Thursday, December 31, 2009

A New Year's Eve Dinner

We at OSH take it pretty easy these days for New Year's Eve: a dinner with the family and maybe we'll stay up 'til 10 if we're lucky.

Here's what's on the menu for tonight: a simple meal with the kids in mind taken mostly from Tessa Kiros' Apples for Jam. Maybe we'll light a few candles and make some wishes for the new year.

Orange Sugar Home's New Year's Eve Dinner
Prix Fixe
(A Glass of Milk or Water Included)

Kale Chips
Chicken Cutlets with Parsley and Capers
Slow- Roasted Cauliflower
Pear and Blackberry Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream

Kale Chips
Wash a bunch of kale, pulling the leaves from the stems. Spin in a salad spinner. Toss with a tablespoon or two of good olive oil and a pinch or two of sea salt. Lay out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 325-350 degree oven until crisp and light. (This recipe is from my sister-in-law and is amazingly popular with kids!)

Chicken Cutlets with Parsley and Capers
3 Chicken Cutlets
About 4T all-purpose flour
4T Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic peeled and squashed a bit
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Juice of Half a Lemon
1 and 1/2 T capers in vinegar, drained and chopped
3T chopped fresh parsley
3T hot water

Lightly pat both sides of the chicken in flour. Heat the oil with the garlic in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Fry until lightly golden on the underside, then turn over, and season the done sides with salt and pepper. When the new undersides are golden, turn them again, season and squeeze in the lemon juice. Add the capers, half the parsley, and 2 to 3 T of hot water. Let it bubble up, then put a lid on the pan, and cook for an extra minute or two to make sure that the chicken is cooked through but still soft and moist and there is some liquid in the pan. Turn off the heat and leave the pan with the lid on for a few minutes. Mix in the remaining parsley and serve immediately.
Serves three. (Borrowed from Tessa Kiros' Apples for Jam)

Slow- Roasted Cauliflower
Wash and dry a large head of cauliflower and break it into small florets with your hands. Toss with olive oil and sea salt until nicely coated. Roast in 350 degree oven on cookie sheet until done, turning with a spatula a few times to cook evenly. The longer and slower they cook the sweeter they get. They will get a little brown in parts. Toss again with a little more olive oil and taste for salt. For the grownups: excellent with a little red chili flake, or tossed with a few nuts like pistachios.

Pear and Berry Crisp
3 large Pears
1 cup of mixed berries
1/2 cup superfine sugar
1 and 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 pound plus 3T butter. softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. Generously butter a 14 by 18 and 1/2 inch ovenproof dish. Peel, core, and slice the pears, and put them in a dish. Mix in the berries and scatter half the superfine sugar over the fruit.
Mix together the flour, brown sugar, and the other half of the superfine sugar in a bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and rub them in with your fingertips, working until the mixture isn't smooth but looks like damp clustery sand, Your fingers might be tired.
Scatter the topping over the fruit to cover it completely in a good thick layer. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is nicely golden and some berry juice has oozed up a bit over the crust and darkened it here and there.
Let it cool down a touch and then serve warm with whipped cream, a bowl of custard, or vanilla ice cream.
Serves 8 from Apples for Jam

Variations: I'm going to substitute the all-purpose flour for spelt flour, like my sister-in-law (who has been inspiring me with new ideas lately!) did for Christmas. It turned out very light and crispy!

We'd be honored if you let us know what you are wishing for the new year!

L & K

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Winter Solstice

A magical day.
From our home to yours, may your winter be blessed!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Looking Back

We left Hong Kong a week ago and came home to this:

the Japanese maple has dropped its leaves and the air is cold and wet. Because I am missing my family in Hong Kong I am cooking lots of Chinese soup and ginger tea to keep us all warm and sound. The ginger tea recipe is my mom's: it is much better than the one I used to make on my own. The key is that it should be: "tasty, like an after- dinner dessert drink!" Drink if you feel a dry throat, nausea, or as if you are feeling susceptible...

Hot Ginger Drink
Peel and pound a couple of big pieces of ginger (about 2 inches)
Add boiling water, enough for another cup later
Add brown sugar or rock candy sugar to your taste--it should be yummy!

Boil uncovered for about ten minutes. Taste. It should be warming and spicy, but only to your taste. If it is too much for you, add more hot water. Not spicy enough, boil, reducing for longer, or add more ginger.

Stay warm!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

something to collect...

there is something i find incredibly appealing about vintage bags like these. there is passion, mystery and sophistication in their designs and style. i like to daydream where it was first spotted - in a window of a fine department store a few weeks before the holidays started, a little boutique where the sweet smelling owner always wore a tight bun and buttoned sweaters....- and who it was who carried it clutched in hand or under arm. they are gorgeous and they inspire me to find some of my own to give new life to. have a blessed friday.
paz, k
pretties here

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Thank you to those who have left notes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

More Postcards from Hong Kong

1. My favorite breakfast here: a mug of warm, fresh, black sesame soymilk, ripe pomelo, papaya, and banana, and delicious, soft sesame raisin toast. (The softness comes from a special Japanese flour.)
2. Totoro, the movie. I am probably letting my eldest daughter watch it a bit too much.
3. Vacation reading.
4. The gentleman upstairs likes to garden on the roof. I am assuming these are his gardening shoes.
5. Our beautiful kitchen maiden.
6. Garden fellows: tea, a pipe, and conversation.
7. A view.

My youngest still naps twice a day. In turn, this trip has been about exploring the world closer to home: sort of a domestic tourism, seeing how everyday things can still be totally new and different. Like spying on the French family downstairs as they eat at their outdoor table, or photographing the postboxes, or venturing a taste of a Japanese kiwi: yellow and red inside.

At first, it was a bit hard to adjust. My oldest, when offered the chance to ride in the grocery "cart" at a local food emporium, turned pale and unreadable when she saw that it meant riding toward the bottom of the cart in a little chair that faced my legs. She wanted out of that right away: the world had suddenly turned completely unrecognizable for her. I thought it was funny when same daughter, a ballet enthusiast, attended a ballet class at a local school, and received a report card. Straight Bs the first day and a proper "thank you, Miss Kim" expected for the effort.

Still, it is nice (and a bit of a relief!) to see them adjusting and carrying on--same kid rhythms, almost as if being halfway around the world is merely incidental. Absorbed for a moment in something new, and then off into their interior worlds, their hungers, their alternating distress and laughter.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, November 13, 2009


maybe tessa kiros is old news for you but I just bought my first kiros cookbook apples for jam. heavenly reading. now, if i could write a cookbook this would be it - some magic, tasty love and lots of fun. have a dreamy thursday.
paz, k

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Postcard from Hong Kong

We are in Hong Kong visiting my mother and aging grandparents.

I am struck again by the incredible natural beauty of this place, especially the endless green mountains and the sea. When we go to visit my grandparents, the girls stand on the veranda letting the sea breeze ruffle their damp little heads.

I am once again struck by the importance of place. How without it our memories simply drift, unanchored. To see one's children perched on this same balcony I spent so many summers myself, mesmerized in similar fashion by the sparkling sea, is to feel something brimming and aching. Sameness and striking change jostle one another at this feast table of Moment.

What place calls to mind a similar experience for you?

In beauty,

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

palace in the sky...

a friend down the street just had this magical house built for her 3 boys. wow! it is incredible. clearly my kids had no problem invading.
what lucky little boys. what memories they will have. did you grow up with a treehouse?
happy thursday. k

things to come...

before i melt,
come look at me!
this lovely icy filigree!
of a great forest
in one night
i make a wilderness
of white:
by skyey cold
of crystals made,
all softly, on
your fingers laid,
i pause, that you
my beauty see:
breathe; and i vanish
walter de la mare
melting here


happy wednesday! hope there are big pools of sunshine in your day. paz, k

sunshine here

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

something to collect...

I've had my eye on some antique cutting boards. I think they would look lovely in a row on a kitchen wall. They have so much texture and there are stories in those stains and imperfections. I found this pair from bonny neiman antiques. do you have favorite cutting boards - with memories embedded in the wood?
have a wonder filled tuesday.
paz, k

Monday, November 9, 2009

monday marvels...

five favorite children's books...
all of tasha tudor books are wonderful. her illustrations are real marvels.
"We had a small post office in those days. Valentines
came by Sparrow post."

this was one of my favorite books as a child.
it was out of print for a long time but was recently published again.
"It's not that I do not like people," said she,
but one gets a bit shy when one lives in a tree."

a simple classic appropriate for the long winter days ahead of us.
"The postman said it looked like snow. The farmer said it smelled like snow."

perhaps a favorite for everyone. love this book.
"Then he looked up into the tree. And what do you think he saw?"

this richard scary book is delightful!
"Sometimes the bus is crowded. The polite elephant always offers his seat to a lady."
oh, there are so many more favorites. thanks for sharing these with me today. what about you? what are your favorites?
paz, k