Soup is my ultimate comfort food. As a kid, I was eager to bring a thermos of hot soup to school for my lunch—a little reminder of home. As an adult, I cook gallons of soup frequently, to feed the crowds at my fundraising party, Queer Soup Night; and we regularly serve soup at events hosted by my company, The Gefilteria.
Home cooking is having a moment. Although many Gazette readers and PSFC members are of course already prolific home chefs, going by posts on the internet, a lot people are taking this time to really spread their culinary wings. We are all baking those sourdough loaves, fermenting that kimchi, and making pasta from scratch. (Well, maybe not all.) People are also being creative with items that have been sitting in their pantry unused.
Obviously, as sad as it was for me to close RW after 19+ years in business, the timing has turned out to be fortuitous, to put it mildly. I miss my staff, and the warm buzz of our little kitchen, and especially the produce. RW was ever and always fixated on seasonality, and with spring coming I’m feeling very wistful about not seeing the ramp guy we worked with for many years, who would show up in early spring for about a month or a little more with ramps and fiddlehead ferns he’d hand harvested near the Delaware river where NY meets PA. The corn meal in the polenta dish was grown by a Hudson Valley farmer I worked with for 25 years, first at Savoy in SoHo, then at RW, and I miss that relationship, too. Now I’ll have to celebrate the seasons with shopping trips to the coop and the greenmarket, which is fine, but it feels a little lonesome not to celebrate the seasons with my customers. I look forward to getting together with friends again, and celebrating what the earth gives us on the plate and in the wine glass. That day can’t come too soon.
Pasta is often a default main course for vegetarians, but when my kids were little, I was always searching for ways to get more vegetables into their diet. It is a still loved staple in our diet. When I made it the other night, one of my daughters, who is in law school, actually cheered.