Christmas Lights

  “What are you makin,’” the Home Depot employee said, “‘cuz I know you ain’t plumbin’.” Busted on Christmas Eve. Are there no middle-aged female plumbers in this land? Or were my mom jeans a dead give-away? I was standing in front of racks of copper pipes, juggling a five-foot length of 3/4-inch pipe between my hands,…

(Not a) Piece of Cake

Have I mentioned that I’m making a small wedding cake on Saturday? For First born’s wedding to her pilot? I’ve never made one before. Thought I’d bake a test run last night, to work out some of the kinks. It’s just (gluten-free) chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting, which I’ve made a jillion times. How…

Thanksgiving 2015

  I’m in that sweet spot of holiday mayhem: done with the cooking, happy with the memories made, and giving the evil eye to the odd ceramic dish or two that still must be handwashed. The leftovers got tossed today. I’d make everything again, except with less rum in the pumpkin pie and more cayenne…

Classic Apple Pie

I made pie for me, just me, last Thursday. It was delicious. I ate almost the whole thing, and I am not sorry. Filling made with 1 1/2 pounds Granny Smith apples and 2 pounds Golden Delicious apples, prepared according to the recipe in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, by the editors at America’s…

Snapshot(s): Halloween 2015

Last night’s Halloween was one for the record books. Five hundred ninety-six trick-or-treaters came calling, descending upon our neighborhood in hordes of super heroes, princesses, and pirates. We had just enough candy to go around. After days of endless rain, the weather turned autumnally perfect — crisp and cool, stars speckling the damp night sky…

Sausage Rolls II (In Case You Missed It)

Champagne and hot sausage rolls, a capital way to begin a festive holiday. ♦ ♦ ♦ My mother guffawed when, at 17, I told her I was in the running for an award from the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Teachers did the nominating, and I was happy to be considered….

Christmas Wrap-Up

So what if the chihuahua hiked his leg on the Christmas tree skirt? He missed the presents. I accidentally left out half of the sugar in this gingerbread cookie dough. The gingerbread men were inedible. Big deal. We had other cookies. In fact, I got a little dip-happy with some melted chocolate. The Christmas dinner…

Cooking with Red and Green

The combination is everywhere right now, of course, because it’s the season of Red and Green. If you’re lucky, you might score a pair of light-up Christmas earrings perfect for your daughter while playing bingo at a family Christmas party. She will love them, and the Christmas-colored camo socks, too. But I digress. I like…

After the Feast

Thanksgiving is over, and it was good. We started the morning with Pumpkin Scones, served with a little cinnamon butter on the side. These were tender and delicious, and I’ll make them again. (Note for next time: try freezing the unbaked wedges overnight, and adjust the baking time accordingly. Might hold their shape a little…

Halloween 2014 Wrap-Up

Halloween is a Big Deal in my neighborhood. I bought 30 pounds of chocolate candy last week and prayed it would be enough for an expected 350-400 trick-or-treaters. And I prayed harder as temptation caused the chocoholics in my household (in other words, everybody) to dip into the supply again and again. Pretty soon, 27…