Hey There, It's Amanda

Founder Files: Ham & Biscuits, a Kitchen Fire & Great Vases

Plus a self-watering pot for forgetful plant parents.

May  2, 2024
Photo by Merrill Stubbs

Tad and I went to a party for Amor Towles’s new story collection, Table for Two, at his home in Manhattan. He served two plump, beautifully glazed hams next to a basket of fresh biscuits—reminding me, an over-planner, that keeping it simple is often the best way to go. So let’s plan a ham and biscuit party right now:

On the Menu

On the Table

At the party, I talked to another author, who I won’t name, otherwise I’d be justly accused of name-dropping. We were talking about throwing parties and he told me that he and his husband used to host what they called Fridays at Home. They opened their house every Friday evening from 7 to 9 p.m. to whoever on a long list of friends could make it. Around 8 p.m., they’d take a headcount to see who was still around and then they’d order takeout to feed them. And they often played something called (I think) the Complaint Game, where everyone had the stage for 1-2 minutes to lodge a complaint about life. Who doesn’t love a chance to complain, especially with an audience! (The most common gripe? People meandering on sidewalks and subway stairs while texting.)

I love this idea. Now, I just need to round up some friends…

Back at Food52

Anna, our dry, chill host of Break An Egg, had her baby!! Our team has been subbing in for her hosting duties, and, Anna, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry to say that I got called in. Things went ok for a bit. I had Ali Cayne from Haven’s Kitchen, Jamie Erickson from Poppy’s, Alexandra Stafford, and Auzerais Bellamy of Blondery in to cook with me (finished videos coming soon!). And then I nearly set our test kitchen on fire when I put a double oven mitt directly over a lit burner. Whoops! Flames leapt. Phone cameras were out. Thankfully, there was water nearby.

We made the breakfast pizza from Alexandra Stafford’s new book, "Pizza Night." Photo by Food52
Auzerais Bellamy of Blondery took a break from blondies to make banana bread. Photo by Food52
Haven’s Kitchen’s Ali Cayne came in with her new aioli. Photo by Food52
Thankfully, we know where to get more double oven mitts. Photo by Food52

So let’s talk about what the less-dangerous members of our team are doing:

• César developed a recipe for Tarta de Santiago, traditionally an almond cake, and he added some hazelnut flour to it.

• Our Shop team hunted down some especially good products for Earth Month and Mother’s Day.

On My List

These are so much better than plastic bags for storing vegetable and fruit scraps!

This bin is good for the earth and chic! (It's sold out at the moment, but we'll be stocking more—sign up to get notified when they're back in the Shop!)

Well-designed, affordable vases are hard to come by.

This is a great, self-watering planter for the sometimes forgetful plant parent.

We’ve got three more days until the weekend—let’s make them great!


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Amanda Hesser

Written by: Amanda Hesser

Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.