We started out this morning thinking we’d have a big serving of fat asparagus with just a couple of ribbons of pappardelle for lunch. Then our appetites got the best of us as we tossed the pasta in a sauce of heavy cream, butter, grated pecorino, and lemon zest. Buono appetito!

 

We had a late lunch of cheese toast sprinkled with chile de árbol. What made them even better was the fact that the delicious bread was from Crossroads Bakeshop and the cave-aged cheddar from Bobolink Dairy—two of our favorite local makers. Our lips are still stinging from those chiles.

 

Local asparagus have arrived. Amen. And plump English peas, though not local, are showing up at the farmers’ market as well. As cool early spring eases into warmer weather, we are still on a cooking cusp between two seasons. Today’s lunch for example: we braised sweet asparagus and peas in butter and olive oil with bitter radicchio leaves (our go-to winter lettuce), a little lemon zest, and some salt and pepper. This is our delicious, bitter-sweet story for the day.

 

Mondays are good days for leftovers, especially when there is something delicious from the weekend that needs to get polished off. We stepped up to the task and had bowls of mussel-scallion stew with warm crunchy bread slathered with butter for lunch today. An auspicious way to start the week.

 

We met at the garden this morning to dig in another trench of potatoes, thin our radishes, and give the beds a little drink. We brought paper cups of hot coffee to help us wake up. But the warm breeze and the sight of an eagle swooping through the trees roused every one of our senses. We always feel bad thinning sprouts, deciding which little vigorous guys get to fully mature. But topping our avocado, olive oil, and salt and pepper sandwiches with the radish sprouts makes us feel much better. Waste not want not.
 

A tin of sardines makes a fine lunch for two, especially when you have a loaf of good bread, some Irish butter and extra-virgin olive oil, a lemon, cracked black pepper, and fresh chives on hand. Oh, and enough rosé to fill two thimble-size glasses.

 

 

We played hooky from the studio today to work from the screened-in summer porch at CH’s house. MH brought a double-smoked kielbasa for lunch and we cooked it with thick slices of sweet onion, some sturdy escarole, and a splash of chicken broth until the onions were soft and “starchy” (that’s how CH describes sweet onions when they release their sugars and thicken the braising juices). We worked, then ate lunch, then went back to work, never leaving  the porch. All the while, the sounds of the wind blowing through the trees and the calls of the song birds kept us humming along.

 

 

We hit a couple of out-of-town farmers’  markets over the weekend, gathering up staples for the week. So nice to have a hunk of good dark bread, a big wedge of Shropshire Blue, and some sliced prosciutto cotto on hand. We can’t wait to get outside on this gorgeous day to plant our potatoes in the garden. So it’s a quick ploughman’s lunch, Canal House style, then off to dig in our spuds.

 

 

There’s hope. We found green-stemmed Vidalia onions and big, fat starchy English peas at the market this morning—harbingers of spring. Joy. So we poached them, then mounted salted Irish butter into the braising juices to make a delicate sauce to spoon over the vernal deliciousness. Cook something delicious for yourselves this weekend, dear friends.

 

 

 

Today we made a big salad in our biggest wooden salad bowl for us then another one in a smaller bowl for our nice neighbor downstairs at Modern Love (just because): velvety spinach leaves with hard-boiled eggs, bacon, blanched haricots verts, scallions, avocados, tomato wedges, house-made croutons, and lots of chives all tossed with a red wine vinaigrette. The sun is shining, a cool breeze is blowing. Our tummies are full. Everything’s all good in the neighborhood.

 

 

We had a big bunch of flat-leaf parsley, a handful of arugula, and some nice-looking fat scallions in our fridge’s vegetable bin. Been craving greens. We must be in need of a good old-fashioned spring tonic. A salad?Yes, tossed with a sharp vinaigrette—a perfect foil for Eliza’s lamb merguez sausage from Jamison Farm. We’re feeling better already.

 

We met at the studio and made this quick, but delicious, bacon and arugula sandwich for today’s lunch. This afternoon we are both off in different directions to accomplish our separate tasks. But of course we needed a little sustenance before heading out. Don’t forget to eat lunch today, dear friends.

 

April really is the cruelest month, this year anyway. All winter, no snow (save for that little blizzard that blew through in January). This weekend, as everything is abloom, came the cold wet shnee. The garden is trying its best to sprout. Even the local supermarket’s bins are showing no signs of spring. So, we continue to cook from a winter larder—with onions and potatoes. And for today’s lunch with salt pork and a fine piece of cod, we made a warm chowder, enriched with butter and milk.

 

This rainy day called for a good hot lunch. So we braised a little cumin-rubbed “cushion” pork roast (part of the shoulder) with onions and apples, and stewed some collard greens with green beans. There was a torrential downpour outside as everything simmered away in the kitchen. The aromas wafted out into the studio and we grew hungrier and hungrier. Man, it tasted good.

 

Just as we were getting our spring on—planting seeds in our garden plots, eating lunch al fresco, ironing our cotton dresses and polishing our sandals—gale force winds blew winter temperatures right back into our river valley yesterday. We are keeping ourselves nourished and warm on this rainy raw day with bowls of hot broth and open-faced sandwiches of olive-oil-fried toast with sautéed baby kale and garlic topped with a poached egg. Stay cozy, dear friends. Spring is teasing us as she always does.

 

A quick lunch of tuna, hard-boiled egg with a dab of mayonnaise, and avocado with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon to dress it up. Then we are off to weed our garden plots before the rain comes tomorrow. We are already dreaming of sliced fat beefsteak tomatoes and fried zucchini blossoms, but there is a world to do before we tie the napkins around our necks. Don’t quite know why but it brings to mind a verse of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s beautiful poem, Portrait by a Neighbor

She digs in her garden

With a shovel and a spoon,

She weeds her lazy lettuce

By the light of the moon.

 

 

 

 

 

We’re still eating the fat, creamy Ayocote Blanco beans left over from Easter Sunday. Today we served them with spicy Italian sausage and onions stewed in olive oil along with some chopped fresh mint (to catch the spring vibe). Hopefully we’ll take a walk on this pretty day. We took two plots in the Frenchtown Community Garden so we have been dreaming and planning what we’ll plant and how we’ll plant it—tomato trellises, bamboo bean teepees, melon mounds, rows and rows, and on and on. Much better than decorating a house! Sneak outside yourselves, dear friends, and breathe a little fresh air. The work will still be there when you get back.

 

One of our favorite springtime meals is scrambled eggs and poached local asparagus bathed in melted butter. We had a carton of eggs and a couple of bunches of asparagus leftover from Easter. The eggs are local, the asparagus are not (they flew in from California). What the heck? It’s officially spring so that’s what we’re having for lunch today.

 

Yesterday, prompted by Easter, we welcomed in spring and rebirth with a big gathering of friends around an outdoor feast. Spit-roasted whole lambs, little artichokes braised in olive oil and mint, tender white beans, asparagus vinaigrette,  cases of rosé, and Easter desserts. So today was the finest leftover lunch imaginable, we ate the whole meal all over again (sans the rosé).

 

 

Oh yeah, we forgot to mention yesterday that when we were at Altomante’s Italian market, we also picked up a package of their frozen fresh gnocchi, some string beans, and thinly sliced boneless chicken breasts. We thought we’d sautée the cutlets in butter, and toss the cooked beans and gnocchi with pesto. The aforementioned pesto has been stashed in our freezer since we made it last fall, just waiting for such a moment. So for lunch today, we did just what we thunk we’d do—and it was a very good (delicious) idea.

 

Altomonte’s, our local Italian market, recently moved and expanded. Lucky for us. Now they have room for more of everything we love. When we stopped in this morning, the butcher, an old acquaintance, introduced us to a new type of steak they are carrying—Certified Piedmontese beef, from an Italian breed of cattle raised in the USA. We bought a cowboy ribeye steak (a ribeye on the bone) and pan-seared it for a late lunch today.
True enough, the meat was lean and tender with great flavor. What’s a good Italian steak without some sautéed broccoli rabe? No dinner for us tonight.
 

Our local market sells boneless turkey breast roasts—the two halves of the breast tied together into a neat package. We love these sorts of roasts. But instead of roasting it, we keep the turkey moist by braising it with sliced onions, grated plum tomatoes, olive oil, and salt and pepper. It makes such a flavorful sauce. Good enough to eat with a spoon, but better yet, we cooked some orecchiette and added it to the pot just before serving.

 

 

We shared a lunch of crispy Vietnamese spring rolls showered with cilantro and mint leaves with nuoc cham—lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, garlic, and chilies (it pretty much covers all the flavor bases!). Good way to start the week.

 

We look forward to this treat every March 18th—corned beef hash topped with a poached egg. We thought yesterday’s boiled corned beef dinner for St. Paddy’s day would leave us with enough leftovers to make today’s lunch, but we ran short (we each had the boiled dinner again for dinner!). CH stopped at the market early this morning and picked up another corned beef. By the time MH got to the studio, the meat was slowly simmering away on the stove, the distinctively delicious aroma filling the studio. This year, we gilded the lily adding a  spoonful of our luxurious lemon-butter sauce to the egg topped hash. We think even St. Patrick would approve.

 

We’ve been away from the studio, out in the big wide world, so we’ve been eating lunch elsewhere. But happily we are back in our snug studio. Chive and garlic shoots are up in our gardens and Saint Patricks Day lore says it’s time to plant our potatoes. Oh yes, Erin go bragh—Ireland forever! In today’s honor lunch is a boiled dinner of corned beef and cabbage, potatoes, and carrots. Even though there is nothing green on the plate, it tastes like spring to us. Van Morrison is crooning through the speakers and we are both wearing green.

 

 

 

The day started off so wet and gloomy, we thought the weather would never turn around. But just as we were serving our poached salmon and string beans tossed in olive oil and preserved lemon for lunch this afternoon, a nice breeze picked up and the sun broke through the clouds. All is hopeful again on this rare twenty-ninth day of February. Happy leap day, dear friends.

 

We were about to grind the remaining prime rib meat from yesterday’s short ribs to make a decadent meatloaf for lunch today until we heard an announcement on WDVR, our local radio station: The Rieglesville, PA Fire Company is putting on their lenten Fish Fry tonight, from 5–7 pm. After that delicious prospect, meatloaf didn’t seem quite right on this sunny but cold Friday. So we switched gears and whipped up an ethereal cheese soufflé instead—because we are definitely going to tonight’s fish fry.

 

We have been on the road, behind our desks, or looking through the camera. Back in our studio today, with the remnants of last night’s wild storm blowing hard outside. Someone gave us three ribs of prime beef. We sliced the marbled meat from the long bones, cut it into pieces, and seared it on a cast-iron griddle. Inspired by Hawaiian-style Korean kalbi, we served it with lettuce leaves, scallions, and a doctored soy sauce. Henry, the studio dog, has been gnawing on the Flintstones’ sized bone all afternoon. The ends of his long beautiful ears are wet with grease—that’s one way to take care of split ends.

 

The day started out cold and moody with snow flurries. The weather called for a lunch of something long-cooked. We made a stew of veal, onions, and shiitakes and served it with Anson Mills’ rice grits. Now the sun is out, the snow has melted, and the stew was delicious—a wonderful day so far.

 

It’s meatball Tuesday around here for lunch today. We made them tender, with ground lamb and beef, basmati rice, cream, grated onion, toasted ground cumin, and served them in a delicate tomato sauce. Our “spaghetti” to serve with, was blanched ribbons of zucchini tossed with olive oil s & p.