Holiday time machine; 12 vegetables of Christmas

Is there any more effective time machine than a Christmas tree? The first ornament that was mine and only mine was given to me by my maternal grandmother, Christmas of 1952. I pull out that silver cardboard horse to hang it up and, bam!, I’m 7 years old in Watsontown, PA, waiting with dread for the… Continue reading Holiday time machine; 12 vegetables of Christmas

Wonderful cookies, flu season

You know it, and I know it. We’re going to make some Christmas treats (and, we hope, eat only a few!!). So those treats might as well be wonderful. Luckily, these are called Wonderful Cookies. I ate my first at a book club get-together 2 weeks ago. I got the recipe from the host and then… Continue reading Wonderful cookies, flu season

We are each other’s memories, home-court habits

“We are each other’s memories,” said my beautiful, silver-haired friend yesterday morning at book club, and with that remark, she grounded me in my world in a way I’ve never before felt. Until I went to college at 17, my mother, sister and I were kept isolated in a very rural setting by my control-freak… Continue reading We are each other’s memories, home-court habits

Mary Emmerling’s cherry cobbler

Happy President’s Day! Even though George Washington’s birthday isn’t until next week, I made my usual sour cherry cobblers because, after all, we have no mail today and it’s snowing. In other words, the occasion really demands a festive dessert. This recipe showed up at our wedding almost 27 years ago when our friends the Greenes… Continue reading Mary Emmerling’s cherry cobbler

Easter dinner, harissa roasted carrots

Occasionally, I’m reminded of our narrow taste palette. Making and cooking with harissa, a hot pepper paste from North Africa and the Mediterranean, was one of those times. Even before adding the lemon juice, olive oil and garlic, it smelled like nothing I could identify, except the overtones of anise. I needed only a wee… Continue reading Easter dinner, harissa roasted carrots

Meyer lemons, baby puff pastry shells and a holiday dessert that doesn’t break the calorie bank

Disaster  narrowly averted at our house this morning: Slicing into a newly baked loaf of Stoic’s oat bread, I started to walk computer-ward with my usual thick crust that I always log as 200 calories. Just for grins, I weighed it before I left the kitchen. Three ounces! An extra 100  calories that I’ve been scarfing… Continue reading Meyer lemons, baby puff pastry shells and a holiday dessert that doesn’t break the calorie bank

Sweet Potatoes; Big Brother

If I could get you to read one book before you head to the table on Thanksgiving, it would be Lionel Shriver’s Big Brother, her intense new novel about the meaning of food (besides survival) in our lives and our relationships. “Not irresistible tastiness but the very failure of food to reward is what drives… Continue reading Sweet Potatoes; Big Brother