Stories

In Celebration of Pie and Other Things

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by Carolyn Foster Segal

I don’t know another food that seems to inspire stronger emotion—passion, even
—than that most humble of desserts, pie. — Joyce Maynard, "Labor Day"

pie-in-the-face-230x300.jpgI’ve been thinking about pie a lot lately. It’s only now, as I’m preparing to leave the college where I’ve taught for the last 15 years, that it occurs to me how many works I’ve taught that have included pie. In the early years of my women’s film class, I used a clip in which Snow White sings about her prince while crafting the perfect pie for the seven little men that she lives with. Pie can be a metaphor for comfort, for domesticity, for nurturing and for accomplishment.

Those very suggestions are what also make pie such a successful weapon in the arsenal of slapstick: to be attacked with a pie, otherwise a symbol of warm inclusiveness, is to be shamed, reduced (just ask the British Prime Minister’s pie thrower his intention).

You're All Invited...I Swear!

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by Fredrica Duke

party_invite.jpgWhen I have a party, I try to invite everyone. I really do. And if my best friend has another best friend, I invite the other best friend. I include the world. If I happen to run in to you (random person reading this) a week before said party, I will invite you even if we’re not the best of friends. I even like it when people crash my parties or when someone calls me and says boldly “Do you mind? I hear you’re having a party and I’d really like to go.” What I LOVE about that is that the person who makes that kind of call, does know me. They know, I’m so happy to include everyone.

I believe I got this from my mother who would say, “You have to invite the whole class, not just some.” Or my dad, who carried his entourage around with him, leaving no one out. Both my parents never let anyone’s feelings get hurt.

One day, in maybe the 5th or 6th grade, a girl named Debby had a party and it seemed like she invited just about everyone. Except me. And maybe the worst part was that she included my best friend Susie. It felt like a real slight. On that particular weekend of Debby’s party, I remember feeling very alone on Saturday night. Susie and I were pretty inseparable.

A Labor Day Meal: Salmon with a Citrus Glaze Tangos with Mango Salsa

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by David Latt

mangosalsaOn holidays like Labor Day, the best dishes to serve friends and family are the ones that take very little effort to prepare.  That way you can spend your time enjoying the day not laboring in a hot kitchen.

Versatile salmon can be grilled, sauteed, baked, and braised. More often than not the preferred approach is to simply grill the fish--whole or filleted--with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper, the Italian way. But there are times when a little more seasoning accents salmon's natural flavors.

Spanish style preparations saute the fish with fresh tomatoes, pitted olives, peppers, onions, and parsley. American barbecue relies on sweet-heat. Another approach, one borrowing from South American and Caribbean recipes, marries citrus with honey and garlic in a simple sauce.

Serve the roasted fish with a side of reserved pan drippings and a mango-grilled corn salsa and you'll have the perfect summer meal to be enjoyed with a glass of chardonnay or an ice cold beer.

A Run on Arugula

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by Michael Tucker

arugula.jpg I watched Mark Bittman’s video Pasta With Anchovies and Arugula.

He’s very simpatico and easy to follow and his recipes are usually simple and good. This one is another take on aglio-olio, the iconic Roman dish of spaghetti in garlic and oil.

You can do a lot of things with this dish, adding almost anything you feel like or have around in the fridge, but you have to be careful not to get too creative and ruin what is a classic way to sauce spaghetti. Don’t, for example, throw in that leftover lox from last Sunday’s brunch. That won’t work.

Anyway, I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday – the one across from Lincoln Center – to pick up some farmer-fresh arugula to use in the dish – and every single farmer was sold out of it.arugula It seems everyone on the Upper West Side saw the Mark Bittman video and wanted to make the dish on the same night. Such is the power of the New York Times.

All about Dijon Mustard

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by Amy Sherman

dijon.jpgI never expected to visit Dijon. But on my first trip to France, I asked my Parisian friends for suggestions for where to go and they said Dijon and nearby Beaune, so off I went. The historic capital of Burgundy, Dijon is a dramatic looking city with lots to do and see. It has many museums, churches, medieval buildings with gargoyles and stunning geometrically patterned roofs of green, white, yellow, black and terra cotta ceramic tiles.

When most people think Dijon, they think mustard. But Dijon is in wine country, home of Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguinon and lots of other rich and rustic dishes including the classic preparation of Escargot in garlic, butter and parsley. In addition to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay and Aligoté, the region is also known for Cremant de Bourgogne and cassis. It's worth noting that you can get to Dijon in under 2 hours from Paris if you take the TGV.

 

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