Tuesday, June 21, 2011


"Mama, what do anchovies do in school?"

Bash 10 anchovies with a mortar and pestle.

"They don't go to school. They swim in schools. With their families."

"Do they have teachers?"

Don't stop until the anchovies are creamy. Two-handed bashing works well for 4-year olds.
"Mama, does everybody love their parents?"

"I don't know. What do you think?"

"I don't know."

"Well, Dash, do you love ME?"

Hearty laugh followed by, "I love you because you're my MOMMY. Why wouldn't I love you?"

Add a stick of soft unsalted butter. 
"What do you love about me?"

"Mama, I love gardening with you."

"What else?"

"Maybe only that."

"Do you love making anchovy butter with me?"

"Uh-huh. Mama. I REALLY do."

Mix until butter and anchovies are fully integrated.
"Mama. Hey. What are you writing there?"

"I was writing a story about you."

Taste. Add salt if needed.

"Can you read me the story you wrote?"

"Sure, Dash."

Spoon into a ramekin. Dip. Lick. Repeat.
"Once upon a time there was a little boy named Dash. He loved to slurp up anchovies, just like his mama. He even asked if we could grow anchovies on the back porch..."
In case you need ideas for what the hell to DO with anchovy butter:
1. Use as a dip for carrots, radishes, celery or breadsticks.
2. Smear on grilled bread. Top with peeled and halved 5-minute eggs and chopped chives.
2. Add to cooked pasta with lots of parmesan, chopped herbs, and some pasta water.
(photo by Bella)


  1. oh my god, phyllis. this is SO beautiful. gah.

  2. Love, love, love this. Thank you!

  3. very sweet (um, salty).
    is bella taking any cooking classes this summer? Luna is looking for some.

  4. I'm not sure that I will ever, ever make this. (except it would be totally scrumptious in a pasta). But. I just have to say that I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog. It's beautiful, full of humour and the recipes really are fantastic. Thank you for sharing it all.

  5. this is jen durning. one comment: LOVE this post. yummerama and you and dash are a beautiful pair.

  6. Oh I heart,heart heart this post.
    Life couldn't get lovelier than this.

    God Bless.

  7. What a sweet and charming story. Thanks Phylis!

  8. Phyllis, these moments you have with Dash are sweet magic. I keep imagining the joy you'll have rereading and looking at these pix 20 years from now.
    And how cool is it that your boy loves anchovies!Tell him I hope he'll come over and pick more veggies at my house soon.

  9. Little people are so fun! You've got to love them.

  10. This is such a beautiful post. The photos truly capture the love you have for your children. This is what cooking with kids should be about. Gorgeous.

  11. Such a sweet post! I love this! My kids love cooking with me but with an infant, it's been harder to want them to help me right now. I just want to make their meals asap so mommy can get a little rest. You may have already shared something like this in your blog before but I'm a new follower so I was wondering if you can give some advice/tips on how to make it easier to have them help me. My 2 older kids are 6 1/2 and 5. Thanks for any tips.

  12. Your boy is handsome, what a great way to chronicle an everyday conversation.
    I have a tow head 4 year old as well if you get a chance come take a peek www.mynaturallyfrugalfamily.blogspot.com

  13. I love your blog. So inspiring, as a mother and a cook. Where did you get your wonderful mortar and pestle? It's so perfect for kids but I can't find it anywhere. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. once again, such lovely comments. wow. thank you.

    rachel neumann: i don't know of any local cooking classes. but i'll see what i can find out.

    ayphotodesign.com: believe me, there are plenty of nights i get the kids down so that i can have a peaceful dinner. you have to do that for your sanity. and you have 3!!! amazing. at first, have your kids do finite jobs like picking parsley or spinning lettuce. eventually have them chose what you're going to cook and then shop with you. give them control where you can so that they feel grounded. then you can control everything else. be VERY clear about rules. hand them a carrot to peel or chop. or a small piece of pie dough to roll out. don't worry if they mess it up. i'll try to do a post with some ideas. i'm still learning, struggling, etc. every day is different.

    anonymous: the mortar and pestle is from a store in venice, ca called A+R (http://aplusrstore.com/). they no longer carry it. here is is on amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sagaform-5007033-Mortar-and-Pestle/dp/B000SM4BN2.