Ramen is a right of passage. College kids and all budget-shoppers alike have immortalized the gangly noodles as a convenient, scrumptious and slurp-able dish.
Since moving to LA and enjoying samplings of the buckwheat noodle bowls peppered across Koreatown, I’ve really come to love the strong role ginger plays in these hot pots and soups.
If you want a quick recipe with the sentimental goodness of chicken stock and the slurp of unnecessarily long noodles without the grains, I have just the thing.
When we were kids, Mom helped us build a pole bean tepee. It was constructed using ten foot wooden poles with little notches on each end. “Laundry poles”, we casually referred to them in my family because we used them to prop up the clotheslines we hung our laundry on in the back yard.
I’ve always assumed my familial colloquialisms like “laundry poles” or “pole beans” makes up the majority of American kid’s consciousness, but probably not. The awareness of these things is probably reserved for certain types of kids, particularly those growing up in Ohio.
Anyway, laundry poles or any variety of poles, these vibrant green beans grow crawling up the length of them with their viney arms and legs. The crispness and bright flavor of freshly snapped pole beans takes me right back there, sitting Indian-style in my laundry pole fort, grasping and snacking in the summer grass.
To most people, they’re green beans, string beans or snap beans. I love spring and summer when they’re in season. Here’s a great spring soup featuring my beloved pole beans.
It’s been a cold month or so in SoCal. Of course cold is relative. Having adapted to the warmth of this region, low 60s constitutes chilly at least.
Menu-wise, I’ve been drawn to soups and stews and other warming dishes. It’s funny, people on the East Coast are breaking out their shorts and tank tops with the raising of American flags on Memorial Day, and here on the West Coast, we’re donning scarves and sweaters.
Here’s a great recipe based on traditional Polish Hunter’s Stew, which consists of mostly cabbage and other veggies with sausage. It’s so velvety and nourishing.
Clouds, and even rain, spread over the city in a quiet motion last weekend. I was at home writing and up against a couple big deadlines. I couldn’t help but ease into the feeling of melancholy the weather brought on. We need the rain, so it was a relief, but it was also a shift in my atmosphere.
It was dark and I found myself a little sad. The subtle kind of sad that isn’t detrimental, but just is. A weird mixture of enjoying the dark and the moodiness, feeling a tinge of anxiety, wanting to go somewhere but knowing I should stay home and write, missing my mom. Missing my mom a lot. I was craving comfort.
I decided to utilize my somber state to inspire me for dinner. If comfort comes in food form, it’s turkey; specifically cooked slowly with traditional fresh herbs in a hunter’s stew.