In the Mix: Crossing the chai divide

People talk — and joke — a lot about pumpkin spice, but have you noticed chai spice showing up a-plenty, too, in recent years? It’s been a slow integration, this chai thing, but it now seems to be a part of nearly everything — from tea or coffee to desserts. Apparently, Oprah loves it! And . . . → Read More: In the Mix: Crossing the chai divide

Bread of the Month: Crafting a snack cracker

I began taking comfort in crackers early. We always had a big box (or two) of saltines in the cupboard, the pale, salty little squares ever-constant companions to soups and chili. But I made them my own snack, more than anything. Sometimes plain, but often spread with butter and jam, I even turned them into . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Crafting a snack cracker

Stirring up passion for apple butter

When I was a kid, I had all the cool chores. I got to shell the peas, gathered to the brim of a bottomless five-gallon paint bucket. I got to guard the rows of cabbages with a swatter, set to strike down any moths fluttering along. I got to lie down on my belly in . . . → Read More: Stirring up passion for apple butter

Popcorn and a Movie: Peering into a perfect movie

When the mainstream recollects master director Alfred Hitchock’s films, “Psycho” (1960) is usually at the forefront of the mass mind. It’s a great movie, but not his best, reinforced in popular culture by its high place on best-horror-film lists, that oft-brought-up shower scene and a stop on the Universal Studios movie tour.

But when I . . . → Read More: Popcorn and a Movie: Peering into a perfect movie

Bread of the Month: Taking zucchini bread to chocolatey heights

Someone always has too much zucchini. Thankfully. Because if you have a food-loving, gardening circle of people populating your world, you can benefit from this abundance. This summer, I have been graced with others’ extra tomatoes, peaches, yellow squash, golden cherry plums and zucchini, and have not wasted a morsel.

Zucchini is so very versatile, . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Taking zucchini bread to chocolatey heights

Getting corny with a late-summer soup

Whenever I cut fresh corn off the cob (or get anywhere near corn-on-the-cob, actually), I think about my Grandpa Merwin. Toothless, he was undaunted by such propositions as sinking teeth into cobbed corn. When a platter of steaming ears was presented, he simply whipped out his pocket knife, clicked the blade open and began slicing . . . → Read More: Getting corny with a late-summer soup

Finding my fun in ‘Dolly’s Doughnut’

“If my life wasn’t funny, it would just be true, and that is unacceptable.” — Carrie Fisher

Sometimes, after a crap-ass year, you just need to have some fun.

That is not a terribly positive beginning (was it the term “crap-ass”?), and I apologize. But I speak the truth in my feeling. Despite this being . . . → Read More: Finding my fun in ‘Dolly’s Doughnut’

Bread of the Month: Topping a sourdough waffle

Ever since I discovered my birthday coincided with National Waffle Day (on Aug. 24, 1869, the first U.S. Patent for the waffle iron was issued), the breakfast treat has been more on my radar.

It has almost always been my first choice on the menu at restaurants that served waffles for breakfast, likely because it . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Topping a sourdough waffle

Bread of the Month: Basking in a morning glory muffin

My mom’s got a thing against muffins. She won’t make them. She won’t eat them. This stems from a traumatic period in her childhood, where her obligations as a member of 4-H pushed her to the brink after years of being chained to an oven, churning out muffin after muffin.

It’s not the taste . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Basking in a morning glory muffin

Bread of the Month: Crumbling new life into old cornbread

The first time I made “bread salad” or panzanella, as it’s commonly called, the recipe had me soaking cubes of very stale, sturdy bread in water, wringing those cubes out and mixing them with tomatoes, onions, cucumber, basil and vinaigrette for what turned out to actually be a very delicious experience.

This old-world method of . . . → Read More: Bread of the Month: Crumbling new life into old cornbread