A Literary Feast

Posts by Zoe Rose Riccio

My Kitchen

Posted on October 14th, 2016

My kitchen needs an upgrade. It is furnished with old painted cabinets…hollandaise yellow on the outside and rust red on the inside. Why anyone painted the interior of kitchen cabinets I will never know. The range is a mid-century electric with two large and two small coil burners. The kind that don’t sit level anymore and laugh at the idea of ‘even heat’. The ‘hood’ is just a GE fan cut into the wall through to the exterior of the house, with a pull string to open. It might be the propeller from a very tiny plane – I can’t say. It starts a few minutes after you open it – perfect for when you have a forgotten pan of oil on the coil…

Bakery On Premises

Posted on August 22nd, 2016

I grew up in the Northeast, where twenty-four hour Greek diners were a natural part of the eatery landscape. They have names like ‘The Acropolis’, ‘Athenian’ or ‘Parthenon’ – possibly followed by a Roman numeral. It’s the type of establishment frequented by families for breakfast on the weekends; by senior citizens for the ‘early bird special’ – which is at least one page unto itself on the menu – and by teenagers and young adults spending their time in the wee hours of the morning working to stay just on this side of trouble.   The menu is as thick as a newspaper and includes everything from Eggs and French Toast to burgers and club sandwiches to spaghetti with meatballs or veal parmigiana to…

I Think I Can’t

Posted on June 24th, 2013

Home canning is a great way to preserve local seasonal produce and it seems to me that everyone is doing it. I can’t scroll down my facebook page without seeing an instagram photo of the various stages of home canning, from the copious amount of item x about to be cleaned, cooked, and canned to the American made glass jars filled with the culinary rainbow. I think it’s great, and even greater when they share their bounty with the likes of me. I myself am no stranger to the commitment of cleaning, storing, and finding creative ways to enjoy the seasonal vegetative bounty available in New England, so it would seem that I should be canning up a storm. I am not. I am…

Burning Ring of (CSA) Fire

Posted on May 17th, 2013

When most people think of retirement, images of relaxation come to mind. For Nancy and Bruce Livensparger of Fire Ring Farm in Portland, CT, retirement means running a labor-intensive non-profit Community Supported Agricultural operation (CSA). Nancy was a career landscaper whose passion for organic food grew as her interest in controlling invasive species in manicured lawns waned. As GMOs became ubiquitous in the American food supply, Nancy wanted to grow as much of her own food for her family as possible. Subsistence farming on any scale is a big endeavor and she wondered if running a CSA might be the ticket to subsidizing her efforts. As an added bonus, it gets a community involved in the natural food movement. Fire Ring Farm was born.…

Wax and Wane

Posted on April 18th, 2013

With a pantry full Possibilities abound I am limitless   With a cupboard bare Promise has been fulfilled I am satisfied

CREPES!…..Or Not

Posted on March 18th, 2013

In Old Town Quebec there is a creperie a few steps off of the tourist’s beaten path. Small and jam-packed.  Don’t be surprised if you are asked to share a table with another party to expedite things – and by expedite, I mean if you want your crepe before the next mealtime rolls around. It feels dark and old inside. The wine options are red or white, glass or carafe. The side salad served with your crepe has one dressing choice. The staff is a rotating cast of twenty-something ladies in corduroys or ankle length skirts, vintage tee-shirts, boots, and head scarves. The menu is a long list of filling items: veggies, meats, cheese, sauces – like a pizza joint – plus fruits, chocolate,…

It’s Not You, It’s Me or Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Posted on February 14th, 2013

Sometimes the reason you can no longer enjoy something is not because it is no longer available to you, or that it has changed in any way, but simply because you no longer enjoy it. Sometimes it’s true: it’s not you it’s me. So it is with me and soft-serve dip. I have many great memories of enjoying a soft-serve ice cream cone with a quick-hardened shell. As a child my family would take me to an ice-cream stand specializing in dip, with more flavors than I have ever seen offered anywhere else. It was a long-standing tradition–if memory serves me correctly, my grandmother had gone there as a child. We would go in the dead heat of summer when I couldn’t eat my…

Kitchen Resolutions 2013

Posted on January 21st, 2013

Make something irresistible with quinoa Rediscover beets…including golden Attempt making whole rye bread Have the patience to unpeel all those tiny shallots from CSA share Eat more popcorn Make dairy free toffee Eat the fruit you purchase, thoughts of eating it will not impart any health benefits

Boxed, Canned, Or Frozen

Posted on January 3rd, 2013

Every family has traditions and I hope every father/daughter duo has their own.  My father and I have many, born out of the few years that we lived on our own during my early adolescence. The obvious difference of my dad being a dude aside, our relationship mirrored “Gilmore Girls” much more than “Blossom.” He was in his early thirties, in a band, and had a home recording studio–I was a brainy adolescent making pancakes for the touring bands sleeping on the living room floor. By day my father is a chef, and like most in his trade lost the inspiration to cook by the time he made it home from work.  Regularly at dinnertime I would ask “Dad, what’s for dinner?” he would respond,…

Season One, Episode Six

Posted on November 24th, 2012

Season one episode 6 of ” The Adventures of Pete and Pete” opens with Big Pete saying, more or less, “By the time you are fourteen years old you will have eaten over 14,000 meals and if you look back at all of your favorites not one of them began with a tray.” He was of course referring to school lunch. As he and his friend Teddy go through the lunch line and decide between the gray and uniform meatloaf – one of the various disguises given to mystery meat by the aging, hideous, underarm jiggling lunch ladies – and the previously-frozen fish-sticks, it becomes clear that Teddy in fact loves school lunch and Pete does not. Pete’s skepticism is vaguely confirmed when the one young attractive…