Happy Lunar New Year!A snapshot of the new year around here: This prescient lady’s comic series keeps popping up on my social media feeds and, as we’re heading into the last few weeks of B4’s residency in Casa Mama, I have to say she’s onto something. B2 has been doing even more around the house with Luke than usual, despite being busier than ever at work, and even with that, the difference between this point in my pregnancy with Luke and the current state of affairs is comical. Last time I was busy drizzling glazes on Bundt cakes and posing with platters of scones the few weeks before Luke made his appearance. This time around, we’ve all been felled with a bug he brought home from preschool, and pretty much all I am doing is my best imitation of a beached whale, lying on the couch buying Magic Beans and going fishing, and just managing to shuffle to the kitchen to make a 30-minute pot of shortcut dduk guk for the new year. I’m the inspiring stuff moms are made of.
There is room yet for cinnamon rolls and cookies and hot chocolate on our Christmas morning breakfast spread, and I have plans aplenty to make all of these between now and Tuesday. But this strata, a little bit eccentric but a lot a bit amazing, has just muscled its way onto the table. I vaguely recall first learning of jianbing, the street cart phenomenon originally from Shandong and Tianjin, from Mandy at Lady and Pups–apparently, more than three years ago!–but it wasn’t until last fall that I first tried it in person, in all its saucy, spicy-and-savory-yet-a-little-sweet, chewy-yet-crunchy complexity.
It’s two months of A Common Table giveaways! From now until December, I’ll be sharing a recipe from the cookbook here and holding a giveaway of one of my favorite kitchen treasures used in the book every week, and you’ll have a week to enter before the winner is announced, along with a new giveaway. This post is in partnership with Pyrex. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
The time has come–it’s the very last A Common Table giveaway. What a couple of months it’s been! It has been so incredibly special seeing the book in your hands, all the things you’ve made, and reading all your stories and kind words. I can’t thank you enough for sharing with me and for making this a dream come true.
It’s two months of A Common Table giveaways! From now until December, I’ll be sharing a recipe from the cookbook here and holding a giveaway of one of my favorite kitchen treasures used in the book every week on Instagram, and you’ll have a week to enter before the winner is announced, along with a new giveaway.
These lion’s head meatballs are one of the handful of recipes in the book that was originally on my blog. It was one of the very first, actually, posted nearly five years ago to the day! And whenever I’ve been asked what my favorite recipe in the book is, I’ve had to say it’s this. First, and perhaps most importantly, it’s just one of the most delicious things I’ve ever made: The meatballs are a marvel, tender, light, and juicy like little clouds that practically melt into your rice. They’re burnished brown on the outside from a quick fry, then steamed over an impossibly tall pile of bok choy until the greens wilt into a flavorful heap under the juices from the meatballs, so you get a full meal with a side all in one. They’re one of my favorite winter meals, one we used to make in the depths of Brooklyn winters while the world outside was frosted white, and they’re so good that they’ve become one of the most made recipes I’ve ever posted (and, to my utter surprise, even won a contest once!)
My earliest memories of Asian pears are from my grandparents’ kitchen in a concrete high-rise in bustling Shanghai, sitting around an old, worn table under fluorescent lights after a long flight from the United States. Asian pears are meant to be eaten peeled, and I can still see the ribbons of peels as they curled off my grandmother’s paring knife, seamless, swift, and unbroken, piling around the slices as she set them before us. (To my mother’s dismay, this is not a skill I have ever mastered.)
Hi! In less than three days, we’re jumping on (or, more accurately, “squeezing a toddler and many bags and a stroller and a car seat onto”) a plane and heading to Hawaii for the first time since our two-bowl household became a three-bowl one. There are aunties and uncles and cousins for Luke to meet for the first time, beaches to explore, galbi to chew on, and to say we–and even more, his grandparents–are excited would be an understatement. Our fellow passengers are probably less excited, though they don’t know it yet. (If you have any tips for entertaining a 14-month old in an enclosed space for five hours, I welcome them and our seatmates will thank you.)
We are now solidly into the magical stretch between Thanksgiving and Christmas, that no-holds-barred span of weeks that I typically use to indulge all of my wildest cookie and hot cocoa and cinnamon roll whims, and yet, much to my dismay, I’ve spent most of it so far thinking about, not chocolate or candy canes or marshmallows, but vegetables. In particular, these leafy greens. I am as surprised as you are.
I’ve been meaning to make some form of sticky toffee pudding for at least a few years, ever since a friend of mine first waxed lyrical about one she’d had at a pub near our offices called the Shakespeare. At that point, I’d never had sticky toffee pudding or, possibly, even heard of it, but her description alone had me sold–of a sticky, soft, eat-it-with-a-spoon cake, gooey with dates and draped in an abundance of caramel sauce, served warm and ideally with ice cream on top (which, in and of itself, is enough to get me on board with anything).
If you’d told me a few years ago that I’d enjoy anything about fall other than, say, eating pumpkin-y things and, nominally, wearing fluffy slippers, there’s not a chance I would have believed you. (This is how deep my fear of the cold runs.) But then we moved to a quixotic land where my Michelin Man puffer jackets are happily useless, so I no longer had the cold to dread; and shortly thereafter a very important fall birthday was added to our calendars that B2 and I are way more excited about celebrating than we’ve ever been about our own. A year later, here I am: recovering SAD-sufferer and cautious fall enthusiast.
Do you ever, once you’ve made it through a pile of scary deadlines and come out the other side, just kind of melt into a blob for a week or two, one that can sit semi-upright in an office chair and guzzle coffee and maybe make ill-advised purchases of overpriced throw blankets but otherwise accomplish none of the tasks that are still remaining but that are simply not yet due? No, just me? Well, it is definitely me right now. I cannot promise that any of this will make any comprehensible sense. You have been warned.