Syrup’s Rising Soon


Vitality stirs within maple trees, the sap (syrup) beginning to surge, awakening the trees from their hibernations. That’s good news for the trees, as it begins a progress that takes them to this point: (Photo taken early last summer of a maple tree, in the parents’ yard, the author started at age twelve, from seed. … Continue reading Syrup’s Rising Soon

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Along Italy’s Pacific Coast


Wait, what?  There’s the Adriatic and the Mediterranean, but when did this whole Pacific thing happen?  About 150 years ago, actually, when Italian immigrants to the U.S. made their way westward and those of a more nautical disposition found work is San Francisco’s fishing industry.  While many in the Bay Area discovered wealth inland extracting… Continue reading Along Italy’s Pacific Coast

Where the Sea Greens the Desert


Though the Sahara dominates North Africa, people living along its Mediterranean coast enjoy a lusher, milder climate and a more varied menu than do their inland cousins.  This truth applies particularly so to Algeria, where every village, in fact every family, has its own way of creating charmoula, a vivid spice blend that emphasizes flavor… Continue reading Where the Sea Greens the Desert

Three Kinds of Comfort


What better time than Thanksgiving weekend to luxuriate in a satisfying meal’s reassuring warmth?  This week brings three more classics from Williamsburg, as featured in The Williamsburg Cookbook, Cream of Peanut Soup, Sally Lunn Bread and Indian Corn Muffins.  Each one stokes a contented glow, but their combined effect is pure bliss. Peanut Soup is… Continue reading Three Kinds of Comfort

Back to the Mediterranean


We visited Lebanon a couple weeks ago and now Greece returns us to the Mediterranean’s sunny shores.  As winter finally catches up to us, a land of lemons and sparkling waters seems a great place to be.  That definitely explains my recent culinary fixation, doesn’t it? This week it’s souvlaki with tzatziki sauce, complete with homemade pita. … Continue reading Back to the Mediterranean