Archive for March 2019

Stuffing the Wild Potato

There isn’t a lot of written history on the stuffed baked potato, so I’m pretty sure I invented it. And as usual with me, economy was the true mother of invention. There I was, many years ago when Wendy’s and I were young, pondering that the fast-foot burger chain made famous by Dave Thomas offered…

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Faust’s Old-Time Religion

It’s not for lack of hummable melodies that Charles Gounod’s opera Faust – based on Goethe’s two volumes, which themselves are based on the “Faust legend” that began circulating throughout Europe during the 16th century – is performed notably less than it used to be. We think it’s because the world view required to believe…

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Nights in Red Velvet

Red velvet cake is definitely a Southern creation, arguably even a Texas creation – unless you are one of those New Yorkers who associate it with the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, or a Canadian who thinks the recipe comes from Eaton’s department store. Seriously now. Doesn’t red velvet cake appear in every Southern cookbook, not to mention…

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WNO’S ‘Eugene Onegin’

Russian composer Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky and Russian poet Alexander Pushkin seem an unlikely pair of collaborators, not least because Pushkin died (in a duel with pistols, no less) three years before Tchaikovsky was born. Yet collaborate they have, and collaborate they do, in Washington National Opera’s first-rate production of Eugene Onegin that opened last night…

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‘Sacrificial’ Seafood

Each year on Ash Wednesday, across New Orleans and the rest of south Louisiana, Catholics (which culturally means everybody, no matter where they go to church, or don’t) start replacing the meat in their diets with seafood. Happily, across New Orleans and the rest of South Louisiana, all the seafood is Catholic too. We’re just…

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