I love prunes. They’re sweet and chewy and delicious. I always travel with them (for obvious reasons). I once brought a huge bag with me on a trip to Sri Lanka. My adorable grandmother tasted a prune, presumably for the first time, and then asked me if she could keep the entire bag. I said yes because I also love my grandmother. I realized that if prunes didn’t have such a stigma everyone would be eating them all day like candy. That was my grandmother’s plan. I get it.Read More
It's popsicle week. I'm coming in just under the wire!Read More
We were just walking down the street when an elderly lady handed my dad a big, wide basket full of passion fruit. The bowl was lined with newspaper and filled to the brim. She had run out of her house as we were passing by and she beamed when my dad accepted her present. We were in Sri Lanka. I was eight. According to mom, who translated the transaction for me, the old woman had known my grandfather. The passion fruit were from her tree. They were her gift to my grandfather’s eldest son to welcome him back to the island after so many years.Read More
The frozen yogurt craze of 2008 hit us hard. I’m referring to the Pinkberry and Red Mango era. While TCBY and Tasti D-lite were good for their time, they could never hold a candle to the faux-healthy yogurt treats that followed them. When a Pinkberry opened up right around the corner from our apartment we lost all control.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
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
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
I know what you’re thinking. You probably read the title of this post and shook your head. Maybe you scrolled through the pictures disapprovingly. “My land,” you thought, “this woman is obsessed with custard.” And you know what? You’re absolutely right. It’s shameful. I am. But this week I have an excuse. This week I’m passing the buck. This week I’m blaming three other people. Custard haters, please send your complaints to John Cheever, my husband Gus, and John McPhee.Read More
Let me tell you how I’ve been spending my evenings up here in Maine. We wrap up dinner around 6:30, nice and early. It’s wonderful to sit on the screened-in porch and watch the light change and feel the air cool down. At the end of the meal, we sit around and chat. Then my father-in-law John gets up and clears the plates and starts the dishes. And it’s usually about that time that I’m struck by a genius idea. Every night it’s the same idea, but somehow it always seems fresh. And then I ask:
Anyone want ice cream?Read More
This week I asked Gus what he thought I should make for the blog. “Chocolate pudding!” Well, I aim to please! Here you go.
Just kidding. It wasn't that easy. I was annoyed at his lack of creativity. The truth is, right when I asked him, we were both coming off a high from this dairy-free quinoa pudding I had just made. I know quinoa pudding may not necessarily get you salivating, but trust me, quinoa pudding is much more delicious than it sounds. Anyway, after that successful pudding, Gus wanted more pudding. (It makes so much sense that we’re married.) And this time he wanted a really good chocolate pudding.Read More
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I usually don’t, but this year is going to be a big one for me, so I thought I’d psych myself up. My resolution is to show the meringue who’s boss.
Let me explain.Read More
We should talk about crêpe cakes. If you ask me, everyone should talk about crêpe cakes. Why aren’t more people talking about crêpe cakes? I think it’s because crêpe cakes are sneaky. They look boring from the top. Practically bland. There’s no swirly frosting or whipped cream to seduce you. And they’re tan. Just tan. You might look at a crêpe cake and want to walk on by. But I urge you to stop. Crêpe cakes have this seductive split personality that you’re going to want to explore. The crêpes are all proper, prim, and vanilla-scented lace. They’re ladylike and discreet. But between each crêpe is a layer of oozy, out of control, luscious custard that just wants to sneak out of its crêpe cage and give you a kiss. Together they’re just amazing. Not too sweet. Rich yet restrained. Simple and so tricky. A perfect dessert.Read More