Ripe, Not Quite, and Not Even Close

August 18, 2012
By Holly Jennings

I have some club news—newsier news than the ongoing ebb and flow of members coming and going, and the cycling through of new cookbooks: The Dowdy Corners Cookbook Club will no longer be based out of Dowdy Corners. All else will remain the same: the name (when Steiglitz’s 291 gallery changed address from its location from its original address of 291 Fifth Avenue, he kept the name—so I am too); the growing list of members (Bhakti and Marianne being the most recent to join); and the club’s function—to explore new foods and cooking techniques with a group of likeminded passionate cooks who love cookbooks.


I could stop writing here, and this posting would truly be just an update on club news, and the shortest posting to date. Instead, it may become the longest bit of writing on this blog, except perhaps my posting last year about a trip to France, a place that encourages wordy praise. Aside from poetry, which I do not write, how is it possible to describe the impact of three life-changing years in 500 words or less, the length of a typical blog posting?




The house at Dowdy Corners is a 1940s cape which, being built on an older (more…)

Ginger: In Memoriam (October, 2009–January 19, 2012)

February 05, 2012
By Holly Jennings

To DCCC readers:

Every so often I post something about life at Dowdy Corners—the garden, the bees, and now the chickens. The following story about the death of one of our chickens may seem completely unrelated to the club’s main business of reading cookbooks and preparing recipes, but it’s not: Many of Ginger’s eggs have been used in the preparation of food posted on the DCCC blog (click here, here, and here), and have even made it into print as one of the star ingredients in Udon Noodles with Everything, included in my friend Debra Samuel’s newest cookbook My Japanese Table. On the blog I don’t explicitly talk about where food comes, how it’s grown, and how it gets onto our tables, yet it’s something I think about a lot. Keeping chickens at Dowdy Corners has been one significant part of an on-going experience learning about food. If you don’t keep chickens, you may find this story maudlin; if you do keep them, you will know how easy it is to get attached to these domesticated fowl. This story is one of several I’m working on about our chickens, many of which are not sad at all, but are very happy chicken stories.


Ginger’s egg. Page from My Japanese Table (photography by Heath Robbins; styling by Catrine Kelty)


The morning started out innocently. After receiving a handfed breakfast of leftover dinner roll, Ginger, in the newspaper-lined pet carrier she’d been placed in the night before, was ready to be taken to her 8:40 a.m. appointment with Dr. Barcelow to see what could be done, should be done about her “pouch.”


Though not as large and bulbous as it had been before the surgery, when we had mistakenly identified it as an abscess, her abdomen was sagging more, it seemed, every day. Without the aid of muscle, Ginger’s skin was stretching and thinning under the weight of her intestines. When she was tucked in for the night, sitting on the perch, the pouch dangled in mid-air at an impossible distance from her body, like a reluctant teardrop of water suspended from the end of a faucet.


There were other alarming signs: Featherless and exposed to cold January air, the (more…)

The Golden Worm

January 06, 2012
By Holly Jennings

Every Christmas my Aunt Stephanie makes handmade ornaments. They are always made of cloth or paper, or often a combination of the two, and fit unassumingly into a common letter-size envelope, which carries them to friends and family members.

This past holiday’s handwork is a bird constructed of white paper using deceptively simple origami folds. In its beak is a small portion of (more…)