Category Archives: Food

Old recipes, family history, stories about recipes, American history, vintage cookbooks

For Mother’s Day: Grandma’s Apricot Bars

Though I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen with either of my grandmothers, I enjoy remembering them by making the recipes that they left behind. For Mother’s Day this year, I wanted something sweet and brightly flavored, so I … Continue reading

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Maple Sugar Season in March

Warm days and cold nights keep the sap in sugar maple trees flowing. In New England, Native Americans  taught settlers how to slash tree trunks and extract the sap to use as a sweetener. These buckets from a local farm … Continue reading

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Vodka with Old-World Elegance

In between a one-two-three punch of snowstorms, I pulled out The Russian Tea Room: A Tasting (Clarkson Potter, 1993), a book of recipes and reminiscences from then-owner, Faith Stewart-Gordon. I never went to the Manhattan restaurant but its tea (and … Continue reading

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A Sweet Ending

For a dessert to end 2018, I found a recipe with just eight ingredients, all of them pantry staples: butter, two kinds of sugar, eggs, vanilla, flour, chocolate, and nuts. The shortbread base with melted chocolate and nuts on top … Continue reading

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Here We Come for Cider Wassail

Who remembers the English folk song that starts, “Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green”? That’s what I hummed when I saw the recipe for Cider Wassail in The Blue Ridge Cookbook.

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Cranberries in a pie crust

Just in time for Thanksgiving, my neighbor organized a pie swap. Each of us baked a pie, then sliced it up and shared a sample with the other participants. For ideas, I looked through handwritten recipes from my grandmother and … Continue reading

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Gardening in a Time of War

You won’t find too many sumptuous meals in Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy in the Civil War. You will find two women gardening to supplement their meager larder in Secrets in a House Divided, the historical  novel I just … Continue reading

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