How can something so small be so intimidating? The macaron, light and airy, adorably round and dyed a pretty pastel shade, is hardly frightening on the surface. But face-to-face with it, it scared the pants off me. These little pastries look like perfect little packages, sometimes too perfect to be made at home.
I’ve always loved the intense burst of salty, sour, sweet and crunch that comes with a good pickle. On more than one occasion my mom caught me drinking juice straight from the pickle jar, and I can’t say I’m not still tempted to do that today.
Thanksgiving always starts with grand ambitions: turkeys brined to perfection, elegant centerpieces, silky pumpkin pies. But somewhere between the turkey that refuses to brown evenly and the chaos of kids off their normal meal schedule, you throw your hands up in the air and just hope you’ll at least be able to put the bird on the table and take a shower before your guests arrive.
When I was growing up, every Thanksgiving was my opportunity to play my mom’s sous chef. I’m not sure if I was more of a help or a hindrance in the kitchen, but I sure had fun stirring, pouring and creating little “meals” of my own.
This fall my husband and I had the chance to take our boys on a trip to the Pacific Northwest. We spent time in Portland, Seattle, and everywhere in-between, but by far the boys’ favorite spot was Corbett, Oregon, where we spent the day hunting for wild mushrooms. Thanks to our guide we learned the differences between true chanterelles and their inedible look-alikes: unlike the impostors, the real chanterelles smell like apricots, have distinctive gills and do not have hollow stems.