Chowder from the Pine Tree State

Chowder bowlFall in New England – the flaming burst of colors before the landscape mutes – always sends me back into the kitchen for comfort food, and chowder fits that category. Continue reading

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A Beginner Attempts a Prize-Winning Pie


Pie sliceEmbarrassing to admit, I never baked an entire apple pie before this weekend. How un-American! Continue reading

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In My October Kitchen

Oct kit - root vegOct kit - cut root vegThanks once again to inspiration from Celia at figjamandlimecordial, here’s a peek into my October kitchen near Boston, Massachusetts. Cool weather has brought root vegetables back to the farmer’s markets. Last night, I diced an assortment (beets, carrots, parsnips, butternut squash), then tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and fresh rosemary and roasted them in the oven.



In my October kitchen, I have also pulled out my rolling pin because I vow to improve my pie crust baking skills! No matter what I do, my crusts tend to clump, break apart, stick to the rolling pin, or get soggy. At least I can’t really ruin fresh apples.

Oct kit - apple pieIn my October kitchen, I reorganized my vintage cookbooks….but there’s always room for another! I will be trying and sharing recipes from some of these books in future posts.

Oct kit - clara w  books

Oct kit - bookshelf



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Pears with a Virginia Past

Pear - uncooked
Pear - Taste of Va book (2)A Taste of Virginia
, published by the James River Garden Club in Richmond, presents traditional fare fit for serving in grand homes around the Old Dominion. The recipes in this book veer far from the humble roots of my Virginia family but it’s instructive about food history to peep behind those porticoes to see what ladies and gentlemen used to eat. Continue reading

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A is for Grandma’s Apple Cake

Apple recipeI’m not sure what variety of apples my grandmother, Hanna, used in the Fresh Apple Cake recipe she clipped from the Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper in the 1930s, but I wanted to try it this week because apples – especially when dipped in honey – are traditional for the Jewish New Year. Continue reading

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Chocolate Chip Biscuits for Your Next Bake Sale

Bubble biscuits - baked

Source: Town of Whitman, MA

Source: Town of Whitman, MA

Blame the invention of the chocolate chip on a Massachusetts baker’s boredom. In the 1930s, Ruth Wakefield of the Toll House Inn decided to chop up a chocolate bar and add it to her standard butterscotch cookie recipe. The resulting Toll House cookies became a local sensation (the Boston Globe gives more details) and eventually the official Massachusetts cookie. Continue reading

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Vinegar, Sugar, Cream Cheese: Unexpected Companions

Creche dip close-upWhen I saw a recipe for Green Pepper Dip in a cookbook from the 1980s, I expected a swirl of sour cream, chopped veggies and salt, perhaps artfully served in a hollowed-out pepper half. Instead, I found directions to beat two eggs and equal measures of vinegar, butter, and sugar, then heat and mix with cream cheese. Continue reading

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