From the category archives:


Rhubarb Cordial

by Laura 19 May 2011
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Definitions for cordials seem rather contradictory.  Dictionary dot com defines one as “a strong, sweetened, aromatic alcoholic liquor or liqueur;” others describe a sweet, nonalcoholic fruit concentrate.  My favorite definition comes from Merriam Webster: “tending to revive, cheer or invigorate,” and is associated with cordial waters.  It seems the most fitting for this rhubarb cordial.  [...]

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Ten-minute Rhubarb Vanilla Conserve

by Laura 12 May 2011
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Thirteen years ago, during the first spring in our house, I discovered that you could make a simple rhubarb conserve in less than ten minutes.  We’ve come to call it a refrigerator preserve, since there isn’t a high heat canning process involved, and the springtime jars vanish from our refrigerator so quickly it would be [...]

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Rhubarb Crumble

by Laura 6 May 2011
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The other day I was wondering, Where did April go?  And then I sorted it out.  It’s the calendar. (Cue shrieking music.)  The dreaded calendar.  I don’t know how it got so crowded, but it’s a bit maddening.   I loathe a crowded calendar.  Read mine like a country auctioneer with me: haircut, grooming, dentist, doctor, [...]

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Lavender Blueberry Pear Pâté de Fruits

by Laura 12 December 2010
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I first had pâté de fruits in France when I was in college.  My Dear Husband and I, then dating, rented a car in Calais with no plan and no reservations except for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, and set off to wander for a month.  It was pure bliss.  Our little rented Renault puttered [...]

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Quince Paste

by Laura 11 December 2010
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I went to a fancy grocery store this week in search of liquid pectin and kumquats thinking, They have everything, right?  I struck out, but I certainly had fun.  This kind of shopping is my own personal kid-in-a-candy-store experience: every kind of European butter, clotted cream, an olive bar the size of a swimming pool, [...]

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A Virtuous Smoothie

by Laura 26 November 2010
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I have a master’s degree in nutrition, though you wouldn’t guess it from the content of this site.  I suppose I assume that most people don’t get too excited about recipes for seaweed salads and kale.  But after a day of button-popping indulgence, perhaps this virtuous berry banana smoothie will be appealing.  I make one [...]

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Spiced Apple Pie with Cheddar Crust, Madeira-soaked Currants, Pickled Figs, and Caramelized Walnuts

by Laura 21 October 2010
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I know, another apple pie.  And on the heels of an apple pie.  But I had another peck of apples, and a visitor who loves apple pie, and, just in case you’ve also eaten your fill of rather plain jane apple pies this fall, I thought I would fancy up a pie with some interesting [...]

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All American Apple Pie

by Laura 19 October 2010
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I struggled with apple pie for some years trying to find a way to avoid the typical apple pie pitfalls.  The apples shrunk away from their top crust, the fillings were watery or were made gummy by various thickeners, and, even with apples suitable for pie baking, they were often disappointing in texture and flavor.  [...]

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