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December 2012 Archives - American Food Roots

December, 2012

Cookie contest: the envelope, please

    Our thanks to all of you who took the time to write and submit your cookies with a story. Your stories tugged at our heartstrings and made us smile. Your recipes made us drool. In the end, it was Adri Barr Crocetti’s vivid recollection of her Nonna Angela Barra Crocetti and Nonna’s fried …

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Bourbon: we’re milking it

When the craft-cocktail movement started to gain momentum, bartenders seemed intent on pushing the envelope with elaborate and creative concoctions. But as the neo-speakeasy era has settled in and begun to mature, “mixologists” are finding inspiration in the history books. One drink that is making a comeback is milk punch, a tipple that is said …

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Feast of the Seven Fishes: only in America

Ask Gabriella Marchetti about the Feast of the Seven Fishes and she’ll probably give you a look like you just served her a bad clam. My mother, who was born and raised in Italy’s Abruzzo region but has lived in the U.S. since the 1950s, has always maintained a distance between her own Italian culinary …

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The (holiday cookbook) List

Everybody likes to find a cookbook under the tree. There’s a good crop this year. If you’re stumped for ideas, we’ve got a few suggestions. “101 Classic Cookbooks” (Rizzoli, $50) The book for people who love cookbooks. This doorstop traces the history of the modern American cookbook with essays from food luminaries such as Laura …

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My Irish grandma’s Czech mac ‘n’ cheese

Home cooks do not have “signature dishes.” A lot of us, however, have a family recipe that has become quasi-legendary in our circle of friends and relatives — the kind of thing everybody asks you to bring over for holiday dinners. Typically, it is humble, unpretentious and delicious. The dish that I am less welcome …

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Poets listen with a hungry ear

I love everything about this book and I have not read it, seen it, nor held it in my  hands. And I don’t think it’s the kind of book I would download onto a Kindle. I heard about it on NPR, which does a good job with reading recommendations. It’s the kind of book you …

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The life of pie

I go through the same process every time I make a pie crust, which is often. The same measuring of salt, the same blending of dry and wet ingredients, the same feeling of chunks of butter and flour clinging to my fingers. And regardless of what recipe variation you or your mother or your grandmother, your …

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The Weekly List: good-luck foods

We all get another chance in the new year – clean slate, new resolutions. For a little extra push of luck there are culinary superstitions from cultures all over the world. Many have been incorporated into American New Year’s celebrations. So start the new year with a spoonful of luck. It can’t hurt. Legumes of …

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