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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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 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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‘Celebration’ cookies: a memory

Many moons ago, in another life and after something of a rough patch, I rang the doorbell of a modest, flat style home to present myself to a prospective landlady. I’d just seen the listing for a three-bedroom apartment in a solid city neighborhood, with church and school and people I knew all within a […]

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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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Rainy-day baking

Despite yet another gloomy day, I’m assuming that the pleasures of outdoor dining are just around the corner. We’ve had crazy weather for months, with the temperature spiking into the 90s long before it should have, then taking a 20-degree fall—sometimes in the space of an hour or two. I know I’m not the only one longing for […]

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Yes, we have some bananas

Although I typically wouldn’t make bread, pizza, or fresh pasta on a miserably damp winter day, nothing motivates the goodie baker in me more. This morning there were three over-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl. Much as I don’t mind them, Hubby likes his bananas firm and even a few speckles put him off. So I […]

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In the kitchen with the King

My love affair with King Arthur Flour started back in the early 80s, when a dear friend—the one who introduced me to the sublime taste and creamy texture of real Cuban-style black beans—took up bread baking. I’d been using unbleached, non-bromated flour for a decade at that point, but after Jorge raved about KAF, I […]

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Wow! You have a lot of cookbooks!

More than one visitor has said that over the years. It’s absolutely true that I’m obsessed with cookbooks—not with the recipes,  but with how they shape what and how you like to cook and eat, and how you think about food in general. Your food persona. At the peak of my powers, I probably had almost 200. They’ve […]

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