Good morning. A few updates for you before I get to your weekly Three Things dispatch. Two weeks ago, I had the absolute pleasure of joining Adam Roberts on his reliably funny podcast Lunch Therapy. The premise is that guests tell him what they had for lunch, then he discusses what it says about them. Well, in addition to being one of the original food blogger Greats (he’s the Amateur Gourmet!), he’s apparently an excellent therapist because I barely had to tell him “leftovers” before going deep on my Jewish-Italian roots, meeting Andy, how I feel about the empty nest thing, and lots more. Is therapy allowed to be fun? Well, this most certainly was.
Next: My friends at Tatcha are the nicest. (Shout-out Andrew & Alec!) This week, to celebrate the launch of my book, they are offering 20% off all Tatcha products with discount code TATCHAXJENNY20. (Good from now until 9/27*, so load up.) My favorite products are the dreamy Water Cream, the Rice Polish, and the Kissu Lip Mask. Thank you, Tatcha! Now for your weekly trifecta…
1. A Vegetable Forward Resource
Chances are, you know Susan Spungen even if you don’t think you do. She was a longtime Martha Stewart food editor (among other things, she co-wrote the iconic Martha Stewart Hors D’oeuvres Handbook which I still use to this day) and is most likely behind pretty much any holiday cookie you’ve ever baked. Lately, though, she’s been cooking up her own newsletter, Susanality, where she focuses on fresh, seasonal, vegetable-forward cooking. Last week, she made my Wheat Berry Salad with Tofu, Arugula, Grapes, and Feta from The Weekday Vegetarians, and, because she’s also legendary food stylist on top of everything else, made it look better than I ever could. (Book owners, it’s on page 63, but Susan published the recipe, too.) Susan and I also recorded a podcast (for her paying subscribers) because apparently you can’t shut me up these days. Give it a listen, or at the very least, make that salad. It is killer.
2. A Transition Cocktail for September
Here in New York, we’ve had a stretch of amazing weather. Comfortably warm during the day, chilly at night. Think jeans and fleeces, but still Birkenstocks, which let us hold on to summer for just a tiny bit longer. I feel like this drink is the cocktail version of that outfit — I’m not quite ready for a Manhattan, the true signifier of fall, but daiquiris and gin and tonics feel like they should probably be in the rearview mirror by now. Enter the Bee’s Knees cocktail that my neighbor Lori made me last week. Still my beloved gin, but hints of cozy, comforting citrus and honey.
2 ounces gin (Lori used Barr Hill gin, which is distilled with raw honey, and it was amazing, but regular gin works, too)
0.75 ounce fresh lemon juice
0.5 ounce honey simple syrup (make this by simmering honey and water, in a 1:1 ratio, in a saucepan until honey dissolves; allow to cool)
lemon twist for garnish
To a shaker filled with ice, add gin, lemon juice, honey simple syrup, and shake vigorously. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Add lemon twist.
3. Chicken Soup Kinda Week
My friend Sue once told me she liked Dinner: A Love Story because “it goes down easy” and I always try to think of that when I’m writing this newsletter or a blog post. Sometimes, though, it’s impossible to write like that. There’s no way to characterize the last week of my life in a way that goes down easy. Both Andy and I are dealing with sick parents, and I’m sorry not to go into more detail, but it was the kind of thing where you become suddenly aware of the frailty of everyone around you — in both terrifying and heartwarming ways. Perhaps not surprising to anyone reading this, or anyone who knows the expression “Jewish penicillin,” I found some comfort in chicken soup, not just eating it myself and ladling it into thermoses, but the actual making of it. So that is what I’m leaving you with today.
Have a good week,