Beans and macaroni

Not long ago, one of my high school friends hosted a retro luncheon. The assignment was to bring something that was “always on the table” when we were growing up. I struggled with this request. In our Italian-American household, there were no Jello salads or tuna noodle casseroles. Lasagne was way too heavy and rich […]

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The peach, with apologies to E. E. Cummings…

…given its perfectly splendid nature, perhaps the line should have read, “Do I dare NOT to eat a peach?” All bad J. Alfred Prufrock jokes aside, the peach is surely the most splendid of summer fruits… not only for its singular taste and texture, but also for its range of luscious color, from the fairest […]

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The family farm… an appreciation

Summer, like each of the seasons, has its own enchantments… “abundant sunshine,” lots of evening light. We can be outside morning, noon, and night without the burden of outerwear. We have the pleasure of flowers, shrubs, and trees that give us shade. If we’re lucky enough, we can read on the beach, take a boat […]

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James Beard on almost everything

I received James Beard’s Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles as a gift about a decade ago, when I was deep into Julia Child and M. F. K. Fisher. All this time, it had sat there patiently on the shelf. About two weeks ago, in search of a change, I picked it up, […]

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Start-of-March miscellany

Apart from wishing away what is hopefully the last of the cold weather, I can’t say that I’ve been full of ambition in the last few weeks. I can say with reasonable reliability, however, that I have hit this same slump every year of my adult life. I expect I’m not alone. On the bookshelf… […]

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The birthday brunch

It isn’t easy to be a Christmas baby. It’s a lifetime of competition with much of the world’s very favorite holiday when your birthday falls on December 23 or thereabouts. When my daughter was tiny, we had half-birthday parties for her in June, after school was out. In adulthood, she’s mostly enjoyed her own celebrations […]

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Ramp up to Turkey Day

I woke to this early AM text: I’m supposed to be brining the bird right now. Know what I’m doing? Playing solitaire on the computer! What’s wrong with me? Apart from a good chuckle, that text reassured me (as I did its author), that I’m not the only one who bogs down in the hoopla […]

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‘Scratch’ applesauce

It’s a great thing that so many young cooks are taking up the “fresh and from scratch” cause. Some of the best recipes and tips I’ve found in food blogs have come from folks with far less “kitchen history” than my own. All that being said, I can’t for the life of me understand why […]

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The baguette experiment

It’s fall, and I’m back to making bread. I know I’m like a repeating decimal when it comes to the joys of home-baked bread, but few activities in the kitchen give me as much pleasure. l love the pungent smell of yeasty dough bubbling under the light at the back of the stove as much […]

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