1845 Books

Chapter 1. Coronavirus Cooking. The End.

May 7, 2020
beef taco with picante cream

Last night was my fiftieth dinner in Dallas—a record I hope I never break. After seven long weeks in almost complete isolation, I am ready to get home. I have cleaned out the refrigerator and organized my papers, including a fat file full of new recipes and menus. What have I accomplished? What have I learned? I said at the beginning that we each need …

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130 Meals and Still Counting

May 2, 2020
Sheet-Pan Sausage

If you are in Texas or another state that is opening up again, perhaps you have mixed feelings like I do. While I love the concept of dining out with family and friends, I have no confidence that it’s safe. To the contrary, I think May might turn out to be the riskiest month of all. I am looking forward to getting home to my …

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100 Home-Cooked Meals and Still Counting

April 22, 2020
chalupa compuesto con pollo

Today is Day 35 of mostly sheltering in place on the 15th floor of a large apartment complex in Dallas. Even with four takeout meals, I have prepared more than 100 meals at home alone in the kitchen. On Wednesday, March 18, I flew to Dallas with my son in time for takeout Whataburgers for lunch. The trunk of my daughter-in-law’s car was stuffed with …

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Coronavirus Cooking—Winners and Losers

April 18, 2020
sausage with red cabbage

Home Alone in the Kitchen Friday was Day 30 of making do with what I have to cook three meals a day. A few meals have been memorable, a few have been miserable failures and most are simply nothing worth mentioning. Nutrition, flavor and easy cleanup all matter. My favorite meal is the easiest: Italian sausage with Trader Joe’s frozen sweet potato fries, success guaranteed, …

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Searching for a Sanctuary

April 5, 2020
home office as sanctuary

Today I needed a sanctuary, a place to withdraw from the clutter on every available surface in my living room and kitchen, from the unmade bed and the pile of dirty towels. When I had to move without notice from a water-damaged condo to a rented apartment February year ago, I turned the wee-tiny third bedroom into office space that I have seldom used. I …

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Making Do With Leftovers

April 1, 2020
Preparing barbecue brisket

I cooked up a storm in Week 1 of sheltering in place in Dallas. Most of the time I was waking up every day deciding what to cook. When it was time to restock a week later, stay-at-home rules were in place and it was obvious things were going to get worse before they got better. I took inventory of food on hand, went through …

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One Last Time: The Amalfi Coast

October 24, 2019
from Villa Rufolo

After four cruise stops and two lengthier stays along the Amalfi coast, you would think I had seen enough of southern Italy. But how can one grow tired of the most beautiful place on earth? I jumped at the opportunity to plan a once-in-a-lifetime trip with friends. Recently retired, they wanted to travel; and I knew that I had at least one more trip on …

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When Bad Things Happen to Good People

September 26, 2019
daybreak

Today I pray the Serenity Prayer for friends whom I hold close to my heart: May God grant you the wisdom to understand and evaluate all the doctors say, to ask the questions that need to be asked and to make the decisions that need to be made. May God grant you the courage to go forward with your usual optimism and faith, even if …

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Beauty Leads to Serenity, Peace and Joy

May 9, 2019
living room view

I have always loved beautiful things—who doesn’t?—but beauty was not essential to my happiness until I was widowed. Perhaps because of the drudgery involved in settling the estate and learning Lev’s business after his death, I desperately needed to be in light-filled, tranquil, soothing space to fill the emptiness and mitigate my pain. I describe those early months of grief in Reclaiming Joy: There was …

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Men: Don’t Do This to Your Wives

May 2, 2019
Ella in file room

Everyone—all the banks, all the media—seems to have waked up at the same time to the fact that women outlive men and almost all will have to be responsible for their own financial affairs at some point in their lives. There’s not a week when I don’t see another story about it. It’s not just the Wall Street Journal or Brown Brothers Harriman’s Women and …

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