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CH spent the night in NYC last night and left at the crack of daylight to get back to the studio this morning. MH had a little fantasy that CH would arrive with something delicious from Chinatown—maybe some har gow (slippery rice dumplings), a mahogany Peking duck, or even some double-cooked pork. No such luck. Unable to shake the craving, we pulled down our wok, dove into the freezer, and quickly pulled together a shrimp, pea, and pancetta fried rice. Sacrilege of sacrilege, we doused it with oyster sauce, teriyaki, and soy sauce—it sure hit the spot. Have a wonderful, delicious weekend, dear friends. And remember,  “Far out isn’t far enough.”—Tomi Ungerer

No time to shop so we went shopping in our own refrigerator. Our neighbor keeps dropping off fresh eggs from his chickens who live next door in a rooftop hen house, so we have plenty of those. The vegetable crisper yielded some asparagus and baby kale and, Bob’s your uncle, we whipped up a lovely frittata and simple green salad. Not bad for slim pickings.

We thought we’d just have toast for lunch today. But as the day progressed and our appetites grew bigger, toast turned into this: One toast was spread with Roquefort, fat asparagus were laid on top with a scattering of fresh chives with their blossoms; the other was spread with lots of mayonnaise, then we added sliced hard-boiled eggs with s&p and fresh tarragon. Toast never tasted so good.

Monday, May 12th, 2014: Canal House studio doors wide open. Check. Screens in place. Check. Ceiling fan whirling, CH in flip flops, and MH in tennies, no socks. Check, check, and check. Lunch is befitting this summer-like day: Veal bockwursts, baby new potato salad, and cornichons. To quench our thirsts: Cold beers over ice (not in photograph, but you can imagine).


We cooked a cinnamon and chile-rubbed brisket long and slow along with onions and garlic and a little tomato paste. It quietly simmered until it was so tender we could shred it with a fork. We ate the meat with rice, avocados, and limes dusted with cayenne. Add a little spice to your own life, dear friends, on what we hope will be a lovely spring weekend.

What could be more flavorless and benign than the uberpopular boneless, skinless chicken breast? We rarely buy them at the market. But today, while out shopping for more local asparagus, there were two small, delicate breasts that spoke us. Into our shopping bag they went, along with a big handful of fat spears. We dusted the chicken in Wondra flour, and quickly pan-fried them in butter and a splash of olive oil until they were just browned and still juicy inside. We piled on warm asparagus then a tender salad of dandelion leaves, tendrils of micro agugula, chives, and pansy petals on top. Chicken breasts all dressed up for spring! Delicious.


Today’s lasagna lunch—sheets of fresh pasta filled with alternating layers of balsamella, fresh ricotta, spinach, bolognese sauce, and lots of parmigiano. Spring has whetted our appetites and we are so enjoying our lunch, oh dear.

Lunch at the desks today. Toast with a slather of good butter, a smear of fresh ricotta, some chopped prosciutto and chives, a sprinkle of Omnivore salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a drizzle of really good olive oil. Well, we have to keep up our strength some way.


The farm market at the end of town announced this week that local asparagus had finally arrived. Hallelujah! We stopped there today and bought a bunch of fatties, plus a bag of tiny spuds, and a dozen pastel colored eggs from a nearby farm. We knew lunch would be simple today—poached asparagus, boiled potatoes, and hard-boiled eggs—but we wanted to make it a little luxurious as a treat to end the week. So we made a true aioli to dip into, and poured ourselves each a splash of white wine. Have a lovely spring weekend, dear friends. Make yourself a mint julep. We’ll cross our fingers that your horse wins!


Yesterday, we were in a top-secret meeting planning the future of The Canal House. Under the “cone of silence”, we sat in the studio by a fire and brainstormed, while outside the rain poured down, the river rose, and the roads flooded. It was exciting and dramatic inside and out. We ate risotto made with Blue Moon Acres’ locally-grown arborio rice. No time to post lunch—apologies. So today’s lunch is arancini, Sicilian fried rice balls (see Canal House Cooking Volume 7, La Dolce Vita, page 25 or Italian picnic food on this pretty day. Onward!


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