February 2015

Crack Corn Chowder: Or, Almost All I Really Needed to Know (About Cooking) I Learned in High School

My friend “Marley” had 11 brothers and sisters, and when you are one of a dozen kids, you learn early how to cook for a crowd. It was Marley who showed me, in my first year of high school, how to make soup: a creamy potage of potatoes, carrots, celery and—because we were California hippie kids—chunks of tofu. We’d hang out at her boyfriend’s apartment, take a few bong hits (another thing Marley taught me), and cook for our friends and ourselves.

Sugar Cream Pie: A (belated) Valentine for the late, great Richard Sax

Your French custard with prunes makes me sigh with longing. And your sugar cream pie? I am swooning.

Richard Sax, you are dead and gone, but my love for your magnum opus, Classic Home Desserts, will never die. (Are there three more delicious words in the English language than classic home desserts? With apologies to Henry James, no.)

The Baked Alaska Bandwagon: Classic meringue dessert has its moment, again (hurray!)

Baked Alaska

Remember Candy Land? The game that is every kid’s fantasy—an entire world made of chocolate and Technicolor sugar? We’re having near-blizzard conditions today here in Northwest Indiana—it’s been snowing for 24 hours, school’s been cancelled tomorrow, the roof is piled high with at least a foot of powder—and the big drifts of snow outside my windows look like fluffy swirls of shimmering meringue. It’s a monochrome Candy Land, the grown-up kind. I love it.