A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third-grader cannot pronounce.
—Michael Pollan

Feeding nine billion people in a truly sustainable way will be one of the greatest challenges our civilization has had to confront. It will require the imagination, determination and hard work of countless people from all over the world. There is no time to lose.
—Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN

The surest way to capture the flavors, colors, and textures of a culture is by using authentic products.
—Lidia Bastianich, from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen

The most important habit you can develop is to taste as you are preparing something. Take a sample and taste it critically at different stages of the cooking, then correct the seasonings…
—Marion Cunningham, from Learning to Cook

Plant a vegetable garden if you have the space, a window box if you don’t.
—Michael Pollan

Radio Flyer… but Melons or Swiss Chard?

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. … Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? … And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time 

Story by Margo Davis

My husband Tony and I go every Saturday and Sunday to two Palo Alto California farmers’ markets. You might say that this is overkill. We don’t think so! Entering the market engages all senses at every level and inspires endless memories à la Marcel Proust (per the excerpt above). The smell of roasting chickens and pork loin seasoned with fresh rosemary; baked focaccia and ciabatta breads, spring onions, garlic and cheese are just a few. Close your eyes and let those scents take you to many foreign places… no exhausting endless flights required!!

What also abounds here are the families on foot and on bikes, loaded down with their children, dogs and purchases. 

Last Sunday, I nearly tripped on the red Radio Flyer and its contents pictured in this photo! I cringed as I imagined this little munchkin covered with melons and chard tipped onto the street. Instead, I imagined the photograph I could make. I fumbled awkwardly while I tried to find the camera icon on Tony’s outdated Blackberry phone… not even a touch screen!!   I had forgotten my own phone at home and was caught in a rare moment without my camera. The image finally captured on the phone, I heard Tony carrying on about his little red Radio Flyer… the one he had from age 5 to 10 and from which he delivered newspapers and groceries to families in his neighborhood in 1950’s Chicago. He commenced with a flood of memories that filled his chatter as we shopped the stands:  “I had two paper routes everyday starting at 5:15 AM so that I could get to Holy Angels church to open and set up for the first mass which my father attended every day. Also, I delivered groceries on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday with my faithful Radio Flyer for the A&P store and Del Farms. It also doubled as a scooter by putting my left foot on the ground and bending my right knee onto the freshly folded morning papers!!”

Clearly, the rich visual memory of this wagon brought back a whole era in Tony’s life! That is a treasured moment and we laughed heartily at the stories so embedded in his psychic landscape. 

I was reminded instantly of Proust’s incident with the madeleine cookies in “In Search of Lost Time”:  the possibility of a wonderful involuntary memory that overtakes one’s spirit in the most unexpected moments. 

Unlike Bronwyn, I did not have parents who were interested in cooking.  I grew up in Rowayton, Connecticut, in the 1940’s and 50’s. I certainly ate well, but we were trapped in “frozen-food America” pre Evan Jones and Julia Child! My mom cooked a great meat loaf (with ketchup!) and defrosted endless frozen foods, which suited my Dad who was your stereotypical “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. I don’t remember ever seeing fresh garlic in our house.

My most vivid memory of food in those early days was burnt bacon. My sister and I absolutely loved bacon. However, being Jewish, my mom felt guilty about having pork in the house at all, and so, in order to have it both ways, she “BURNED THE BACON!!” Was she killing off all the possible microbes to please her ancestors or just trying to disguise it from them??  Who knows, but whenever I cook bacon (or pancetta nowadays), I have a flood of humorous memories about my mom.

And so, I would say, go to your local farmers’ market as many times in the week as you wish for fabulous memory journeys. Farmers’ markets have surprises in store for you that go far beyond just the quotidian task of foraging for your food needs. Just let yourself go. You can have your own trip back in time inspired by your own kind of red Radio Flyer.

Margo Davis is a photographer, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother who loves the world of food and enjoys it on both coasts, as well as in her many travels to France.

Posted: 11-9-2012

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No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time 

Story by Margo Davis

My husband Tony and I go every Saturday and Sunday to two Palo Alto California farmers’ markets. You might say that this is overkill. We don’t think so! Entering the market engages all senses at every level and inspires endless memories à la Marcel Proust (per the excerpt above). The smell of roasting chickens and pork loin seasoned with fresh rosemary; baked focaccia and ciabatta breads, spring onions, garlic and cheese are just a few. Close your eyes and let those scents take you to many foreign places… no exhausting endless flights required!!

What also abounds here are the families on foot and on bikes, loaded down with their children, dogs and purchases. 

Last Sunday, I nearly tripped on the red Radio Flyer and its contents pictured in this photo! I cringed as I imagined this little munchkin covered with melons and chard tipped onto the street. Instead, I imagined the photograph I could make. I fumbled awkwardly while I tried to find the camera icon on Tony’s outdated Blackberry phone… not even a touch screen!!   I had forgotten my own phone at home and was caught in a rare moment without my camera. The image finally captured on the phone, I heard Tony carrying on about his little red Radio Flyer… the one he had from age 5 to 10 and from which he delivered newspapers and groceries to families in his neighborhood in 1950’s Chicago. He commenced with a flood of memories that filled his chatter as we shopped the stands:  “I had two paper routes everyday starting at 5:15 AM so that I could get to Holy Angels church to open and set up for the first mass which my father attended every day. Also, I delivered groceries on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday with my faithful Radio Flyer for the A&P store and Del Farms. It also doubled as a scooter by putting my left foot on the ground and bending my right knee onto the freshly folded morning papers!!”

Clearly, the rich visual memory of this wagon brought back a whole era in Tony’s life! That is a treasured moment and we laughed heartily at the stories so embedded in his psychic landscape. 

I was reminded instantly of Proust’s incident with the madeleine cookies in “In Search of Lost Time”:  the possibility of a wonderful involuntary memory that overtakes one’s spirit in the most unexpected moments. 

Unlike Bronwyn, I did not have parents who were interested in cooking.  I grew up in Rowayton, Connecticut, in the 1940’s and 50’s. I certainly ate well, but we were trapped in “frozen-food America” pre Evan Jones and Julia Child! My mom cooked a great meat loaf (with ketchup!) and defrosted endless frozen foods, which suited my Dad who was your stereotypical “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. I don't remember ever seeing fresh garlic in our house.

My most vivid memory of food in those early days was burnt bacon. My sister and I absolutely loved bacon. However, being Jewish, my mom felt guilty about having pork in the house at all, and so, in order to have it both ways, she “BURNED THE BACON!!” Was she killing off all the possible microbes to please her ancestors or just trying to disguise it from them??  Who knows, but whenever I cook bacon (or pancetta nowadays), I have a flood of humorous memories about my mom.

And so, I would say, go to your local farmers' market as many times in the week as you wish for fabulous memory journeys. Farmers' markets have surprises in store for you that go far beyond just the quotidian task of foraging for your food needs. Just let yourself go. You can have your own trip back in time inspired by your own kind of red Radio Flyer.

Margo Davis is a photographer, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother who loves the world of food and enjoys it on both coasts, as well as in her many travels to France.

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No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time 

Story by Margo Davis

My husband Tony and I go every Saturday and Sunday to two Palo Alto California farmers’ markets. You might say that this is overkill. We don’t think so! Entering the market engages all senses at every level and inspires endless memories à la Marcel Proust (per the excerpt above). The smell of roasting chickens and pork loin seasoned with fresh rosemary; baked focaccia and ciabatta breads, spring onions, garlic and cheese are just a few. Close your eyes and let those scents take you to many foreign places… no exhausting endless flights required!!

What also abounds here are the families on foot and on bikes, loaded down with their children, dogs and purchases. 

Last Sunday, I nearly tripped on the red Radio Flyer and its contents pictured in this photo! I cringed as I imagined this little munchkin covered with melons and chard tipped onto the street. Instead, I imagined the photograph I could make. I fumbled awkwardly while I tried to find the camera icon on Tony’s outdated Blackberry phone… not even a touch screen!!   I had forgotten my own phone at home and was caught in a rare moment without my camera. The image finally captured on the phone, I heard Tony carrying on about his little red Radio Flyer… the one he had from age 5 to 10 and from which he delivered newspapers and groceries to families in his neighborhood in 1950’s Chicago. He commenced with a flood of memories that filled his chatter as we shopped the stands:  “I had two paper routes everyday starting at 5:15 AM so that I could get to Holy Angels church to open and set up for the first mass which my father attended every day. Also, I delivered groceries on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday with my faithful Radio Flyer for the A&P store and Del Farms. It also doubled as a scooter by putting my left foot on the ground and bending my right knee onto the freshly folded morning papers!!”

Clearly, the rich visual memory of this wagon brought back a whole era in Tony’s life! That is a treasured moment and we laughed heartily at the stories so embedded in his psychic landscape. 

I was reminded instantly of Proust’s incident with the madeleine cookies in “In Search of Lost Time”:  the possibility of a wonderful involuntary memory that overtakes one’s spirit in the most unexpected moments. 

Unlike Bronwyn, I did not have parents who were interested in cooking.  I grew up in Rowayton, Connecticut, in the 1940’s and 50’s. I certainly ate well, but we were trapped in “frozen-food America” pre Evan Jones and Julia Child! My mom cooked a great meat loaf (with ketchup!) and defrosted endless frozen foods, which suited my Dad who was your stereotypical “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. I don't remember ever seeing fresh garlic in our house.

My most vivid memory of food in those early days was burnt bacon. My sister and I absolutely loved bacon. However, being Jewish, my mom felt guilty about having pork in the house at all, and so, in order to have it both ways, she “BURNED THE BACON!!” Was she killing off all the possible microbes to please her ancestors or just trying to disguise it from them??  Who knows, but whenever I cook bacon (or pancetta nowadays), I have a flood of humorous memories about my mom.

And so, I would say, go to your local farmers' market as many times in the week as you wish for fabulous memory journeys. Farmers' markets have surprises in store for you that go far beyond just the quotidian task of foraging for your food needs. Just let yourself go. You can have your own trip back in time inspired by your own kind of red Radio Flyer.

Margo Davis is a photographer, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother who loves the world of food and enjoys it on both coasts, as well as in her many travels to France.

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No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. ... Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? ... And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

—Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time 

Story by Margo Davis

My husband Tony and I go every Saturday and Sunday to two Palo Alto California farmers’ markets. You might say that this is overkill. We don’t think so! Entering the market engages all senses at every level and inspires endless memories à la Marcel Proust (per the excerpt above). The smell of roasting chickens and pork loin seasoned with fresh rosemary; baked focaccia and ciabatta breads, spring onions, garlic and cheese are just a few. Close your eyes and let those scents take you to many foreign places… no exhausting endless flights required!!

What also abounds here are the families on foot and on bikes, loaded down with their children, dogs and purchases. 

Last Sunday, I nearly tripped on the red Radio Flyer and its contents pictured in this photo! I cringed as I imagined this little munchkin covered with melons and chard tipped onto the street. Instead, I imagined the photograph I could make. I fumbled awkwardly while I tried to find the camera icon on Tony’s outdated Blackberry phone… not even a touch screen!!   I had forgotten my own phone at home and was caught in a rare moment without my camera. The image finally captured on the phone, I heard Tony carrying on about his little red Radio Flyer… the one he had from age 5 to 10 and from which he delivered newspapers and groceries to families in his neighborhood in 1950’s Chicago. He commenced with a flood of memories that filled his chatter as we shopped the stands:  “I had two paper routes everyday starting at 5:15 AM so that I could get to Holy Angels church to open and set up for the first mass which my father attended every day. Also, I delivered groceries on Friday afternoon and all day Saturday with my faithful Radio Flyer for the A&P store and Del Farms. It also doubled as a scooter by putting my left foot on the ground and bending my right knee onto the freshly folded morning papers!!”

Clearly, the rich visual memory of this wagon brought back a whole era in Tony’s life! That is a treasured moment and we laughed heartily at the stories so embedded in his psychic landscape. 

I was reminded instantly of Proust’s incident with the madeleine cookies in “In Search of Lost Time”:  the possibility of a wonderful involuntary memory that overtakes one’s spirit in the most unexpected moments. 

Unlike Bronwyn, I did not have parents who were interested in cooking.  I grew up in Rowayton, Connecticut, in the 1940’s and 50’s. I certainly ate well, but we were trapped in “frozen-food America” pre Evan Jones and Julia Child! My mom cooked a great meat loaf (with ketchup!) and defrosted endless frozen foods, which suited my Dad who was your stereotypical “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. I don't remember ever seeing fresh garlic in our house.

My most vivid memory of food in those early days was burnt bacon. My sister and I absolutely loved bacon. However, being Jewish, my mom felt guilty about having pork in the house at all, and so, in order to have it both ways, she “BURNED THE BACON!!” Was she killing off all the possible microbes to please her ancestors or just trying to disguise it from them??  Who knows, but whenever I cook bacon (or pancetta nowadays), I have a flood of humorous memories about my mom.

And so, I would say, go to your local farmers' market as many times in the week as you wish for fabulous memory journeys. Farmers' markets have surprises in store for you that go far beyond just the quotidian task of foraging for your food needs. Just let yourself go. You can have your own trip back in time inspired by your own kind of red Radio Flyer.

Margo Davis is a photographer, friend, wife, mother, and grandmother who loves the world of food and enjoys it on both coasts, as well as in her many travels to France.

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3 responses to “Radio Flyer… but Melons or Swiss Chard?”

  1. Well done Margo.

    Another Rowayton Girl, Brooke Maury Dojny, has published “The New England Clam Shack Cookbook”, “The new England Cookbook” and “Dishing Up Maine” Last year she also published her story about growing up in Harbor View.

    All these can be viewed here: http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Island.html?id=vRytSgAACAAJ

  2. Laurie Baumgarten says:

    Great story, Margo. I still love crispy-not burnt- but very well done bacon!

  3. Bronwyn says:

    I love the fact that my Rowayton friendship weighed in on the Radio Flyer story. Food memories connect us!

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