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Fried chicken and potato salad are a favorite summertime combo. Still, to enjoy it the old-fashioned way — the way my mother made it — with bone-in, battered deep-fried chicken and potato salad mixed with lots of chopped celery, pickles and eggs takes so much time and makes a bit of a mess i…

Have you gained anything from experiences through the last three-plus months? Several people say that they have used this time to learn a new skill, organize closets, rooms, drawers, etc. I have gained one thing for sure – weight.

Few summer treats are as iconic as the ice pop. Hot days, a rainbow of colors dripping down your arm: It’s pure bliss. And it happens to be bliss that you can easily create in your own kitchen, especially if you’re hesitant to bring home store-bought varieties that may have artificial colors…

Baked beans are a thing of beauty: A little sweet, a little tangy and cooked so low and slow the flavors infuse every morsel. They’re a traditional side to barbecue, especially in the South, while in Maine my sister and brother-in-law like to eat them over roasted potatoes.

This recipe dishes up all the crave-able quiche goodness you could want in a much more healthful way, thanks to a few strategic tweaks to the usual formula. Its custardy egg filling, with a rich, round flavor and seasonal ingredients, is cradled by a tender, melt-in-your mouth pastry crust, …

You either do or don’t. It doesn’t matter that it was grown in Spain in the eighth century, is packed with a rich source of iron as well as vitamins A and C and it made Popeye unbelievably strong. If you don’t like spinach, you just don’t. Never mind, we eat enough of it in various forms to …

When I hear a new song that I like, I sometimes listen to it over and over again until I know it well. I can’t get enough of it. The same thing happens to me with condiments. I’ll use one in a new way that grabs me and then I can’t stop using it.

One of the most gratifying aspects of cooking, for me, is when I manage to spin a random smattering of ingredients into a memorably delicious meal. These past several weeks, that ability has felt like more of a superpower than ever before. This recipe is one such creation which turned out to…

Have you met Marie Kondo? I have not, but I did a Google search on her since I have heard her name dropped in various circles (mostly younger people; that means 50 years or younger to me.) I am sure she is a lovely person, and we might find something in common, but I do not think we could ag…

The novel coronavirus has had a jarring impact on society, but one positive outcome I’ve seen is a shift in how people think about food and nutrition. Long lines at food banks, combined with rising prices and supply chain issues, have raised the public’s awareness of how easily the average A…

When I was a kid, if you asked me what my favorite food was, I’d emphatically reply, “Potatoes!” French fried, baked, roasted, boiled, however they were prepared I was all in, and that spud love rings true today. Although they are technically a vegetable, from a nutritional point of view I c…

When everything turns green outside, I often find myself craving green on my plate as well. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I saw a fetching display of fresh asparagus. Maybe they caught my eye because I’d just come across a recipe for a citrus asparagus stir-fry that I wanted to try.

“When it rains, it pours.” Actually when I looked this up in one of several books of quotations, sayings, aphorisms and thoughts, which I have loved to read for almost my entire “reading life,” the quotation from an English proverb quotes “It never rains but it pours.” Don’t we usually mean …

On a June day in 1878, Constantin Fahlberg, a research chemist conducting experiments in a Johns Hopkins University lab, sat down to eat, bit into a roll — some accounts say it was bread — and found it amazingly sweet. Because he had forgotten to first wash his hands, he assumed something he…

I wasn’t around for the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II; I wouldn’t be born for a dozen years. Even if I had been, I doubt coronation chicken — so named because it was created for the occasion — would’ve been on my family’s menu the way it was across the pond, where it became Britain’s…

What day of the week is it? Oh, and exactly what day of the month is this? Are you suffering from this syndrome of thinking that every day is Saturday, or maybe Friday? Having taught for so many years, there was never a doubt what day of the week it was. In college, we had a unique way of kn…

The recipes I serve up are especially nutrient-rich and healthful, or at least a better-for-you version of what you might be craving. But nourishment is more than a collection of vitamins and minerals. Equally important, I believe, is the emotional well-being food provides, and that’s what c…

“When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” (I read this poster for many years at the weekly choir rehearsal under the direction of the immortal Harlan Hall.)

As well-intentioned as the advice is, I have to laugh when people suggest that during the coronavirus pandemic you can replicate the hotel experience at home to feel like you’re actually going somewhere when you can’t. I mean, really, I already feel like I’m running a hotel: A 24-7 kitchen (…

I’m willing to bet that in your refrigerator right now there are at least a few random jars of antipasto-type vegetables needing to get eaten. Searching mine recently, I found several artichoke hearts bobbing around in one jar, roughly a quarter cup of pimento-stuffed olives floating in anot…

You might not be able to visit by plane, train, bus, boat or car, but if you are fortunate enough to have a mother to celebrate on May 10, you are so blessed, and must not miss the chance to contact her.

I love canned tuna. A simple tuna salad piled on toasted bread or stuffed inside a ripe avocado or tomato is my idea of a delicious lunch. I eagerly dig into a salad niçoise-style dish with chunks of the tinned fish attractively arranged on a plate with green beans, potatoes, olives, tomatoe…

It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. Charles Dickens wrote in 1859 the opening words to his novel, “A Tale of Two Cities,” except he used the past tense (was).

We’re all spending a lot more time at home now, sifting through our pantries and refrigerators. Produce and meat we know are use it or lose it. But what about all those condiments? You know, the kind of stuff you dip into occasionally — the kind of stuff you are definitely not going to make …

In the kitchen, as in other realms, a reliable formula can feel like a lifeline, providing a needed semblance of order and predictability to the world. You plug variables into a tried-and-true pattern and you wind up with consistently good results. That’s what this orzo skillet dinner has be…

Are you comfortably cooking comfort foods? Cooking for some of us brings a bit of calmness sometimes. Other times when the “cooking muse” is not with me, I just scratch around in the freezer until I find a “Chef’s Choice” dinner, i.e., anything I can locate in the freezer that is labeled (or…

One would think attending the first Passover dinner hosted by your daughter would be a mother’s pure joy, but my mother was becoming unhinged. No one peering into my kitchen that afternoon would have guessed — she was outwardly calm, and her voice measured, at first, anyway. But as daughters…

This salad tastes like spring waved a wand of freshness over an earthy, tender grain, turning a handful of practical, staple ingredients into a bright, versatile dish. The grain here is freekeh, an ancient whole wheat that hails from the Middle East. It cooks up soft and fluffy, with a gentl…