Kitchen Confessional: Burnin’ Down Da House

Burning House

Now that the turkey leftovers are gone, the tryptophan torpor has receded, and we’ve physically and emotionally pushed away from the Thanksgiving table, I need to get something off my chest. A kitchen confessional, if you will: On the Holiest of Holy Days for culinistas all over the country, I failed miserably at the stove. Twice.

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It was far and away the worst hatchet job I’ve ever committed–and it was at baking, my bailiwick. In the 20-something years that I’ve been cooking Thanksgiving dinner, yes, I’ve forgotten to take the giblets packet out of the bird; yes, I’ve both under- and overcooked the turkey; and, yes, I’ve neglected to heat the stuffing to the ideal (read: salmonella-free) temperature. But I’ve never, ever failed to whip up gasp-inducing desserts. But I can’t take full responsibility for my fumble: I mostly blame Twitter and Instagram, because if it weren’t for me snapping pictures of my marvelosity in the kitchen for public consumption, I would’ve had a relaxing holiday, and the members of the Roxbury volunteer fire department would’ve been able to finish their meal undisturbed. Read more »

P is for…Paris. And Peace.

Poilâine Miche

For our anniversary two weeks ago, The One and I snuck off to Paris, gleefully ducking work and responsibilities. It was a short trip, as trips to Paris go: burst in on Saturday, mope out on Wednesday. Which in actuality equates to in Sunday and out Tuesday, because the first day I arrive anywhere in Europe is completely lost. I collapse on the bed, snore in whatever foreign language I happen to be trying to mimic, then instinctually wake up just in time for dinner. And on the last day I fret: Did I accidentally leave my passport somewhere? (A logical question, as I’ve lost it twice.) Is our luggage going to fit in the overhead compartment, even though it did coming over and we bought back nary a thing? (No, not even mousse de foie gras.) Read more »

A Fund for Jennie Perillo

Jennifer and Mikey Perillo

I carry a knot of sorrow in my chest. It started tightening a week or so ago, when I learned that food blogger Jennifer Perillo‘s husband, Mikey, died suddenly of a heart attack. That’s him on the right. I’ve never met Mikey, and I’m embarrassed to say I can’t remember meeting Jennie. A conference, perhaps? A party? I do know we’ve tossed a few bon mots back and forth on Twitter, but that’s about it.

Mikey leaves behind a woman too young and vivacious to be a widow; two small daughters too innocent to lose a father, a protector, a prince to their princesses. Plus bills, obligations, half-read books, good intentions, a Blackberry that needs charging–the evidence of a lived-in life.

My sadness is fed in part by my lack of connection to what appears to be, and what I’ve heard is, a loving family. Jennie, Mikey, and I could have been friends. Maybe. There were 140-character overtures blinking on my Twitter feed, but I mostly politely ignored them. Perhaps the Perillos and The One and I might have gone out to dinner, us picking apart the meal like the food savants we think we are. If we were friends, maybe I might have given their daughters an airplane ride like Mikey used to do. I never pursued it–too busy was I. Read more »

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