The Cover of Classic German Baking
Cook the Farm

An End-of-Summer Catch-Up

My dearest readers, you have been so patient with me! My last post was almost three entire months ago. Eek! I didn't fully intend to take such a long break, but I really, really needed it. In early May, I sent off the very last book-edit-related email and it suddenly went very quiet around here. After all those endless months of recipe testing and writing, it felt like a huge weight had come off my shoulders. I was exhausted, and also in a sort of recovery from several months of really bad health, including two bouts of the flu, pneumonia, not to mention the discovery of an under-active thyroid condition.

So in May, I rested.

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In June, we celebrated Joanie's annual birthday picnic, and Hugo turning four (four!), before I left to teach the second annual Language of Food writing workshop at the Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School in Sicily together with Rachel. It was an incredibly intense and rewarding week. I'm already looking forward to next year's workshop, which will take place from June 26 to June 30, 2017. As soon as booking for the workshop opens, I'll let you know.

From Sicily, I flew up to meet Max and Hugo at my mother's house in Italy. We attended a big and beautiful Italian-Hawaiian wedding in Urbino (remember my friend Alessandro, he of the bruschetta di pomodori gratinati?) Hugo got to spend time with his adorable Modenese cousins. Max became an expert acacia-hunter on my mother's property, clad in gardening gloves and constantly casting his exacting German eye about for another sucker to rip out of the ground. (Now we can't walk two blocks in Berlin without him pointing out another offending specimen - I see a new career in the municipal landscaping department on the horizon.) I immersed myself in mastering the art of classic lasagna, as taught by my beloved friend Gabriella, who you already know about from here and here, for the October issue of Harper's Bazaar Germany, and I promise to share the recipe with you soon, too.

In August, Hugo's daycare closed for their summer break, so we escaped to the Baltic with friends, discovered new playgrounds, and tried to find ways to pass the time. Let's face it, there was also a lot of Peppa Pig.

Roasted fennel and tomatoes

Besides dipping my toe into the murky, mysterious world of sourdough in the spring, mostly following this recipe, and becoming obsessed with roasting fennel and tomatoes together (cut one bulb of fennel into wedges, halve a handful of cherry tomatoes and combine in one roasting pan, then sprinkle with salt and drizzle with olive oil before roasting at 400F/200C for about 35 minutes - or longer - until tender and delicious), I did very little cooking of note. In fact, I'm still trying to figure out how to get a better system in place for our dinners that leaves me more time to do other things, like cooking in bulk in advance or meal planning or whatever. Very boring stuff, but apparently this is life as a nearly-middle-aged working mother. What a sexy beast adulthood can be!

This catches us all the way up to today, which just happens to be the eleventh anniversary of this blog. Happy birthday to it! At this point, I'm almost embarrassed to say how old the blog is and celebrating feels a bit out of place after not having even written a word here in nearly three months, but so be it. Eleven! The Wednesday Chef would be a middle schooler by now.

The truth is, if we're going to talk about celebrating, I've got something much better than a blog birthday to celebrate and that is that we're having another baby! It's a little boy due in late January and after a rough first four months, it's all starting to get very real and exciting around here. Hugo is over the moon to finally get the baby brother he's been longing for and we can't wait to have another darling child in our arms to love. So, yes, this might also have contributed to my silence around here, but I hope you understand. Gestating is no picnic! I'm glad to finally be feeling better.

I'll be back with more on our writing workshop, the aforementioned lasagna, a little report on this cookbook, and this one, and of course a lot more on Classic German Baking, which just received its first review, from Publisher's Weekly, no less! See you very soon.

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