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Everything from kibbe to kimchi, made in America

From a little blue box, tradition in a Jiffy

A biscuit resembling a white hockey puck led Mabel White Holmes to start a revolution in home baking with a  packaged dry mix. Back in the 1920s in Chelsea, Mich., a neighbor boy visiting Holmes’ young twin sons had brought a bag lunch prepared by his dad, a single parent. Right on top was that biscuit. …

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American stouts satisfy many thirsts

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, I’m suggesting a variety of takes on the legendary Irish tipple: stout. And these are all made in America. A strong, dark beer, stout usually is brewed with roasted malt or barley. The style, which dates back to the 18th century, is beloved by brewers and drinkers alike because it …

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It wouldn’t be Halloween without Dum Dums

When you sift through your kid’s jack-o’-lantern pail this Halloween, you’re sure to find at least a couple of Dum Dums. You’ll probably recognize the tiny ball-shaped lollipops from your own childhood. Because in 89 years they’ve hardly changed at all. “They taste the same as when you had them as a kid, or your …

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Chocolates that keep on giving

Chocolate, peanut butter and puppies are a pretty safe bet on the appeal meter. The combination seems to be working for Tim Gearhart, a Charlottesville, Va., upscale chocolatier who wanted to create a fun product with a social conscience. Enter peanut butter pups. The little dog heads are made with premium milk chocolate and Reginalds …

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Italian pasta tools made in the USA

Have you ever looked at a photo in a cookbook that left you breathless? For years, I saw images of corzetti stampati, thin rounds of fresh pasta embossed with a decorative pattern, and felt equally moved and bewildered, as if they were simply too beautiful to actually exist beyond those pages. I casually searched for …

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Found recipes: Boston brown bread

Some 50 years ago, my grandmother used to make me Boston brown bread, which she baked in empty tin cans. It was a dark bread with dates or raisins. I would love to find a recipe for this. Can you help? – Lynn Nowak “Brown bread is as old as our country,” James Beard wrote …

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Toast independence with Mount Vernon whiskey

For a spirited Independence Day, consider serving firewater with your fireworks, just as George Washington could have done. Washington, like other founding fathers and perhaps mothers, enjoyed a nip of whiskey. His interest in alcohol increased – financially, at least – when in 1797 the newly retired president hired a Scottish farm manager, James Anderson, for his Virginia estate. …

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Switchel comes back to slake our thirst

Most people these days reach for a sports drink or “smart” water after a good workout or an afternoon of yard work. But there was a time when the thirst-quenching beverage of choice was a drink called switchel. A bracing blend of water, maple syrup or molasses, ginger and cider vinegar, switchel is what 17th-century …

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Jam-ming to a theme learned at grandma’s knee

It’s mid-winter 1969 and I’m toasting an English muffin in our avocado and sun-gold kitchen in Denver. English muffins are new to me, but that’s not the exciting part. As a 9-year-old, what’s really got my saliva glands going is that I have a new vehicle for my Grandma Stehly’s red currant jelly, which I’m also …

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Americans could use a salumi primer

Once upon a time in America there was salami and bologna (pronounced boloney). Now we have pancetta and prosciutto, lardo and lonza, coppa and culatello. We could go on (and we will). The Italian art and craft of making salumi—cured meats—dates back centuries. But it is only in recent years that most Americans really have begun …

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