Archive for December 2018

It’s Always Sunny

I’ve often wondered what was wrong with Sunny Randall. Having starred in no fewer than six crime novels by the late “dean of American crime fiction” Robert B. Parker, how had Sunny somehow become chopped liver after his sudden death at his writing desk in 2010? No, not Sonny Randall, the NFL quarterback that some…

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Lightening Up Lasagna

Of all the richly deserved complaints that Italians from Italy lodge against Italian food in America, the one that resonates with me the most is that lasagna was never intended to be heavy. Over the years, more than a few Italian chefs have shown me the beauty of a light, fluffy pasta casserole that wouldn’t…

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Soups for the Season

In a holiday season that traditionally begins with turkey and ends with goose, it should come as no surprise that this time of year is for the birds. And that includes roasted chickens, Cornish hens and even tiny, delicate quail.  Many of those larger birds produce leftovers, of course. So it’s our job as intrepid…

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Emily’s 132nd Birthday

Emily Dickinson, considered by some America’s greatest poet, invites us in every line to gaze at her life “through a glass, darkly” far more than “face to face.” Despite the perfection of her phrases and the unexpectedness of her vision, she seems destined to leave us all wondering what experiences gave voice to such unique…

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Ballet West’s ‘Nutcracker’

‘Tis the season for Nutcrackers. And in the nation’s capital, that means Washington Ballet is installed for an extended run at the Warner Theater. In cities large and small across America, however, there’s at least anecdotal evidence that the local ballet company pays for the rest of its season with ticket revenues from the Tchaikovsky…

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Edible Holiday Gifting

Just try doing what we did. Try gathering internet advice on making homemade food gifts this holiday season. Everybody and his Aunt Lucy has recipes – oh yes, plenty of recipes. And online these almost always take the form of a “slideshow” you have to click through, invariably with some silly number that somebody decided…

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Budapest Flavors

For all who visit the Hungarian capital of Budapest on the Danube, there is intense romance written into the city’s very existence. For centuries, Buda and Pest faced each other from opposite sides of the river – the first regal, a bit haughty and filled with castles and cathedrals, the other scrappier and more commercial…

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