Amana Colonies Cottage Cheese

This winter, I did two things with my life: I chased politicians around the Democratic Primaries, and chased the best pie in each state I went to. This is how I ended up in the Amana Colonies, a cluster of towns in Iowa that was founded by a collectivist sect of German Pietists. (The connection…

So you want a cookbook?

By now, a lot of you have cycled through your entire repertoire, and are looking down a bleak corridor of repeats unless you find something else to cook. I’m going to try to post some recipes here 3-4 times a week. But that’s not enough for you, is it? You need help now. Well, if…

Baked mushrooms

Everyone has those moments when the virus makes them a little crazy. My mother’s came when I went over to carry her kitty litter into the house. (Don’t worry, I washed my hands thoroughly and kept my distance from her.) As I was leaving, she cried “Wait! Wait!” I returned to the deck, wondering if…

Refrigerator Rolls

Like so many of the rest of you, we are locked in for the duration–or in my case, until I have to drive up to Boston and help my Dad get settled when he’s released from cardiac rehab. (The duration, she said. Why are we all suddenly talking like we’re at war? Oh, right, because…

Short Ribs With Mushrooms

We have a kitchen. Sort of. The open shelving that will run on one side is still somewhere out there in the possession of a guy named Dave, a charming and romantic Appalachian character who does not hew slavishly to modern bunkum like timetables, or telephones. This complicates the task of getting the kitchen in…

The Late, Great Applesauce Cake

So, funny about that applesauce cake I just made … Ok, mildly funny, anyway. Or maybe not that funny. Maybe not funny at all. Maybe I am weeping miserably in a corner, as the cake sits forlorn on the table, waiting, waiting for a chance that will never come … You see, the Post had…

Slow-Cooker Beef Ragu

Apparently, in less than an hour, I will be watching an interview with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, in which he will tell us that he was a virgin in high school, and for many years afterwards. Whatever your opinion about Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination, I hope we can all agree that we don’t want to…

Learning to Love the Counter Depth Fridge

I have very firm opinions about kitchen design. One of those opinions is that you build a kitchen to use, not to admire. And hence, when we began to plan our renovation, I was adamant that we would be keeping our old fridge. It was eight years old; it had never been what you would…

Poached Eggs on Kinda-Chinese Pork

Something you should understand is that we are preparing to renovate our kitchen. It’s been six years since the makeshift semi-renovation that I chronicled for The Atlantic, and the make shifts are no longer making it. Everything we purchased from Ikea has collapsed into planned obsolescence. Meanwhile, the ancient cabinets, installed with devil-may-care insouciance and…