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Archive for 'obsession'

OBSESSION: MODERN MANNERS

I’m sure the folks who insist on lumping the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln together under the vague-sounding “Presidents’ Day” mean well. It’s tidier than having two separate holidays so close together and gives hope to retailers who won’t have another excuse to slash prices until Memorial Day. But it has the unfortunate […]

OBSESSION: THE WARREN PEAR

The pear is one of the world’s great dessert fruits. Native to the South Caucasus, North Persia, or the Middle East, it’s been cultivated for more than 4,000 years. Homer called it “the fruit of the gods,” and Grand Duke Cosimo II de’ Medici (best known as patron of Galileo Galilei, his childhood tutor), was said to have […]

OBSESSION: PEACH RATAFIA

Roast chicken with lemons and sage is in the oven. Just-dug potatoes are simmering on the stovetop. We have had a run of what my mother would call “Champagne days”—cool and crisp, with high, cloudless blue skies. No Pol Roger or Gruet Brut in our fridge, alas, but wedged between a tub of gochujang and […]

OBSESSION: NORDIC RYE BREAD

My obsession with rye bread began when I was a little girl. My grandmother would help me make dainty sandwiches on pieces of cocktail rye and cut them just so. I served them with tea on the lawn to a motley collection of dolls and stuffed animals. Other offerings included corn-silk or asparagus-frond spaghetti and […]

OBSESSION: MIDDLE EASTERN PARSLEY SALAD

  Up until the late ’80s or so, the only parsley you would see in its raw form in this country was a jaunty boutonnière (or prom-worthy corsage) of curly parsley on dinner plates across the land. My mother even garnished our meals with the stuff, turning my little brother’s intense love of a record album […]

OBSESSION: SOUR CHERRIES

There were all sorts of things I meant to do this past weekend, but life took a turn. Plump, glossy sour cherries just appeared at the Greenmarket, and I had to seize the moment: They are perhaps the season’s most fleeting treasure, and I’d heard that our region’s cool, cloudy spring had resulted in a small […]

OBSESSION: THE OLIVE OIL THAT DOES IT ALL

  It’s easy enough to get into an olive oil rut. We all find brands we’re comfortable with—an inexpensive one for cooking, a fancier option for vinaigrettes or drizzling—and then stick with them for years. Decades, even. But given the extraordinary array of olive oils available in fancy-food shops and many supermarkets today, it’s a […]

SOFT-SHELLED CRABS

  It’s easy to be extravagant in the spring. Last week, we traveled miles to see carefully tended beds full of tumbling, fragrant old-garden roses. And this week, we traveled miles to eat soft-shelled crab. I know sweet, succulent soft-shells are available here in New York, but every June I feel compelled to pick up […]

CULINARY EPHEMERA: YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE A PAPER TRAIL WILL LEAD YOU

When William Woys Weaver learned that his Culinary Ephemera: An Illustrated History had taken top honors for culinary history at the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) cookbook awards, presented last week in Austin, Texas, he responded in characteristic, generous fashion. He fired off an e-mail thank-you to everyone in his orbit. “Dear Friends,” he wrote. “I […]

OBSESSION: THE PRESS POT THAT STAYS HOT

My husband drinks coffee, and I prefer green tea. I’m not taking any moral or health-related high road here; I simply lost my craving for coffee* a few years back after a nasty bout with the flu, and it never returned. That said, if I find myself in a place with wonderful coffee (Seattle! Miami! […]