Forget the Latkes

Forget the latkes. Deep- six the jelly-filled doughnuts (soofganiyot). It’s Hanukkah, and I’m serving cheese. Jews were celebrating Hanukkah long before the first potato was shipped from the New World to the Old, probably in the first half of the sixteenth century. As it turns out, potatoes weren’t an overnight success. Only when famine threatened... Read more »

Blame the Ravioli

Maybe it was the roasted pear ravioli at Phil Stefani’s Tuscany restaurants that first grabbed my attention. The fruit was mixed with cinnamon, nutmeg and Parmigiano cheese for the filling and walnuts, cream, mascarpone and sun-dried tomatoes for the sauce. Or maybe it was a luscious Comice pear eaten when it was perfectly ripe. Whatever... Read more »

Boiled Cider Jelly: Something Special

Boiled Cider “Let me send you a sample,” Tina Woods said when I first talked to her a few decades ago. I was writing an article about New England’s gourmet food industry for a trade publication, and I’d somehow stumbled on Wood’s Cider Mill in Springfield, Vermont, a small, family run business specializing in boiled... Read more »

No Stress Turkey

Cooking the Thanksgiving turkey doesn’t have to be stressful. Back before I knew there was more than one way to cook a turkey, I pre-heated the oven to 325-degrees F., put a rack in my largest roasting pan, positioned the turkey on the rack, tented the turkey with foil, and then popped it-unstuffed- into the... Read more »

I Don't Like Pumpkin Pie

I don’t like pumpkin pie. Let me clarify that. I don’t like the traditional pumpkin pie, the one that looks like a relative of flan but isn’t. And I suspect I’m not alone. If I were, pumpkin pie would show up year ‘round, like apple pie, or lemon meringue, or blueberry. It doesn’t. Even so,... Read more »

It's Fall, Think Apples

It’s Fall, Think Apples  Had Eve offered Adam a bland supermarket apple, he might not have been tempted. Picked too soon and stored too long, these apples bear little resemblance to either their tree- ripened cousins or the heirlooms grown by specialty producers. Apple growers define an heirloom-or antique- apple as a variety that was... Read more »

An Italian Import

When my daughter and I drove through Tuscany a few years back, I ate gelato on a daily basis. It was dense and delicious, and I tried as many flavors as I could. By the time we left, I was a  diehard gelato fan, and my affection has never waivered. So when  FRIO Gelato announced... Read more »

"Food & Drink Infographics"

“Food & Drink Infographics A Visual Guide to Culinary Pleasures” is stuffed with information, virtually all of it presented in graphic form. Organized by categories, rather than alphabetically, the format provides an easy to use treasure trove for anyone looking for information about a food related topic. Diversity is a strong point. There’s a graphic... Read more »

Burning Mouth Syndrome

BMS I have BMS, and I’ve had it for years. BMS is something no foodie, let alone food writer, wants to acknowledge. But after years of suffering in silence, I’ve decided to go public. BMS is the acronym for Burning Mouth Syndrome. According to the pamphlet the doctor gave me, BMS is a condition characterized... Read more »


Kugel: A Yom Kippur Tradition Yom Kippur, the most solemn of all the Jewish holidays, begins at sundown tomorrow night and ends at sundown on Wednesday night. In between, Jews observe a complete fast, neither eating nor drinking. A dairy meal is frequently eaten to break the fast, and a sweet noodle kugel is often... Read more »