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Love’s Oven is Warm: Baking with Emily Dickinson

“Love’s oven is warm” Emily Dickinson wrote to her friend Sarah Tuckerman, on a note that enclosed a gift of slightly scorched handmade sweets, possibly chocolate caramels. If the words were by any other author, one would be forgiven for reading in them a possible sexual double entendre. But Emily Dickinson is enshrined in our […]

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Benjamin Franklin’s Apple Pudding

Like many eighteenth-century recipes, Benjamin Franklin’s instructions for making apple pudding don’t offer a lot of detail, just enough to inspire certainty that the end result would be inedible by twentieth-century standards. What better reason could there be to break out the mixing bowl! The sense of the unfamiliar has always been what compels me about history. I […]

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Damn recipe for chicken à la Maryland

  Nicole Diver, the anti-heroine of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s final novel, Tender is the Night (1934), first appears in its pages lying on a sandy beach near Cannes, sunbathing and writing out a list from a book propped open before her. Nicole shimmers into sight as a vision of unparalleled glamour – her bathing suit straps […]

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Cream Puffs Through the Ages

Baking is all about the magic of transformation. When it comes to savory food, I tend to subscribe to the Alice Waters school of cooking: keep it simple and let the ingredients shine. I prefer a roast chicken to a wrapped, rolled, stuffed, and sauced chicken roulade. Give me a steamed fresh crab, a cracker […]

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Breakfast à Paris

Although the sun had long since fallen over the Seine, flowing by across the street, the crowd at Paris’s Shakespeare and Company last night was very excited to talk about breakfast. They had gathered to hear Seb Emina, author of the new Breakfast Bible, in conversation with David Lebovitz, cookbook author and Paris food-blogger extraordinaire. So many […]

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Truffles and Haschich

The recipe for haschich fudge that makes Alice B. Toklas’s 1954 cook book notorious may, at first glance, appear out of keeping with the general tenor of the work. What could this set of instructions for a concoction designed to produce “euphoria and brilliant storms of laughter” have to do with the twenty-three recipes for […]

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New Beginnings

A historian might envy the cat’s nine lives. Few of us have so many opportunities to begin our work lives anew. To research, write, and publish a single book can take a decade or even more. So I find it very exciting to have arrived at a moment of new beginnings. With my most recent […]

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