, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
The first thing that comes to mind at the mention of wine is "yes, please." The second is "grapes." And the last thing might have been pumpkins—until this week, when I tasted pumpkin wine
May 18, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
Today's memory about cardoons comes from Susie Petitti Tilton, who works at Williams-Sonoma and has a small business baking decorated sugar cookies
May 16, 2011 | By Smithsonian Staff
Butter or mayonnaise are simple, traditional and perfectly acceptable accompaniments, but why stop there? Here are five other ideas
May 11, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
In Swann's Way, French novelist Marcel Proust penned something of a breathless love letter to asparagus, offering the following reflection as he ponders a decked-out dinner table:
"hat fascinated me would be the asparagus, tinged with ultramarine and rosy pink which ran from their heads, finely sti...
April 28, 2011 | By Jesse Rhodes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XTZih16DUB4"Great news, Mom and Dad—Matt and I are having a cucumber plant! And some peas, and tomatoes, and beets, too. I know we should wait to tell people until we're certain they've germinated, and there's a long way to go before they actually fruit, but we just p...
April 27, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
For this month's Inviting Writing series, we asked you to tell us about the most memorable meal of your life. A pattern emerged from the stories we received: nothing focuses the mind on a meal like hardship, hunger or disgust. Today's entry reminds us that meals don't have to be traumatic to be mem...
April 18, 2011 | By admin
At a Thai restaurant last week, my dining companion convinced me to forego the tantalizingly spicy offerings in favor of a chicken dish served with ginger, pineapple chunks and cashews in a sweet and sour sauce. When the dish came out, I was thrilled to see that it was served in half of a hollowed-...
April 12, 2011 | By Jesse Rhodes
A few years ago, while driving through rural Washington County, New York—a picturesque area that has attracted retirees and city-weary escapees—I noticed a sign declaring it a "right to farm" area. A city person myself until recently, it struck me as strange that anyone would feel the need to decla...
April 06, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
Earlier this week Anthony Bourdain, the chef-turned-memoirist-turned-cleaver-witted-TV-personality, used his blog to criticize the James Beard Association's food writing awards, sparking a lot of chatter about the difference between food journalism (which involves research, interviews and verifiabl...
April 01, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
Urban "farming" is trendy—so much so that when a friend who lives in Berkeley, California (a hotbed of guerrilla gardening) was recently wandering around Home Depot looking clueless, an orange-vested employee cheerfully, and correctly, guessed that she was trying to build a chicken coop.Having rece...
March 30, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
In spring a Northerner's fancy turns lightly to... anything other than the same old starchy winter vegetables I've been eating for months. I don't remember if this used to happen to me when I lived in a snow-free climate, but now that I live up north the only things I'm craving more than balmy bree...
March 25, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
If fruit trees grow from seeds, how do you grow seedless fruit? It's not unusual for plants to produce mutant fruit that lacks seeds, but these fruits are usually the end of their line. Naturally occurring hybrids can also make sterile fruit. The varieties that we eat are specifically hybridized to...
March 24, 2011 | By Laura Helmuth
If you've been reading this blog for awhile, you may have noticed that we've given a lot of the-stuff-formerly-known-as-ink to maple syrup. We've written about how it's made, how to turn it into a sticky taffy by pouring it on snow, maple creemees, vodka made from fermented maple sap, even an entir...
March 10, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
The first thing my city friends asked when I told them I had bought a 19th-century farmhouse on several acres was, "what are you going to do with all that land?" The idea of owning acreage is alien to a lot of urbanites, who consider even a small patch of grassy yard a luxury. But for the last year...
March 04, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen
City person moves to the country, takes up farming, can't believe how much work it is, writes a book: a healthy stack of titles along these lines has come out in the last decade or so, as a new wave of back-to-the-landers and locavores has discovered the joys and perils of small-scale agriculture. ...
February 15, 2011 | By Lisa Bramen