Overcoming Culinary Bias: Learning to Love Lima Beans

Β With postwar guilt, he decried bratwurst, sauerbraten, and Konigsberger Klopse as dishes verging on poison. They were the Hitler of foods. Instead, he looked to our own Greek diet--our eggplant aswim in tomato sauce, our cucumber dressings and fish egg-spreads, our pilafi, raisins and figs--as potential curatives, as live-giving, artery-cleansing, skin-smoothing wonder drugs...They didn't call…

The Dwindling Days of Summer

Chicago is the great American city, New York is one of the capitals of the world, and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic; San Francisco is a lady.Β -Norman Mailer This past weekend has been nothing but quiet. I've spent a lot of time with Don Draper, whose plight gets only more and more wretched…

Figs and a Fresh Start

The fragrant freshness of the night rose ever stronger and sweeter from the garden; the sounds and the silence grew more solemn; star after star began to twinkle overhead. I looked at him, and suddenly my heart grew light; it seemed that the cause of my suffering had been removed like an aching nerve. Suddenly…

When Life Gives you Green Beans…

I remember her every word and every intonation. I will not repeat what she said, though it will always echo in my daydreams. The broad sense of it was that she was offering me everything...All would fear us and love us and no one could ever touch us.-Zachary Mason (The Lost Books of the Odyssey)I've…

Goin’ Bananas, Part I: Banana Streusel Muffins

What is success?To laugh often and much;To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;To appreciate beauty;To find the best in others;To leave the world a bit better, whether bya healthy child, a gardenpatch or a redeemed social…

Labor of Love: Bougatsa (Cheese Pie)

The counselors conferred in low voices out of the king's hearing, speaking of the state of the king's mind and vanity, the innate interest of the task, whetherthe taskmaster would be able to recognize a solution, and finally whether their combined lifetimes would suffice to write the required book. At last they turned to the…

Taste of the Tropics

Oh, gentle feelings, soft sounds, the goodness and the gradual stifling of a soul that has been moved; the melting happiness of the first tender, touching joys of love--where are you? Where are you? -Ivan Turgenev (First Love) On a lovely sunny and carefree Saturday morning about two weeks ago, I woke up knowing that…