Summer blue

Nature works her magic everywhere. It’s up to us to appreciate her. Even if you can’t get away, you can always find beauties to admire if you just get up out of your chair and look up. Blue skies Smiling at me Nothing but blue skies do I see* I have to remind myself of […]

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Off the road again

In 1962, John Steinbeck wrote this: When we get these thruways across the whole country, as we will and must, it will be possible to drive from New York to California without seeing a single thing.  From Travels With Charley: In Search of America (The Viking Press, 1962) In 1990, Charles Kuralt wrote this: The interstate highway system is […]

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Easter bread woes

For all but a few of the last 20 or so years, I have faithfully used the same recipe for Easter bread, from my beloved Roseto Cookbook,* Anna Marie Ruggiero’s culinary homage to the life and times of the Italian immigrants, their children, and their children’s children, in a tiny town in the Slate Belt […]

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Rearranging

I hit the ground running early this morning when inspiration struck. Move the love seat from the den back to the living room, and move the wingback to the den. There is nothing unusual about this urge, as most women know. When the kids were itty bitty, I was always moving furniture around. In those […]

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Happy New Year

It’s crazy cold here. Despite my respect for the change of seasons, and the fact that we’d danced in the streets at the Carnaval de Québec when the “real feel” was -30, I’ve since grown unaccustomed to day after day of temps in the teens and below. Thus, these enticing glimpses of Greater Miami are […]

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The urge to organize

My friend Teresa always used to say that December 26—Boxing Day—was her favorite of the year, since she was able to enjoy all the pleasures of Christmas with none of the pressure. I’ve kept her counsel for many years; the lazy day after Christmas is one of my favorites as well. This year, with the […]

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Cook with what you have

I read cookbooks the way most people read travel magazines, far more for the narrative than the recipes themselves. It’s a near addiction (thankfully, a harmless one) that I’ve had for years, since Aunt Florence gave me the 12-volume The Woman’s Day Encyclopedia of Cookery in 1969. I’m fairly certain that the collection was one of those […]

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Let the frenzy begin

As I write this, I’m preparing psychologically to clean and straighten out my baking pantry before the Christmas endurance contest begins. Baking Christmas cookies with my mother the first two weekends in December remains one of my favorite childhood memories. Mom gave cookies away in droves, never forgot a generous box for the rectory, and […]

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The light in Liz’s window

My cousin Liz holds a huge piece of my heart. Because hundreds of miles separated us in childhood, we did not become close until we were well into adulthood. I will be eternally grateful for that, and I just hate it when a year goes by without seeing her. She lives up north, and one […]

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Chips of choice

We have a friend who is fond of saying, “You’re all that and a bag of chips.” When it comes to out-of-the-box ( bag??) compliments, one could do worse. A good potato chip, after all, is in a class all by itself. I grew up about an hour from Hanover, PA, Utz’s ancestral home, which […]

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Back in the [bread-baking] groove

Summer is looking a bit care-worn by now, even though this year, for the first in many, the grass has stayed a bright Irish-green throughout, and our little patch of herbs is so abundant that it looks downright provençal. I can see a few leaves starting to turn here and there, and, although I will […]

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This time, last year…

Because so many of us are feeling the need for respite right now, it seems a good time to share photos from our last visit to New England. It appears that 2017 will be one of those rare years that we don’t go north. So much the better to have beautiful images to rely on […]

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