I feel like a miss. But lately I’ve been getting ma’amed all over town. I live in a youngish neighborhood by some standards. Perhaps in that context I look especially ma’am-like? I only have a handful of grey hairs. Maybe it’s the fact that my gums are receding and my teeth are just a bit gappier than they were before. I didn’t think that was noticeable.Read More
New Yorkers are not unkind. Ask one of us for the time or for directions and we’ll gladly help you out. We’ll tell you where the best bagels are. I’ll even swipe you a ride on my Metrocard if the transit authority guy isn’t looking. But we do keep to ourselves. We maintain a respectful distance. And we don’t often make eye contact.Read More
Set-It-and-Forget-It Seneviratne. I’ve earned a few choice nicknames over the course of my life, but I think that one might be the most apt. (Samantha the Panther was probably the least.) See that pot that’s bone dry and smoking because someone put water to boil an hour ago? Who did that? What about those nuts, burnt to an unrecognizable crisp? I like to think that my absentmindedness is charming. But possibly not.Read More
The other day my mom asked me not to go to the movies until after Christmas. She’s worried about the North Koreans. Thanks for that, Kim Jong-un.Read More
I have to be honest. I haven’t exactly been glowing with holiday spirit this year. Last month we ate Chinese food on Thanksgiving. We don’t have a tree, just the same old plants. There is printer paper all over my desk, but no wrapping paper to be seen. I’ve kept my head buried in work while the tinsel and the lights have been strung up around me.
The whole season might have come and gone if it weren’t for gingerbread. The other day, I got to bake some for Mrs. Patmore. Do you know her?Read More
My friend’s new baby smells like sugar. I met him today for the first time and I took a big whiff. Nine days of living smells sweet to me.
I’m pretty sure I was a Viking in my last life. Granted, I hate the cold. But I do love to explore other countries. I often braid my hair. And I think Scandinavian desserts, loaded with cardamom, saffron, and almond paste, could conquer the world.Read More
Last weekend my in-laws came to New York for a visit and we went back in time. During a blustery afternoon walk near the entrance to the Holland Tunnel, we stumbled on the most magical of places. A tiny brick house, complete with a sharply pitched roof, weathered wooden door, and enchanting vines creeping down from the window box above. Hidden amid the sleek glass buildings of Tribeca, it looked miraculously unchanged since the 1800s. Charming doesn’t even begin to describe it. We investigated a bit further. You’ll never guess what it turned out to be: a rare cookbook shop!Read More
There once was a girl who loved munchkins
She couldn’t but eat them in bunchkins
She loved them so dearly
That when a shop opened nearly
She said “Yum! That will make a great lunchkins.”
We’re having a cheese-cracker renaissance in our house. It started when I sent Gus out to pick up something to take to a party. A grown-up party. I thought he was going to come back from the store with a nice bottle of wine. Maybe some fancy cheese. Nope. He bought Goldfish.Read More
This post was inspired by a ten-minute phone conversation I had with my dad last week. My parents were expecting company. Mom was making dinner and Dad was in charge of dessert. Say what? Dad is in charge of dessert? In our house, Dad baking the sweets is a novelty. A heart-warming, homesickness-inducing novelty.Read More
Bunny, tiger, punk, Casper the Friendly Ghost, devil, punk again. These are some of my ghosts of Halloweens past. Classics. When I think back on my life in costumes, it strikes me that I have only twice dressed up as an actual human historical figure. The first was Pocahontas. The second was Jennifer Lopez.
I was nine when my parents took us to Paris. My brother Mohan was fourteen. The trip included all the requisite sites, statues, and paintings, but I can really only remember two things vividly. One: bird poop. Two: éclairs.Read More
First impressions get a lot of press. A firm handshake and a big smile can’t hurt, I suppose, but I’m here to tell you that it’s not impossible to come back after a goof. People are kind. This tart is a testament to that. This tart is all about redemption.Read More
“You could build an empire on those fritters!” Those are the words I would quote in a court of law, proving without a doubt that my husband loved the fritters at first bite. Even after the fifth bite, he was grinning like a kid. It was only 5 minutes later, after I told him the truth about the fritters, that he tried to change his tune.Read More
I actually said “I love you” out loud to the blue and white bag of King Arthur bread flour as I pulled it down from the shelf. It just came out. I thought I was alone in the aisle. It was Monday evening in a Manhattan Whole Foods. Guess what? I wasn’t alone. I heard myself say it and then, embarrassed that my inner thoughts were out, sheepishly turned my head around just in time to catch a quizzical look on the face of a lonely looking man buying spices. I know. Lonely says the woman who audibly declared her amorous feelings for a bag of milled wheat.Read More
Reading about the referendum on Scottish independence last week really made me think about the big questions. Independence. Secession. Democracy. The Loch Ness Monster. Scones. I’m sure you’re not surprised. Besides thinking about the United Kingdom and whether or not it should stay united, I’ve been thinking about how much I like British pastry. Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish pastry, equally.Read More
Imagine a soft pudgy marshmallow. Naked and vulnerable. What would happen if you put that marshmallow on the surface of the sun? Exactly what happens when a kid plunks her baby-soft finger in molten hot caramel. How do I know? Don’t worry. I’m alright now.Read More
I just counted—between us, Gus and I have 10 pairs of gym shoes. That’s 20 shoes for 4 feet and zero closets. Are we hoarders?
Ok. I checked the bathroom. Six toothbrushes. Two faces. Confirmed hoarders.Read More