Great Cake—Honest, Abe

Honestly, I don’t know how it happens, but wherever I go, I inevitably end up in conversation about food with a chef, baker or artisan food maker. How else to explain a cake recipe discussion at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.? Browsing in the gift shop after the museum tour (also always on the lookout … Continue reading Great Cake—Honest, Abe

Chocolate, Kissed by a Rose

The signboard outside a neighborhood sweets shop offered the enticing promise of rose-flavored hot chocolate. A promise that, as is so often is the case with rose-flavored/scented foods, did not quite stand up in the bargain. The Valrhona hot chocolate was indeed luscious and lovingly prepared, but a bit heavy-handed in the addition of rose flavoring. … Continue reading Chocolate, Kissed by a Rose

Little Jewels

We were dubbed The Macaroon Gang by one of the husbands of our little group, incredulous as he was that his wife and her food-obsessed buddies would devote an entire day to tracking down macaroons on the Lower East Side. But by then we had our route plotted out, starting at the little shop that stocked barrels of fresh, moist, densely sweet coconut macaroons … Continue reading Little Jewels

Parm Squad to the Rescue

I am a member of the Special Parm Squad. Just saying that out loud makes me feel like I’ve taken on superpowers, or become a member of some super-elite security detail. In reality, it means that I’ve been assigned by my local food coop (where all members share in running the joint) to the team … Continue reading Parm Squad to the Rescue

Mulberry Street

I started a trend. After noticing that the mulberry tree on the corner a couple of blocks away was heavy with fruit, I returned with a container.  In the short time spent plucking berries from branches hanging low over the owner’s wrought-iron fence and across  the sidewalk, a parade of passersby stopped, gawked, and even … Continue reading Mulberry Street

The Velvet Truth

Enough already. The out-of-control cupcake craze of the past few years has peaked, leaving a trail of overwrought treats in its wake. Perhaps the most collateral damage has been done to the reputation of the Red Velvet Cake, touted by many bakeries as the ultimate variety, the cupcake supreme. But an office celebration a couple … Continue reading The Velvet Truth