In the April Issue of Prevention magazine (on newsstands now), with Vanessa Williams on the cover, there is a nice big story on me, with great photos of my food and my kitchen! There is even a picture of my dog, Pippa.
They asked me to cook an Easter dinner, since Easter is coming up on April 4. So, of course I had to make my famous ham (with the actual ham coming from Heritage Foods), scalloped potatoes, asparagus, and salad with peas and mint—all seasonal delights! I even made my pickled red beet eggs, which you can see in an amazing photo below or in a nice slide show on Prevention.com.
When you do a shoot this elaborate, they bring along food stylists and cooks, and all sorts of people hang out in the kitchen all day. After I made the scalloped potatoes with a dozen people staring at me, one woman said, “Wow! That really is simple.” That’s when I came up with the phrase “extreme simplicity” for my cooking. I am interested in paring a recipe down to its purest essence, and removing any needless complications (or extra dishes, for that matter).
Extreme simplicity only works, however, when you are starting with really good, fresh (and organic, of course) ingredients. I remember reading once that the reason spices were so valuable in the olden days was that they covered up the taste of old, stale food. Although I do love spices too!
Speaking of great ingredients, the rhubarb you see in the shot was grown organically in a greenhouse (the shoot was done in January). I for one had never seen rhubarb so red before, and it sure tasted great. When I make my usual rhubarb it’s never quite that red, so don’t feel bad if yours isn’t either.
P.S. Let me know what you think of the apron I’m wearing! I have been designing them using organic fabric, working with my Mennonite friend Ida Burkholder, who sews them for me. We’ve almost got it just right, so I’d love to know if any of you would ever wear an apron like this.