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Going to the Market: To Love or to Hate?

Most foodies would be thrilled by the prospect of doing their weekly shopping, even in winter, at an outdoor Italian market. Two years ago when Barbara came to visit me in Bologna in December, I remember taking her to the Mercato delle Erbe, a huge indoor market selling just about anything you could want in […]

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Dinner for One: Learning How to Enjoy Cooking for Yourself

I’m one of those many people who say they love to cook for others. As I reflected on in a past post, food can be a powerful expression of love and care. I’ve never enjoyed cooking for myself, though; when I’m alone I usually throw something quick together — some cannellini beans or a pot […]

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January Blues: In Search of Fresh Vegetables

This is a meandering post.  Just so you know. Whenever I head to New York City–and head there I do often to visit my daughter–I take canvas shopping bags and a big old cooler to haul back as much food as possible. I dream of the ingredient shopping possible at the greenmarket, the spice shops […]

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Chocolate, Waffles and Frites: A Weekend in Bruges

When I first started planning a trip to Bruges, a gorgeous medieval city in north-western Belgium, food immediately came to mind. I imagined walking the ancient, winding streets along the canals and stopping for a hot chocolate in a cozy café to warm up along the way, while my boyfriend dreamed of the sausage-and-frites stalls. […]

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Seeds of Change?

Wouldn’t you know it–just as I vow to rein in my sprawling gardens this season, even more gorgeous and enticing seed catalogs arrive from suppliers, some of which I haven’t even heard of before.  The Natural Gardening Company of California, for instance, which touts its position as the “oldest certified organic nursery in the United […]

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A New Year, A Bundle of Seed Catalogues and a Dilemma

Outside the weather continues to flirt with winter, temperatures careening between yesterday’s 40s and today’s single digits (first real cold), snow dancing about the sky but refusing to lay down a fluffy quilt to insulate the gardens. Yesterday the fennel, artichokes and rosemary were still alive and well inside their light tunnel.  We’ve had a […]

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Finding Tradition at Christmas

There’s nothing like coming home. Especially at Christmas time. Before packing my bags I wrote a list of all the foods I missed — almond butter, puff pastry tart, sweet potatoes, homemade corn tortillas, gado gado– and all the items I wanted to bring home with me: champagne vinegar, pomegranate molasses, raw cacao powder, cheddar […]

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A Fishy Confession–Double Standards

I eat seafood only when I’m on a seacoast.  Never in Vermont. Or at least not by choice. I know that this rather severe, absolute rule flows from having grown up six miles from the ocean, and from spending childhood summers in a cottage overlooking the salty water–water that was once filled with lobsters and […]

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The Search for Other Young Foodies

I was in shock. I stepped in off the cold, misty street and was greeted by the aroma of onions caramelizing, squash sautéing and crust browning in the oven. It was the first dinner hosted by Emilio’s university friends that I had attended since moving to Venice. I had expected the usual — a few […]

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Is Food Love?

This past weekend cooking for my best friend Julia, who was visiting for a few days from England, I was reminded of how much I enjoy cooking for the people I love. I find pleasure in every aspect — the planning, shopping, preparing and eating of a meal I know will bring joy to the […]

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