Cooking & Entertaining

Ready to Party?

November 16, 2017
Dinner for 3

Tennyson may be right that “In the Spring a young man’s [and woman’s] fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love”[1]; but in my stage of life, fall too often turns my mind to thoughts of loss. The shortened days depress me. While I thought nothing of going out after dark with Lev, nine autumns later I am still uncomfortably surprised by the darkness when I …

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When Stress and Diet Collide

September 8, 2017
egg muffins

Stress and diet are an impossible combination, at least for me. In the years of Lev’s declining health, I gained 10 pounds. After his death, I gained 10 more. In the 28 months I have been blogging, I have written often about widows’ need for self-care and healthy eating, and I have shared my efforts to get my weight under control. I did well for …

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Want to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain?

November 19, 2016
bathroom scales

When I first started gaining weight in my 40s, I commented to an older, fatter friend, “It’s only five pounds.” “Yes, and if you gain five pounds a year, in seven years it will be 35 pounds. Look at me.” For most of us, the Holidays are to blame for the typical annual five-pound weight gain. How can we enjoy all the parties and special …

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Home Alone at Dinnertime

September 29, 2016
flounder with vegetables

Being home alone still seems new to me, but I am approaching my eighth Christmas without Lev. While I did not choose this lifestyle, I have grown accustomed to it. In those early years as a widow, I couldn’t stand the solitude so I swung between filling the house with people and escaping. I am still seeking the right balance of home alone, home with …

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Obsessing Over Omelets

September 15, 2016
omelet pans

For more than 50 years I’ve cooked omelets–and nothing else–from the original 8-inch French Chef Omelet Pan, designed by the Boston Pot Shop for Julia Child in 1962. My copy of her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, dated 1963, devotes more than five pages to how to make omelets and what to cook them in. I mastered omelets, and for many years they were our standard Sunday …

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Starting Over

June 2, 2016
diet handbook

A year ago, I began a diet that called for eliminating carbs and fats for two weeks, while eating large amounts of lean meat and vegetables plus a small amount of low-fat dairy products. Gradually, I added small amounts of fruits and carbs, while reducing the protein. It worked. I was never hungry, and I lost about three pounds a week at the beginning, 20 …

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Friends: An Unexpected Loss

April 21, 2016
with friends in Nantucket

The Social Aspect of Grief Ours had been a social world of couples, and our friends and acquaintances called within a month or two after Lev’s death to invite me out to dinner. Sometimes, these turned out to be one-time obligatory gestures. Just as we had not thought to mix singles and couples in our social life, not all of our old friends continued to …

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Celebrating the 12th Day of Christmas

January 5, 2016
Traditional King Cake

Tomorrow is Epiphany…Twelfth Night…the Twelfth Day of Christmas on the liturgical calendar, when the Church celebrates the coming of the Kings to visit the baby Jesus. While scholars tell us that it is more likely that Jesus was a toddler living in a house with Mary and Joseph when the wise men came, my mental picture is still that of the kings with their gifts, …

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Two Traditional Christmas Pies

December 22, 2015
pecan pie

Lev’s aunt lived in nearby Rockport, and whenever she came to see us, she brought two pecan pies and an old-fashioned date cake. Her pie recipe is the best I’ve ever had, rich and custardy, with more butter and eggs than most. It calls for a full cup of butter, four times the typical recipe. Oddly, my daughter-in-law makes a better pie than I. When …

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Baptists and Bourbon

December 10, 2015
eggnog

We moved to Texarkana from New Orleans in March 1947, and that first Christmas Eve my parents gave a little party for their new friends, serving eggnog in punch cups. In the rush to get Santa out for me afterwards (I was six), Mama did not take time to wash the dishes. Housing was scarce after World War II; and we were renting a turn-of-the-century, …

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