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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Our cousins, our elves

My cousins Liz and Dorothy*, Liz’s husband Buddy, and their Shih Tzu Bella came all the way from Maine and New Hampshire, in December, to exhaust themselves decorating our house for Christmas. I helped, of course, but mostly I just let the elves have at it.  When the Good Lord was doling out talents, Dorothy […]

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Lost… and found

I promised to let you know. After writing yesterday’s blogpost, I went about my business for an hour or so, texted my cousin Liz that I’d had no luck so far, then sat down to do something or other.  I’d bothered St. Anthony enough for one day, so I tried to distract myself with some […]

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The Tale of the Missing Macaroni Stick

Note: This post actually isn’t about books (see the photo) or the macaroni stick. It’s about what happens when we lose things. And find them. Or not.  My mother’s macaroni stick, I am convinced, was enchanted. With it she created flawless “homemades” and ravioli, holiday after holiday, year after year. She made her last batch […]

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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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What I did this summer

I’ve been erratic about writing these last few months. That tendency, to be erratic, is probably one reason why I’m never likely to write the Great American Novel. Serious writers, in my experience, are highly disciplined and highly routinized—and that’s never been quite my cup of tea. First of all, I probably ate too much ice […]

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Farewell, sweet friend

Cover photo: Miss Pup with her beau Rocko, who crossed the bridge earlier this year.  Many hearts were broken just after midnight on August 23, when Miss Puppy’s sweet little heart—which was at least as big as Texas—just gave up. Everyone lucky enough to have a loving dog understands intellectually that by human standards, their […]

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