Comfort Food: Bread for Brides

date-bread-donedate-nut-bread-cookbook-for-bridesAfter the loss of our two beloved family pets within a month, I barely wanted to grocery shop, let alone cook. I’m slowly regaining the kitchen by making comfort food – familiar dishes that demand little creativity and deliver the culinary equivalent of a hug. For my first foray, I chose a retro book with a happy theme, The Boston Globe Cook Book for Brides (Globe Newspaper Co., 1963). My son found it for me at a yard sale. The chatty recipes make me feel like I’m sitting at a table with Grandma Bertie and her friends. Continue reading

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A Well-Traveled White Lady Cocktail


cocktail-white-lady-shakerWhenever my son arrives for a visit from Germany, where he now lives, he brings recipes for us to try together – always an adventure! Continue reading

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A Musical Feast

Wolf Trap veg dipConcertgoers at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts outside Washington, D.C. have taken their picnics seriously ever since the park officially opened in 1971. The Wolf Trap Picnic Cookbook (1976) details all the sumptuous dishes that people brought to the lawn Continue reading

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A Mighty Mint Cordial

Mint infused brandy 2By this time of the summer, mint threatens to overrun my garden. The sprigs that I welcomed when they poked up through the icy soil now crowd my rosemary and parsley. What better way to thin them than to pick them for a recipe? Continue reading

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Texas Enchiladas That Fed a ‘Giant’

Enchilada Marfa landscape MS photo

Marfa, Texas                                                                                    Photo by Martha Schnee

Enchilada Cowboy Day Cook-AlongWhen the cast and crew of the movie Giant came to Marfa, Texas in 1955, they traded Los Angeles glitz for an arid, desolate landscape. “[Marfa] is located somewhere south and west of El Paso in a region of the damned…It was a hot, lifeless, boring place,” wrote Mercedes McCambridge, who co-starred in the film with James Dean, Rock Hudson, and Elizabeth Taylor.

I learned more about making of the film from Recipes4Rebels, a blog celebrating recipes from James Dean and his contemporaries. The blog’s Cowboy Day Cookalong  for the National Day of the Cowboy on July 23 sounded too fun to resist Continue reading

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An Icy Dessert from Garden Ingredients


Granita doneFrom Eden to Babylon, gardens for thousands of years have inspired legends. In America, the U.S. Botanic Garden opened on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1820 and still operates nearby. Michelle Obama revived gardening on the White House Lawn in 2009; A White House Garden Cookbook tells you more about it. A garden also inspires Alexandra Risen, who has just published the memoir Unearthed. Continue reading

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‘Something a Little Exotic’ to Grill

Skewers - Price cookbookAmericans have long celebrated July 4 with picnics but they didn’t always grill hamburgers and hot dogs. The Food Timeline reports that at various times in history, Americans served whole, broiled hogs; cold meats; salmon with new potatoes and green peas; and “temperance” beverages.

If you’re in search of something different, but still all-American, look back to the 1960s. Continue reading

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