Author: Jane Larkworthy

Yeah. We Make Bagels.

Last weekend was a quiet one. Well, quiet as far as being social goes, but Bertrand and I both had tons of work to do, so we agreed to stay home and work, interrupted by intermittent cooking and eating. On Saturday afternoon, I put the few long-ass eggplants our friend Maria had given us on an open flame on the stovetop while I tossed a pint of end of the world tomatoes, slivers of garlic and olive oil into the oven. I whipped up some pita bread dough, tossed it into an oil-rimmed bowl, wrapped it in plastic and set it on the front porch, where it rose safely in the warm sun. Within an hour, we were dining on warm pita bread with a tomato sauce dip on one side of the table and baba ganoush on the other. It was rather sublime. Having used only half of the dough, I threw the rest into a container and stored it in the fridge. The following morning, scrolling through Instagram, I stopped at a post from …

An Antidote for Heatwaves

We all have our own Proustian moments. I’ve certainly got a few, and one that’s been nagging at me this Summer is the sesame chicken salad that Mangia used to make back in the Eighties. Yes, the EIGHTIES. Despite the fact that 30 years have passed since I regularly scooped it into little plastic half-pint containers, I can still taste it. What I remembered most was the sesame oil—the chicken was practically drowning in it. And the abundance of delicious pecans! I remember selectively spooning more than my fair share because their nutty flavor just worked so well with the others.  I swear, I place this dish toward the top of what steered me to want to learn how to cook. Who know, maybe they still make it, but their midtown west NYC location is not conducive to any of my usual work spots, so I’ve had no reason to stop in and see. And why should I when I have re-created it so perfectly. Dare I even venture to say, mine is even better? It certainly …

That Time the Coveteur asked me to write about the Berkshires

I love when worlds collide. I write a column for the fashion/beauty website The Coveteur and it’s usually about some gripe or peccadillo that’s been on my mind, but when Katie Becker, its beauty director (and a former work colleague) asked me to write about how the Berkshires influence my beauty and fashion life up here, I was thrilled. You can read it, complete with a product slide show in the link above, but I thought I’d repurpose it here, with a few local visuals. I’ll add a recipe at the bottom for good measure. It’s 6 a.m. and the cacophony of caws, chirps and squawks from the birds outside has stirred me awake. I silently motion to our dog to join me and we slip downstairs. I let her out to pee; she somehow innately knows it is too early for barking, so, by the time I pour my coffee, there she is, at the door, waiting to be let in. I slather some turmeric and cumin ghee over a piece of toasted farmer’s bread, then we …

Cool Hand Lark (Get it???)

When it’s so hot that you can’t bear sleeping upstairs in your bedroom, the last thing you want to do is heat up the kitchen. And yet, that’s exactly what I did. But it was worth it. For three days now, it’s been in the Nineties up in the Berkshires. Hotter up here than in Manhattan, apparently, which is downright odd. So, yeah, we slept in the living room, I took Remy on a hike that was as close to nature’s version of a water park as I could find, and I’m doing laundry all day just so I can spend more time in the cold and damp basement. I’d considered sleeping down there if it wasn’t so creepy. B’s been recovering from a little shoulder surgery, so, however minor it is, he’s taking it easy, settled on the sofa in the moderately cool living room and binge-watching Babylon Berlin.  As I do that aforementioned laundry, thoughts, of course, lead to dinner. Unlike Bertrand, who arrived last night, I’ve been up here all week and, with the exception …

Hello, Mrs. Chips

Last week, we were invited to our friend James’ birthday dinner. I wracked my brain trying to come up with the perfect gift, which gets trickier the older we get, so let’s just say that landing on an idea for James’ gift was tricky. Heh heh heh… Clothes? Too personal. A book? Nah. A beauty product? Too obviously re-gifted. Finally, knowing how much he loves to bake, I decided on a cake dish. Easier said than done. A cake dish is something of an anachronism, but, perhaps thanks to all the bake-off shows, it seems they’re slowly starting to come back. Not fast enough for James’ birthday, though. The few I found were either really tacky or really expensive (sorry, James.), or ones that I knew he already was in possession of,  so, we settled on three lovely hand-carved wooden spoons from Aubry Wood , which we discovered at our favorite store (and James’ favorite, too), One Mercantile in Great Barrington.   James and his husband William divide their meal duties pretty clearly: Williams makes dinner; James makes the …

An Argument for Radicchio Soup

“Two words you don’t hear much together are ‘radicchio’ and ‘soup.’” That’s what Bertrand said when he saw that I decided to throw caution to the wind and add the leftover sauteed radicchio in with the (also leftover) caramelized onions, chopped carrots and celery, now all sizzling in the Staub. I’ve always had a soft spot for radicchio. Ever since I first tasted it, fresh from the oven with sizzling melted cheese splayed over it, I was hooked. This happened at Bice, the swanky Italian restaurant in midtown Manhattan, which was a popular lunch spot for the publishing world back in the late Eighties. I remember the chagrin I felt when my beloved Grilled Radicchio and Smoked Mozzarella was dropped from the menu. Like Danny DeVito’s character in the original “Get Shorty,” I would request it, anyway. Sometimes my wish was granted; other times, not. Never knew whether it was their uppity chef or an annoyed waiter. That dish was one of my first attempted re-creations, which I’d tinker with long before I began to give …

A New Low

Every morning over the holiday break, I’d wake up and reach for the phone to check the temperature. We started our Berkshires break at a rather reasonable 21, but by Tuesday, it was edging perilously close to single digits. By Wednesday, we hit zero, on Thursday, four below and, finally, on Saturday, we kicked down all the way down to negative seven. After checking the weather, I’d move on to Instagram Stories where, as reliable as clockwork, Danielle, the early bird who had already been up for a good hour, would post the temperature in her village. Monterey is only about ten miles northeast of us, but she always won. Or lost, if you hate the cold. On Saturday, she posted: Minus NINE.   These numbers didn’t stop us from heading out every day for a hike, which Remy adored even as she shivered in the snow, constantly stopping to bite the frozen ice marbles that had burrowed into her poor paws. We’d return to the house, grab a coffee or bowl of soup and plop down …