Sausage, vegetable gratin, and spinach

I forgot to take a picture. We’re eating dinner earlier on the weekends during the summer. Dinner becomes what it is to old people in the South, the meal you eat at noon. For supper, which is what you eat in the South at the end of the day, we might have a BLT: later, after the sun goes down. This is the longest day of the year, and a hot and muggy one.

Today’s main meal was a ginger scallion chicken sausage, the leftovers of a potato gratin that also has some celeriac and something else in it that I forget, and some fresh spinach sauteed with butter and garlic scapes.


Chicken, gratin, and salad


Broiled chicken thighs with a gratin of potatoes, celeriac, and kohlrabi, and a side of salad. When I say “salad” I just mean, “washed lettuce with dressing.” I like goddess dressing, which is like a tahini-based version of ranch. Kevin likes the old school ranch.

Hinge burger

Hinge burger

Hinge burger with sides

“If you could get a burger from anywhere in Northampton, where would it be?”

That’s the question I posed this evening. We’re all four experienced downtown diners. I threw out the names of a few places. A few more were added to the list. I’ve always had good food at Hinge. It was time to try their take out.

I ordered two of our favorite appetizers, their Brussels sprouts, which are served with hazelnuts and feta, and the Hinge version of poutine. We shared those all around, along with some coleslaw Kevin made, and each ordered a different sandwich: three burgers and one chicken. I got the Hinge burger, with onions and fried pancetta, oozing with house made boursin cheese. Boursin. Boursin. Say it. It’s a funny word. “There’s an N there,” Kevin says. “You have to make sure to not-pronounce the N.” He demonstrates a few times.

Boursin is not only fun to say, it’s also delicious on a burger. Hinge makes their own. Hinge has also figured out how to keep my fries crispy all the way home (one mile, in a car), so bravo on that point, as well. The only criticism I heard was that the poutine was not as amazing as it is when eaten in the restaurant. It was still pretty good.

Caribbean-Texan brisket

Beef brisket, red kale, and salt roasted potatoes

Beef brisket, red kale, and salt roasted potatoes

I’m watching a series on Netflix called “How the States Got Their Shapes.” And while barbecue has not actually had any role in the geographic shaping of any American states, the differences among barbecue styles has been noted. Texas barbecues mainly beef, because it’s cattle country, and they prefer a dry rubbed, slow roasted brisket, classically served without sauce. Continue reading

Bacon mint burger with balsamic caramelized onions

Beef burger with bacon, duck fat roasted potatoes, and green beans

Beef burger with bacon, duck fat roasted potatoes, and green beans

All beef burger patties, seasoned with mined garlic, parsley, and mint, topped with caramelized onions finished with balsamic vinegar, and two slices of bacon. On the sides, some oven roasted potatoes that would have been amazing in twenty more minutes, but everything else was ready, and frozen green beans from the supermarket. The beef is from pastured cattle that are raised north of here.The bread that I toasted to eat our burgers on comes from my favorite local bakery. Today’s is eight grain. The potatoes are from our farm share and the duck fat, I rendered off our celebratory duck breast dinner a few nights ago. I’m grateful for the artisanal, lovingly made and raised foods, and also for the conveniences like supermarket bacon and frozen green beans. For the inspiration of cooking competition programs, and getting to watch them instead of presenting my limp potatoes to a panel of judges.