Top | Newsletter 2011

Culinate Newsletter August 24

(mailing, James Berry)

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 h1. Dear readers,
 I was almost five when my dad married a young, pretty, energetic woman named Sally. My mother had died suddenly a couple of years earlier, and now I was thrilled to have a new mom — one who was quick to laugh and up for nearly any adventure. We got along like toast and butter from the start. 

 But she wasn't much of a cook, at least not at first. (Sorry, Mom, but you weren't. Remember the burnt green beans?) 

 However, she could bake a few things, and one of those was Toffee Bars. I had tasted a lot of good things in my short life, but I remember that on the day we baked those, it was a revelation. I loved the way the chocolate chips transformed into a glossy frosting — and the bars were so good, I ate too many and got a stomach ache. (I loved her, too, for letting me eat more than my fill.)

 Mom's apprenticeship as a household cook didn't last long: My dad and my paternal grandmother were good teachers, and Mom was a good student, and soon she wasn't just cooking basic things like meat and potatoes, but she was also preserving chokecherry syrup and dill pickles — not to mention tending a big garden and seeking out local orchards, where we'd pick cherries or peaches, also for canning. Let's just say she took to [com/mix/dinnerguest/whatishouseholding householding] in a big way. 

 And I was a lucky girl to be at her side for much of it.

 When Shoshanna Cohen, our new [/columns/spaghettionthewall "Spaghetti on the Wall"] columnist, sent in her [/columns/spaghettionthewall/ToffeeBars "post about Toffee Bars,"] I was carried right back to my first time eating those buttery morsels. Maybe you will be too?
 Kim Carlson
 Editorial Director

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story1id: 346134
story1text: 'Carrie Floyd ponders the origin, components, and how-to of a classic cocktail.' 
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story2text: "Challenged by trying to grow tomatoes in a cool climate? Read Caroline Lewis's good advice."

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recipe1text: "Late summer is good timing for this Catalan recipe from José Pizarro's 'Seasonal Spanish Food.'"
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recipe2text: "A main dish salad that will taste almost as good at home as it does on a weekend getaway." 

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