Late-May Mash Up

BE GRATEFUL. That is what we wrote on a piece of paper and taped to our wall last week. It will stay there, as a reminder.

We are happy to have a lot going on (a new studio soon, a new book in the works, a cool smoked fish shoot coming up in June, fun work with Applegate, a tree fort going up in the backyard... all of which we'll post about here in the coming weeks), but staying focused has been hard. So when we sat down at the computer to pull together this blog post, these three images made sense to us in that way that salty and sweet make sense to us in cookies.

1. Elio's birthday is on Sunday. Holy 8! (This pic is from last April, wait till you see him now.)

2. Guy has been crazy trying to start a starter and finally he has trapped yeast in flour and water (it is nice and sour smelling) and, hopefully, will soon be making the dense sprouted bread we so love from our time in Germany and Austria.

3. We love this portrait of Fabrizia, and it reminds us that the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School (where we lived and helped produce the book Coming Home To Sicily) is having its 25th anniversary in June. It is going to be a fantastic celebration (which sadly we will miss) but again serves to remind us of the experience that got us started on our path and yet another reason to be grateful.

So, with that we leave you with these...



Kick-ass ice-cream

Where: The Bent Spoon, Princeton, NJ Who: Gabrielle Carbone and Matt Errico

Why: Its their 10 year Anniversary this week! Go get some ice-cream.

I am not sure if we have mentioned that we used to live in Santa Fe, NM, and Sicily, and New York, and, yes!, in Brooklyn too. But we have landed here in NJ. Many people would, (and do), ask why? It is too long of story to get into but what is important is that we are happy, we are near family and we can get really good, really fresh ingredients that we love to cook with.

Plus we can find other people (like the Bent Spoon people) who also like to make incredibly good things with the best ingredients. Lucky us! And there is none of that Brooklyn hipper-than-thou attitude (we have our own sort of attitude to deal with in Jersey, thank you very much!)

On another note, this portrait of Gabrielle is one of my favorites that I made in the last few months. Sort of Patti Smith meets artisanal ice-cream.





Jumping in

It was almost four years ago that we decided to leave New York, the place where we started our little family and lived in all the stereotypical New York situations: loud sublets, roaches, smoking neighbors, the sounds of sex in the airshaft, an endless horizon of delicious and cheap food, stuck subways, rain, heat, dog poop, walk-ups, strollers, art everywhere, wealth everywhere, crisp spring days, brisk fall days. All of it we loved, on some level, but we wanted a change. That change came from the least expected place and has, unknowingly, happily landed us where we are today. There are two people who were the catalysts for all this—Diane Abrams (Kate's colleague at Gourmet and now our fantastic book editor) and Mary Taylor Simeti, (writer, activist, farmer). Their kindness and generosity of time and spirit led us to Sicily. We can go on and on about our experiences there (or you could just scroll through our old blog), but for this post we just want to thank them, and feel grateful that we know them. Below are a few pics of Mary's land, perched high above the Gulf of Castellammare. They grow organic vegetables, olives and grapes on the 40 acres of Bosco Falconeria. Her family is making some of the best wine we had in Sicily. You should visit them.

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