You say garbanzo, I say chickpea…

A funny thing happened on the way to this recipe (if you can call it a recipe – it’s really just a “how to shell a garbanzo bean” story).  I wanted to make a crispy, salty chickpea snack to go with the sangria.  There are lots of recipes for chickpea snacks out there and I tried several of them with canned chickpeas.  They were all…  how can I put it?   Lousy.  Mushy, over-spiced, – nothing I would serve to a […]


It’s Summertime

“it’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine … it’s summertime!” — Kenny Chesney In the interest of keeping a simple picnic simple, here is my offering for a summer cocktail. Again, there are lots of beautiful red, white and blue cocktails out there made with rum and other lethal liqueurs to give them their color. They also give the worst imaginable hangovers, and after a certain age one weighs the hangover against the allure of the […]



  America’s Table is a love letter.   This patchwork of a blog is meant to offer the best recipes, invitations, flowers and party ideas collected over my forty years as a family cook, event planner, White House Social Secretary, and Washington hostess.   I struggled a bit with this name – America’s Table – because at first it seemed pretentious.  But it’s a big country out there, and American food is a pure reflection of the striving and diverse place we […]


Red, White and Blue flowers

Red, White and Blue flowers…. are tricky. One of the things I’ve seen an awful (emphasis on the awful) lot of in my event planning career are red, white and blue flower arrangements. Inaugurals, fundraisers, campaign events – everyone wants to be patriotic with the flowers, which is great except that the arrangements always seem a bit off. It’s not impossible to get a beautiful r, w, and b bouquet, but it’s much better to work with two of the […]


Fried Chicken

Serves 4 Cooking time: overnight for yogurt marinade, thirty minutes for frying chicken *Note: fryers are young chickens, usually not more than seven weeks old, so their smaller size is ideal for frying.