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Author Archive | Leslie Peng

Eggplant, the Misunderstood

Eggplant, the Misunderstood

Few vegetables have as many deadly cousins as the eggplant.  It belongs to the nightshade-potato family, Solanacae, which includes such poisonous plants as Jimson Weed (Datura), the Belladonna (a.k.a. Deadly Nightshade), and tobacco (Nicotiana), but also the aforementioned potato, tomato, tomatillo, gooseberry, and peppers. The eggplant is indigenous to a broad area encompassing India, South […]

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Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberry Fields Forever

There are few fruits that I look forward to eating more than a truly fine strawberry in the summer.  I can honestly say that I remember the first time when after years of eating strawberries that were enormous, watery, and only vaguely strawberry-tasting, I tasted a concentrated, sweet, and aromatic strawberry.  It was one of […]

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Swimming in Squash

Swimming in Squash

I hope my friends and neighbors love summer squash.  In the early spring craze this year that really just felt like winter, I bought what can only be described as a “value pack” of summer squash seeds in a craze of over anticipation of summer.    I planted the starts, so innocuous at first, in a […]

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Invincible Summer

Invincible Summer

Last night I shared a drink with a childhood friend and the boy, now a man, who grew up in the house next to mine at Our House, an establishment perfectly named for the little gathering we had.  My neighbor and I joked about our fathers’ ancient disagreement over a shared and mutually coveted parking […]

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On Missing Apricots

On Missing Apricots

My parents used to have this fabulous apricot tree in our backyard.  I remember swimming in the pool, and eating apricots while treading water, the weird combination of the smell of chlorine on my fingers, the sweet fruit in my mouth.  My sister and I used to climb up on the play structure my father […]

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Poulet Rouge

Poulet Rouge

It seems ironic that someone with so little patience (me) would love so many things that take such a great amount of time to produce (a large percentage of things I love to eat)—cassoulet, tomato sauce, paella, trippa alla Fiorentina, and even specific meats.  Slow growing breeds of meat are often more flavorful than their […]

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