You might think that I come back from conferences wanting to get into the kitchen and make something rather fancy, something show off-y. But when I'm at conferences, I eat out every meal so when I come home, I prefer to get back to the basics, to cleanse my system, to keep things simple. So my first meal back from the IRA conference was Ina Garten's Mâche* with Warm Brie and Apples (which I also made here):
It was exactly what I needed. I also found some ramps at the store so I fried those up in bacon fat ('cause that's how I roll):
But it's not just about food. It's about being in my home, about conversation, about sharing with my family and friends - that's what I miss most when I'm away. So let me set the scene for you and let you in on what sort of things the Lutz family talks about at the table after I've been gone for a week:
A family sits around the table eating dinner: a man and a woman, in their 30's and rather dashing, and a darling young girl, about 8 years old. The young girl has studied some art at school, which informs the family's conversation.
Woman: There was a Matisse exhibit at the Art Institute during my conference. It was torture! Every day I drove by the museum on my way to the convention center and the Matisse signs just taunted me. But you know how conferences are...
Man: But don't you think it'll come to New York?
Woman: Maybe. I'll keep an eye out.
Man: Which reminds me, I still want to see that Picasso exhibit before it leaves the Met.
Girl: I want to see it! I love Picasso. He's my third favorite.
Woman: Your third favorite?
Man: Who are number 1 and 2?
Girl: My first is Eric Carle. My second is Mo Willems - I love him. And then Picasso.
And there you have it, folks. Carle, Mo...and Picasso.
Eat, drink, and do both en famille.
NOTE: Unlike my previous attempt, I was actually able to find mâche this time. It was really wonderful - super delicate and light - and I highly recommend that you snatch it up immediately if you see it at the store.