“United Sweets of America”: Slate

makes an important contribution to national comity:Alabama Lane cake Also known as Alabama Lane cake, Lane cake is one of those boozy, eggy, dried-fruit-filled confections we don’t eat enough of these days. Invented by Emma Rylander Lane in the 1890s, a Lane cake is a sponge cake layered with a raisin-bourbon filling and frosted with a marshmallow-y “boiled white frosting.” Lane cake is also to Harper Lee what the madeleine is to Marcel Proust: The baked good makes several appearances in th … [Read more...]

“The Passover Sandwich”: NPR

celebrates: Why is this Sandwich Monday different from all other Sandwich Mondays? In honor of Passover, I introduced my non-Jewish colleagues to the wonders of the Passover lunch.It's not the Seder meal, but what I might have brought to school for lunch back in the 1970s, when the affluent Jews of suburban New Jersey ate tasteless food to remind themselves that thousands of years ago, they didn't have nice professional jobs like being an lawyer, or maybe a CPA. That's a steady living. I … [Read more...]

“Passover Cocktails for Each of the Ten Plagues”

I am just a fountain of good taste: Plague 1: Blood Cocktail: Red NileThe original eye-opener. Great way to start the plagues, perfect for weekend brunch of fresh fruit, coffee, matzoh brie, and Sephardic dried-fruit-and-cumin haroseth.Ingredients: 2 oz potato vodka 4 oz tomato juice 1/2 oz lemon juice 1 oz Arak 1 tsp white horseradish 6 drops Texas Pete 3 drops Fee Brothers Old Fashioned Cocktail Bitters (no corn syrup) Dash salt Dash pepper Carrot stick for … [Read more...]

Lenten Linkfest: Includes One Actual Lent Link.

Mudblood Catholic a) echoes the novel I'm working on and b) frightens me, via CS Lewis: Of course, we're all insufferable sometimes and to someone. I think it was C. S. Lewis who speculated that one of the disciplinary aspects of Purgatory might well be perceiving ourselves as others perceived us while on earth. Trying to see ourselves from the perspective of someone who dislikes us intensely -- and perhaps not altogether unfairly -- can be a salutary experience. Though it is admittedly an … [Read more...]

“This has happened to me once before, while preparing moose face.”

Food historian Ivan Day has discovered what is believed to be the first recipe for ice cream, written in a manuscript by Lady Anne Fanshawe of England. Dating to c. 1665, she flavors her ice cream with mace, orangeflower water, or ambergris.Ambergris is an “intestinal slurry,” believed to be a ball of muscus-covered, indigestible squid beaks. This mass is ejected into the oceans by sperm whales, much like a cat disgorging a hairball. A ball of ambergris floats in the sea until it washes ashor … [Read more...]

A Different Way to Make Socca!

This is more complicated than the way I do it but it looks faboo, doesn't it? You can make all kinds of socca: sweet, savory, spicy, herby. I think half my "kitchen adventure" posts are about socca. ...And yes, we used the same dumb pun. … [Read more...]

Friday Links: Wal-Mart, Letter to My Freshman Self, Kitchen Tricks, And Much More

What I'm reading. If you follow me on Twitter you've seen some of these--but not all!Radley Balko does an AMA (Ask Me Anything) about his new book, Rise of the Warrior Cop. Tons of interesting q&a about police practices and culture.And more from Balko, "New Study Finds that State Crime Labs Are Paid Per Conviction." I see no way this could go wrong!Megan McArdle: "Why Wal-Mart Will Never Pay Like Costco." Useful reading, important in correcting various economic myths, although … [Read more...]


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