The Longest Night: Ramblings on the Darker Side of the Christmas Season

December 21, the longest night of the year, sacred to Druids and others. A time to take stock of the eerie darkness, the state of the world, the perfidy of many human souls. And a time to contemplate my smallness, seated as I am on this whirling blue dot orbiting a flaming ball of fire. … More The Longest Night: Ramblings on the Darker Side of the Christmas Season

Christmas in the White House: President Benjamin Harrison’s Carlsbad Wafers and His 1890 Christmas Dinner

President Benjamin Harrison, being a card-carrying participant of the Gilded Age, and his wife Caroline Scott Harrison served an unusual dinner on Christmas day, 1890. (The menu follows below.) Unusual in one way. Carlsbad Wafers. Huh? The mention of Carlsbad Wafers stopped me in my tracks for a minute. Like a curious cat, whiskers trembling, … More Christmas in the White House: President Benjamin Harrison’s Carlsbad Wafers and His 1890 Christmas Dinner

The Gift of French Cuisine

The French peasant cuisine is at the basis of the culinary art. By this I mean it is composed of honest elements that la grande cuisine only embellishes. -Alexandre Dumaine I don’t remember exactly when it happened. One day I resisted even opening my then-pristine copy of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking … More The Gift of French Cuisine

Remembering the Magic and Wishing for Peace on Earth

I dedicate this post to the children and the parents, everywhere, especially Newtown, Connecticut. Every year, in December, a marvelous thing happens. At least I think it’s wonderful. And not for the reasons you might think. Christmas comes around, bringing with it a sense of magic in the air, some thing that I felt as … More Remembering the Magic and Wishing for Peace on Earth