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Still looking for a last-minute side dish? JOY’s recipe for Becker Gazpacho is a much-loved family classic my father Ethan serves every 4th of July. Served in a big bowl with ladles and 8-ounce glasses handy, this Spanish-by-way-of-Ohio cold soup is a refreshing alternative to coleslaw, especially if you are serving heavier, creamier dishes alongside.


Fourth of July… the Everest of grilling season!

A beautiful secret I am rediscovering and Megan is quickly learning about NW berries: they’re better. Much better. Large flavor nuggets… lots of sugar… no bitterness.

The pleasures of early autumn are not to be trifled with. It is as if the earth is just coming into its own, growing heavy with dense fruit. I always appreciated the way the weeds sort of explode this time of year. As a gardener, am I allowed to appreciate weeds?

Every Saturday since we've been living in Portland, we grab our shopping bags and walk down the tree-lined streets to the park blocks for the farmer's market. It's a bustling, vibrant affair, tables piled high with gorgeous produce and every stripe of person milling about more or less intentionally--a living cornucopia.

We're cat people. Not that we don't think dogs are awesome. But cats are where it's at.

As younger folk who are still making the rounds, we appreciate our cat's independence. When we leave for the weekend, we don't have to worry so much about his basic needs. He rations his own food and uses the litter box like a champ.

I've had a seriously frugal nature since childhood. Frugality is something we supposedly learn over time, but I swear some people are born with a "savings account" gene. I never squandered my allowance on candy or dashed off to the mall after getting a paycheck. I've always been much more likely to squirrel things away.

We often talk of the lemons that life gives us and the lemonade we're supposed to make from them. That's all well and good, but often, life gives you other things. Like sugar snap peas or potatoes. What then?

There are a lot of obstacles to moving across the country. The obvious ones are logistics and schlepping. Lots and lots of backbreaking schlepping. But once most of the boxes have been unpacked and you're sleeping on your own bed at night (as opposed to a dreaded air mattress or a futon), you can start to dip your toes into your new surroundings.