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Fanny Farmer & Modern Cooking

On August 23, 1902 Fanny Farmer opened her School of Cookery and continued her revolution in American cookery. In order to appreciate her efforts, it’s useful to start with a recipe comparison for Bird’s Nest Pudding. The original 1833 recipe is from The American Frugal Housewife by Lydia Maria Child. Bird’s Nest Pudding If you

Backyard Grilling

May with its promise of summer is the time of year when the local home improvement store features rows and rows of shiny barbecue grills. There’s the simple, basic grill; the ubiquitous Weber grill, and upscale gas grills with temperature control. People have been cooking over an open flame since the discovery of fire. Grilling

SEPTEMBER TRIVIA

September is one of those transitional months. When it begins, the weather is still hot. By the last week, leaves are beginning to change color. The Anglo-Saxons called this month Gerst monath, Barley Month. It was the month for harvesting barley which was processed into a malt barley used in brewing beer. The name September

Natural Gardens in China & Japan

Long before Capability Brown improved English landscapes, Chinese and Japanese garden designers created “natural” gardens. Ji Cheng (1582-1642) observed in the seventeenth century that the purpose of a Chinese garden is to “hide the vulgar and the common as far as the eye can see, and include the excellent and the splendid.” In this photo, there

Spring Traditions

Six weeks ago the groundhog saw his shadow and declared winter wasn’t over. Between then and now we’ve had indicators that spring was on the way. Holi, a moveable festival, took place on March 2.  Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. started last Sunday. But tomorrow is the Spring Equinox when Spring becomes official in

Toilet Paper — Over, Under, or Just Right

As faithful readers know, I like to look up anniversaries of events that changed modern life. So imagine my delight when I discovered December 22, 1891 is the date Seth Wheeler received the patent for his toilet paper roll. I’m informing you now because life gets hectic that close to Christmas and you might want

CUPCAKE BREAK!

Life is stressful these days. It must be time for a cupcake break. Fun, exuberant little cakes, the cup cake is almost sincere in its potential for simplicity. There’s automatic portion control. The little cakes bake more quickly than regular cakes which makes them energy efficient. Serving cupcakes, especially with their paper wrappers, is less

DIWALI – A FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS

  Diwali is a Hindu festival occurring between mid-October and mid-November. This year the celebration takes place from October 29 until November 1. Although there are variations in how the festival is celebrated, its purpose commemorates the victory of good over evil and light over darkness. It’s a time of family and friends dedicated to