Pre-Order Food In The Civil War Era
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Michele Kayal grew up in a Syrian-Irish family but all she ever learned in Arabic were the food words. After years writing about “important” things – politics, business, the Federal Aviation Administration – she finally caved in to the lifelong knowledge that all she really wanted to talk about was food and how it expresses culture and identity. She has lived and traveled around the world, from England to India, Prague to Hawaii, from Syria, Singapore and Seoul to Jakarta, Japan and Jordan, eating and writing every step of the way.  A regular contributor to Associated Press and, Michele’s pieces also have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast Traveler and The Huffington Post. Her work has been recognized by the International Association of Culinary Professionals and by the Association of Food Journalists. She truly believes ice cream eaten from the carton has no calories.

By Michele Kayal

Mother love comes fresh from the oven

No matter how old you are, your mommy is still your mommy. Especially when you’re sick. I am a grown-up. I have a job, a husband and a child. But when my doctor recently ordered me to bed for a couple of weeks, the first call I made was to my mom. She arrived, as …

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Vote for Nothing in the House as best blog

Nothing in the House, the witty and engaging pie blog from our very own senior pie correspondent, Emily Hilliard, is a finalist in The Homies, the annual awards given by The Kitchn/Apartment Therapy. Hilliard has shared with AFR readers her secret for perfect piecrust, her discovery of the world’s best football snack, and many other …

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The ABCs of Michigan almond boneless chicken

The acronym ABC usually stands for “American-born Chinese.” But if it’s shorthand for your favorite Chinese dish, chances are you’re from Michigan. “It’s a Michigan thing,” restaurant owner Margaret Yee says about almond boneless chicken, #7 on her menu at Kim’s in Troy, and the restaurant’s best-selling item. Far from one of the symbolic dishes …

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Sugar on snow makes bad weather sweet

Silly me to think that pancakes on a snowy day would satisfy my 9-year-old. My daughter Nazrana was apparently a resident of Vermont in a previous life (she is Hindu by birth). Years ago, after reading the wonderful book “Maple Syrup Season” by Ann Purmell, we made “sugar on snow,” the maple taffy made by …

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Rosca de reyes: A king cake from south of the border

  Each Jan. 5, Catalina and Danny Graves of La Poblanita bakery in Dallas, Texas, begin baking at 3 a.m. and they don’t stop until almost midnight the next day. ‘That day is the craziest day in the bakery,” Danny Graves says, noting that they do about three times their normal business. “That’s the best …

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Holiday drinks: Here we come a-wassailing

In today’s United States, wassail is most often a punch made of wine or non-alcoholic cider, mulled with spices and sometimes garnished with apples or oranges. But the drink traces its roots to medieval England, where early versions were more like eggnog. Wine, cider or beer, depending on your family’s wealth, were mixed with eggs. …

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Christmas cookies that capture regional flavors

Christmas cookies don’t have to be all about wreaths and colored sugar. Anything that feels celebratory — and decadent – is fair game for the holiday cookie jar. We’ve gathered a handful of recipes to spice up your season. In my own family, baklava is that once-a-year treat we plunge into at Christmas. Buttering the phyllo …

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Book ‘em, Dano: Cookbook gifts for everyone on your list

Cookbooks and books about food make great gifts for the culinarily inclined. And while it’s easy to pick a blockbuster off Amazon’s best-seller list, speaking to someone’s specific passion let’s them know that you “get” them. Here’s a brief list of tantalizing books about America’s food story that we think would make wonderful gifts: “The …

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Celebrate November with Indian pudding

National Indian Pudding Day came and went earlier this month, but all of November is Native American Heritage month. What better way to celebrate than by making Indian pudding? Chances are if you grew up anywhere but Boston, you’ve never heard of Indian pudding. But the custardy mash of cornmeal, milk, molasses and spices sustained …

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Sarah Josepha Hale knew how to do Thanksgiving

Let’s hope you’re not still thinking about what to cook for Thanksgiving. Just in case, one of the holiday’s early experts may be able to help. Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of the popular 19th-century magazine Godey’s Lady’s Book, began lobbying for a national day of Thanksgiving in the 1840s. Sometimes called “the godmother of Thanksgiving,” …

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