formalities

Receiving Lines at Weddings

While a receiving line is usually only seen at a wedding or engagement party, we rarely had an event at the White House without one. A receiving line consists of the host and hostess – and a guest of honor if there is one – standing at the entrance to the party to greet the guests. Since the invention of the camera, the receiving line at the White House has taken on Cosmic Significance. A photo with the President is […]

food

SPATCHCOCK CHICKEN WITH GRAPES AND PINE NUTS

Back in 2013 when I first saw the word “spatchcock,” I assumed it was some kinky thing I’d have to look up in the Urban Dictionary and then be sorry that I had. As it turns out, spatchcocking, said to derive from the term “dispatch the cock,” is an 18th century English or Irish word, and refers to a method of cooking a chicken by removing the backbone and flattening it. The chicken cooks more quickly, and all of the […]

uncategorized

Pear Clafoutis

Some recipes bear repeating, and this one from 2014 for pear clafoutis is so beautiful that it looks as if it belongs in a Dutch still life, with those ethereal-looking Bosc pears poking out of rich, golden custard. Emerson once said “There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when it is perfect to eat.” and that’s the key to this recipe. You either need to buy perfectly ripe pears, or have the patience to wait until […]

food

DAMASK CHERRY PIE

I like to find recipes from former first ladies and post updated versions from time to time, and while there are a few recipes that survive from Martha Washington, there is no recipe for a cherry dessert. If she’d known how the myth of her husband admitting to chopping down a cherry tree to prove his truthfulness and integrity would grow to become a part of American folklore, I’m sure she would have left us her recipe for Tidewater cherry […]

food

TOMATOES AND OTHER FRUITS

Here are a couple of easy summer sides that may raise a few eyebrows – but stay with me – these fruits were meant to be together! Tomatoes and peaches, honeydew melon and green tomatoes – these are savory, tangy salads meant to stand up to the big flavors of barbecue and grilled burgers and steaks. They’re a welcome change from sliced tomatoes and melon balls. Make a double batch, because there’s never enough! Tomato and Peach Salad Serves: 4 […]