marvelous mexico

I’ve been home from Mexico for a few days, but it’s not been an easy re-entry. It’s been gray and gloomy, no bright blue sky and brilliant sunshine and mountains. I’m getting over it. Slowly. It was a lovely week of writing with the inimitable Betty Fussell. She’s brilliant, funny, inquisitive and inspiring. I will forever feel grateful for these few days . What a treat to talk about corn with the woman who knows all about corn. To hear about food as culture, and culture as food, and how the world of food writing has evolved. And the bonus? Paul Muldoon, Yes, a remarkable poet, but also, a completely hilarious fellow. I’ve been reading his poetry since returning and it’s probably extra special that […]

cooking with friends

We had houseguests this weekend. Perfect houseguests. I have known Catherine and Jerry since we were in our very early careers. When we were in our 20s and early 30s. When we wore clothes with very large Joan Collins padded shoulders (!!) We lost touch, then reconnected a few years back, and fell right back into a comfortable friendship. Catherine and I cooked together all those decades ago, and picked up the same rhythm this weekend, spending Friday evening plotting our menu, and Saturday executing it. Inspired by Jerusalem, the marvelous new cookbook, and her recollections of meals in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt, we put together a mezza feast, with nine dishes, some from the cookbook, and others from Food52. (Ttwo of the Food52 […]

Have Yourself A Merry…

Lately, I’ve felt like I’m in a rush going from one thing to another. It’s the holiday blur, so I shouldn’t be surprised. As with so many things in my life, I’m rushing in here, to provide that gift guide I promised, part two… cookbooks. Seriously, I am so impressed with the new cookbooks I’ve seen this year, it was impossible to choose, and I’m sure I’m leaving one or two out! If you have gift cards in your pocket, check out these fantastic new books. Jerusalem – everyone’s talking about this book and you can be sure it will be winning plenty of awards this season. It’s beautiful, healthy, easy to make, every-eater friendly food. The book is gorgeously produced with delectable photography. Canal […]

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the holiday gift guide, part one

December has arrived and I barely remember November. How did this happen? It’s so dark in the early morning and again by late afternoon, so we’ll be putting the tree up this week. I need that extra shot of light in my life. It’s the holidaze, and soon, butter, sugar, chocolate, flour will be swirling around the kitchen as I bake up holiday gifts. I don’t do much shopping anymore, although I do spend months finding just the right things for Dennis, who not only has what he wants, but wants very little. This is the time of year when everyone has gift guides, lists, and best-of’s to assist you with holiday purchasing, and I’m going to join the crowd, with a little group of […]

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good food, good friends, giving thanks

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, which is probably common for people who love to cook. It’s a giant stage on which we do a soliloquy, expressing ourselves with burnished birds and burbling pies and happy bellies. This year, I’m particularly aware of the “thanks” part, and wish to focus on the “giving.” Too late, I’m afraid, a friend and I looked for a family for whom we might cook. No one has chimed in yet, but we’re prepared to jump on it, should we get a call today. (Hello, Children’s Hospital? Knollwood? I left your social workers a message.) In the meantime, as I do most years, the plans are underway for a ridiculous amount of cooking. Naturally, like many of you, I will cook […]

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greens ‘n’ eggs. or, have you seen my car key?

My mother – an English professor – would tell a story about her first year teaching. There was another young teacher with whom she shared an office. He taught three sections of Freshman English – the same workload as my mother. Each class had about twenty students, and every week the students had an exam, a Blue Book exam (remember those?) So, there were about sixty blue books to grade Every. Single. Week. Somewhere in the middle of that first semester, that other teacher was carted away by the men in the white coats. Complete nervous breakdown. His briefcase was stuffed with blue books, not a single one graded. After that, my mother graded every paper immediately. No lingering or procrastinating. That was a life […]