We’re all good at different things. Sure, we have big, shiny, professional-grade skills, but I’m more interested in the little talents, quirks, and interests that make us us. My older sister can speak in a flat-out flawless British accent, knows how to curl her hair to look like a Pantene Pro-V ad, and has a textbook golf swing. My little sister is an exceptional cook who can whip up calzones one-handed (with a newborn baby on her hip), and has an excellent ability to stay unflaggingly cheerful under nearly any circumstance (airplane travel, the brutal 11th hour of a damp and rainy 12 hour hike up a steep, rocky Adirondack mountain, a run-of-the-mill bad day).Read More
I live just a few steps away from a very famous bakery. (No, it’s not my own kitchen, weird right?! Funny how word hasn’t caught on about my mad kitchen skills yet…) People come in droves to buy their cookies; I’ve counted lines of 70+ people on more than one occasion. They make a lot of excellent items—a perfectly domed blueberry muffin, squares of thin-crust squares of pizza shingled with rosemary-flecked potato slices, a dense banana bread packed with chocolate chunks—but most customers only have eyes for their cookies. Granted, the cookies are worth the wait.
My dad sits in a wooden rocking chair in front of the fireplace. He’s wearing a wool sweater, warming his toes in the heat of the fire, and cradling my youngest niece who sleeps quietly on his shoulder. Picture books are strewn across the window seats and floor of our big open living room, which looks out over the ponds and the pastures and forest beyond. Dusk is falling in soft shadowy shades across the farm. Over in the kitchen, I lean against the edge of the countertop with one of my sisters. My mom stands across from us, making pizza for dinner.Read More
Right on cue, winter has arrived. Thanksgiving day was bitingly cold. “They can’t hold a parade in this wind!'“ I thought as I woke up Thursday morning in New York City, struggling to take a quick jog along the Hudson River before starting our drive home to the farm. But of course they did, and of course people lined up with their folding chairs and thermoses of hot chocolate and unflaggingly high spirits because it is holiday season, exclamation point, and I take great comfort in their enthusiasm.Read More
Full disclosure: My birthday is March 20, and you’re welcome to bake me a cake if you like. I accept vanilla with seven-minute frosting, raspberry mousse layer cake, and anything with passionfruit.
As it is months away from the blessed event, you might say: “Po, really no need to be making birthday cake anything. Just stick with the calendar and lean into fall and bake pumpkin…everything.”Read More