Keep Calm and Go to London

Just to show that we Yanks have no hard feelings about that pesky Revolutionary War business, I want to share some photos from a recent trip to London. In my opinion, the food in London is some of the most inventive and delicious in the world.  On this particular visit, we sampled a wide range of London’s culinary delights: a country gastropub, a whimsical teatime, a champagne lunch, and the always-amazing Ottolenghi; I could have stayed for months and barely […]

Etiquette, Formalities

Plane and Simple

There’s a saying that you learn good manners from those who have none. I was reminded of this on a recent plane flight.  The big passenger seated in front of me fell into his seat like a dead weight, launching the open bottle of water on my tray table into my lap.   As he organized himself, he stretched his head backward over the top of the seat, leaning back so my face was less than a foot away from his […]

Desserts, My Recipes

Strawberry Kuchen

Prep time: thirty minutes plus one hour for yeast to rise One kuchen serves 6 This recipe makes two nine-inch kuchens (Please note I used 2/3 of the dough to make one really big kuchen for the photo, just because I wanted to use the scalloped pie plate, and the other 1/4 of the dough to make a mini-me kuchen.  Don’t want to create a false impression about the size of kuchen you’re going to get!)

Dessert, Food, Summer

Strawberry Kuchen

I want to sneak this recipe in before the strawberry season is over.   This is an easy yeast dough coffee cake with fresh strawberries baked on top – a good starter recipe for anyone who is intimidated by yeast dough.  The kuchen is best eaten soon after it comes out of the oven, because the strawberries on the warm dough are a particularly tasty combination.  “Kuchen” is the German word for cake, but this recipe of my grandmother’s was more […]

Calligraphy, Etiquette, Formalities

R.s.v.p. – means “Repondez s’il vous plait” in French (Respond if you please),

and is a throwback to the days when many aspects of formal entertaining were done in French.  While the French-ness of “R.s.v.p” (note the periods between each letter – that is the correct usage) may be outmoded, the concept is not.  There seems to be an epidemic today of people not responding to invitations.  This is rude!   How is your host supposed to know how much liquor to buy?  With this in mind, here is a quick breakdown of when […]