Frontier Psychiatrist

Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

I hear yoga works for some people.  But for me, when real life gets to be too much, I turn to baking to literally sweeten my mood.  There’s something about the mathematical straightforwardness of it that allows my mind to drift from hurricanes and power outages, as it were, to the wonderful world of teaspoons and tablespoons and parchment paper (oh my!).  I will not dwell on the circumstances of Superstorm Sandy, as I recognize fully well that I have not suffered as deeply as many, but that bitch of a storm did throw me out of my apartment for several nights.  My husband and I soon escaped to the Upper West Side, a bubble within Manhattan virtually untouched by the storm.  Life went on as normal there, but I was too distracted and angsty to sit still and “work from home.”  The tragedy was unrelenting, and my reading yet another Gothamist article would do no good. Read the rest of this entry »

Sometimes I feel like the official spokesperson for unloved vegetables.  I implore you to adopt this lonely kohlrabi!  And please find a dish for that suffering daikon radish.  But I can’t help myself, and there’s yet another vegetable that deserves your undivided attention, and that vegetable is okra.  BRING. IT. ON. Read the rest of this entry »

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My idea of comfort food is probably not the same as yours.  This is because deep down I am a health nut.  A broccoli-kale-bulgur-craving maniac.  But even crazies have comfort food.  So when I need caloric placation, I seek solace in a big bowl of something warm and mushy.  Chili?  Check.  Baked ziti?  Check.  Ice cream?  Well, not warm, but definitely mushy and in a bowl and that’s another check.  However, my favorite comfort food is slightly more gourmet, and yet can still be pulled together with considerable speed.  This is crucial, as comfort food is about instant gratification. Read the rest of this entry »

The Social Table, Rebecca Goldfarb

Rebecca Goldfarb of The Social Table

As an unabashed nerd, I’m proud to say that I love learning. While I know my way around a kitchen, I still love going to cooking classes.  Not all classes are equal, though, and over the past several years I’ve developed a major kitchen crush on The Social Table’s Rebecca Goldfarb and her teaching style.  Rebecca’s cooking classes are intimate, 8-person lessons with a pre-set menu and BYO policy that makes them very relaxed and, well, social.  I sat down with Rebecca to talk about her uber-popular business—it’s seriously competitive to get a spot in one of her classes—cooking, booze in the kitchen, and her upcoming move from New York to Chicago.

 FP: The Social Table is wildly successful.  You have achieved the elusive 5 star rating on Yelp.  What was your path to where you are now with the classes?

RG: I know!  It’s crazy.  We’re actually the first result that comes up when you search Yelp for “cooking class” in NYC.  My path to creating The Social Table was not exactly part of a plan.  It sort of just happened.  I grew up in California; went to WashU in St. Louis for college, where I studied Dutch 17th century art history (super practical!); then graduated and figured I could put off “real life” for a little longer if I went to culinary school.  I had spent some time during college working at a local community center with a culinary program, so it wasn’t out of the blue, but I wasn’t really sure where culinary school would lead me.  I’ve had a lot of gigs in the industry, from being a kitchen manager to a sous chef to teaching children’s cooking classes to managing restaurants.

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Theoretically, you may be on a tight budget this month, due to last month’s lobster binge.  That’s ok.  Today’s recipes are not only gloriously cheap, but delightfully simple, which is equally important if, like me, you are feeling sloth-like in these final dog days of summer.  This time of year is defined by one thing for me: tomato season.  About 70% of the time, I’m pretty much a snob about eating what’s in season locally.  (The remaining 30% is composed mostly of an unwavering dedication to tropical offerings such as bananas.  Seriously, a world without bananas?)  Tomatoes are one of those foods that I preach about incessantly.  They just don’t taste like much when they come off a truck from Mexico in the middle of December.  So, when they’re good and fresh I hoard them like a squirrel would his nuts.  Lucky for the squirrels, nuts stay fresh a lot longer than tomatoes.  So, if you find yourself with a few too many ripe tomatoes this season (and I hope you do), I recommend using them in the following ways. Read the rest of this entry »

All right, you’ve seen and heard it everywhere: we are experiencing a glut of lobster this season.  Yes, a glut.  This word alone seems to have infiltrated the world at a higher rate than the actual lobsters it’s describing, but never mind.  The lobsters are everywhere, and basically asking to be eaten!  Growing up, I vacationed in Maine every summer with my family.  It took until my early teens to appreciate the glory of a fresh lobster, but upon enlightenment I made great, eager strides to make up for lost time.  Never in all my years of Maine-ing, however, did it ever occur to me that I could make my own lobster.  Since most lobster in the northeast comes from Maine anyway, I never had the desire to cook one at home; I always waited patiently until August to eat a lobster from the motherland. Read the rest of this entry »

Some women compulsively buy shoes.  Others prefer handbags.  Me?  I have a berry problem.  Straw, rasp, black, blue, mul – you name it.  I love berries in all their juicy, staining glory.  I have written before about my untamable desire to buy produce, but it’s a good berry that really drives me wild.  The jewel-toned colors, the sweet-tart pucker, their welcome place in oatmeal and pancakes!  J’adore.  The only downside is how fleeting their season really is.  But I shall teach you to make summer last forever!  [Insert villainous laugh.] Read the rest of this entry »


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