When I first started working at Lawrence, I thought for sure that I would be able to make time for both work and writing. That between the long days making anglaise, puff pastry, bread, custards, and caramel, I would still feel stoked to write in this blog (or anywhere else!). Six months later, I’ve accepted the struggles that I’ve encountered when searching for energy and inspiration to ever visit this space, especially when the one thing that I blog about the most — cooking! — I simply don’t do much anymore. (I mean really: you don’t want to hear about endless breakfasts of avocado toast, lentil mush, and late-night popcorn). So one of the things that I thought about over the holidays was how to make this space feel engaging and special to me again. Because I’d really like it to be! And already: relaxing in this space again feels comforting and cozy.

These photos aren’t that recent, but hopefully still worth sharing. I’ve written about the beauty of steamed mussels before (my recipe can be found here). They’re one of my favorite dishes to make for friends because they’re awesomely cheap, easy, and healthy. And right now, they’re in season. I also added an obscene amount of chopped herbs (I used a mix of fresh dill, fennel fronds, parsley, basil, mint, and tarragon), pastis, and my secret ingredient — a tiny dice of raw celery. The steam relaxes the celery slightly and gives the dish a miraculous lift and lightness. We ate big bowls of brothy mussels with crisp duck fat-fried potatoes, a shaved fennel salad, and golden garlic toasts — made with my own bread! (A smuggled-home stump of Lawrence sourdough).

So here’s to more parties… and garlic toast… and brothy healthfulness… and finding time to spend in spaces that you love…. even if all you make six days of the week is avocado toast and lentil mush.


  1. i totally know the feeling- working so much has really kept me out of the kitchen- i barely have it in me to do anymore… but glad you’re back! i love reading about your food, even if it is avocado toast and lentils.

    one thing i’ve been making recently for berakfast is just smashed avocado on a really good corn tortilla with a squeeze of lime and salt. so simple but good! (from canal house cookbook)

    • woah… that sounds super delicious and easy. i LOVE the canal house books… totally my style. the ‘dolce vita’ issue is one of my favorites. gotta track them all down..

  2. Happy new year!! Just wondering if you might suggest nice areas to stay in Montreal? I’m planning a trip and thought you may have blogged about visiting Montreal, but haven’t been able to find the post… Would love any advise you’d be willing to share!

    • hey marie, sure! i’d love to point you in the right direction… send me an email at natasha.pickowicz at and i’ll totally help you out!

  3. Welcome back and happy new year! I hope you continue to spend time in this space (time-willing). I find your blog posts (yes, even about avocado toast and lentils!) to be inspirational. But it may take time to figure out how to balance writing and cooking for a living.

    • thanks lady, you are sweet. it’s taking me a little longer than i thought to figure out the balance not just between writing and work but also reintroducing daily rituals like cooking into a life where i already cook for a living! redundant and poorly written sentence but it’s the truth. actually, i kind of want to sneak my camera into work and get more photos while i’m there…. that’s where all the action happens! so many interesting stories to tell…

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