Sunday, March 14, 2010

Maple Sesame Noodles

March is maple time in New England. The rolling hills are still covered in snow but the sun is strong and languishing sugar houses are coming alive with the first sap run. The drip, drip, dripping noise in my pails means spring has sprung.

Since I've been tapping and boiling my own sap, there has been no shortage of syrup in my kitchen. In fact, now that the new vintage is flowing, I'm constantly looking for new ways to use the maple syrup, especially last year's supply.

I use maple syrup in everything that calls for sugar or honey.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Lao Food: Sticky Rice

My mother and I only get to spend about ten days together each year. She lives in France and we try to make each visit count. My goal each time is to come away with a part of her that I can cherish and hang on to. We often talk about my grandmother, who used to grow herbs and vegetables along the banks of the Mekong river in Laos, where the receding flood waters leave the soil rich and fertile. Mom also reminds me of Lao customs, like you mustn't sit higher than the oldest person in the room. Mostly, though, we talk about knitting and cooking. My mother knits and crochets beautifully, without using patterns, and tries to convince me that I, too, can knit without a pattern. I'm not convinced.