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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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Hunting’s a family affair in field and kitchen

  Searching for my brother’s cottage in Wisconsin’s North Woods, my son and I turned our car down a dirt drive, hesitating at first. Then, past some trees, we spotted an overturned fishing boat on a trailer. Stretched over its hull was a hide drying in the warm autumn sun, still attached to the head …

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Community Kitchen: Green smoothies for Father’s Day

My omnivorous son, Theo, coaxed me into reluctant motherhood when he came into the world, two years ago, on Father’s Day (June 19). Breastfeeding got off to a furious start, as Theo rapidly gained weight to rank in the 95th percentile. However, it was his father who recently made a critical culinary contribution. Theo started …

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Community Kitchen: Nana’s clams casino

On Sunday afternoons in the late 1970s, our whole clan—aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents, siblings and I—would gather for family dinner at my Nana’s restaurant in Johnston, R.I. We’d always be seated to the left of the hostess stand in the dining room, a large room with brick walls, where even at midday, the lighting was dim. …

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Tapping trees and collecting memories

  Whenever I think of maple syrup, I smell diesel. When I was about a year old in the mid-’70s, my father bought an old farmhouse on a 200-acre stretch of woodlands in Greene, a blip of a town in the far reaches of New York state just northeast of Binghamton. It was an escape …

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My Italian Wok

I’m squarely an Italian cook. I crave puttanesca, dream of ribollita and would have carried a bouquet of zucchini flowers when I walked down the aisle last month if they were in season. Yet the pot I use most, the one that never leaves the range, is a $12 wok that I bought it in …

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Having it their way: eating at Louis’ Lunch

It was the mid-‘90s. After parking my car on Crown Street in New Haven, Conn., I was nearing the red door of Louis’ Lunch when I found myself ambushed by a powerful mix of warmth, homesickness and hunger. It was disconcerting but not entirely unfamiliar. What was it that these feelings reminded me of? Oh, …

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Irish soda bread: May the dough rise to meet ye

America probably celebrates St Patrick’s Day only slightly less fiercely than the Irish themselves. I’ve never been anywhere where people are more proud of even the slightest connection to the Emerald Isle, and are quite happy to tell you about it at the drop of a shillelagh.

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Pupusas are comfort food for Korean-born American boy

On nights I have a music gig or a meeting, my Korean-born son and his father – my husband Ari, a native of Moscow – usually go out to dinner. Not for Russian borscht or Korean mandu (dumplings), but for pupusas. These soft fried corn cakes stuffed with pork, cheese or some combination thereof, are …

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Squirrels, rabbits and other world events

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up at my local Legion Post saloon. OK, it was around noon and the only ‘whooping’ came from the guy who just hit for three hundred bucks on the scratch-off ticket lottery machine. He bought drinks for the house, all five guys. This interlude of sudden largess …

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