Writing Class: The Art of the Food Memoir

Six-week course, May 24th to June 28th, Richard Hugo House Food memoirs blend individual narrative and the influence of food from a cultural or personal perspective. In this course, we’ll cover key fundamentals of the genre along with aspects that make culinary memoirs special, including exercises on writing about food in sensual detail along with storytelling essentials such as conflict and characters. Aimed at students … [Read more...]

Flint Bookstore Event on May 14th

Please join me for my only Flint-area event this spring at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 14th. I'll be offering a brief knife lesson and a lively discussion about my third book,Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good. My third title was named a Michigan Notable Book for 2015. We’ll have dog balloons, some treats and door prizes for this kid-friendly event.  Barnes & Noble Genesee Valley Mall Flint, MI 48507 810-732-0704 … [Read more...]

Shelf Life: 15 Food Books of 2015

For years, I've been threatening to start a podcast. In October, I attended an inspiring weekend hosted by Feet in Two Worlds and promptly went and bought a Zoom H5, a mic and started contacting food writers I admired to come sit in my kitchen and chat. I'm launching the podcast in January, but I decided I couldn't wait to share the books crafted by some of the lovely folks who I've talked to already for the audio show, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Popovers from ‘The Homemade Kitchen’

 I've long been fascinated by popovers and for this, I blame Dorothy Parker. For those unfamiliar, Dorothy was a fabulously wry writer who was among the founding members of "the vicious circle" of writers who made up The Algonquin Roundtable in New York. Starting in 1919, the group of thirty newspaper and magazine writers met almost daily for lunch over the course of about ten years to share gossip, jokes and … [Read more...]

Fearless Thanksgiving: Turkey FAQ

That's me, age four, stuffing a turkey. I've been doing this holiday dinner thing a long time. So much information exists on the humble turkey, a curiously popular bird. Here are simple answers to common questions from reliable sources. [Updated November 2015] Q. Why do we eat turkey on holidays, anyway? A. Great question. As this terrific column in Slate explains, back in the day when people grew their own meats, … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: 27 Great Tips from Food Writers

                    Holiday meals can cause even confident cooks anxiety. I asked some of my food writer friends for their best advice. - Kathleen. General Planning Tips 1. Make Lists "Make lots of lists," advises Diane Morgan, the author of The New Thanksgiving Table and The Thanksgiving Table. "Make a grocery list and divide it among the different stores … [Read more...]

Fearless Thanksgiving Guide

We all know that holiday dinners should be a time to celebrate family, friends and food, but more often than not, it's a stressful holiday, with anxious hosts more worried about the turkey than about the people around the table. Enough! I talked to various home cooks hosting holiday dinners for the first time. I asked, what do you want to know? Questions poured in, from what turkey to buy to how to make a pie crust. … [Read more...]

Thanksgiving: Best Guides Online

I had to stop into my local supermarket yesterday to pick up two bottles of Prosecco -- and a pack of new kitchen sponges as that's the kind of thrilling dichotomy that rules my life. Then I saw it: the huge bin of frozen turkeys. It's that time of year again. A select few know about my slightly disturbing fascination with supermarkets. What's in food stores and what people choose to purchase intrigues me endlessly. So I … [Read more...]

How to Build a Holiday Dinner Menu

Ah, that annual stressful event known as holiday dinner planning. If you're a novice cook, it can seem deeply conflicted. But then, remember the math. Most classic holiday dinner menus include a main dish,  gravy or sauce, potatoes, two to three vegetables, some bread, plus dessert. If you're opting for a roast turkey - a favorite for both Thanksgiving and Christmas in the U.S. and Christmas in other countries - then you … [Read more...]

“Minestrone” Soup like My Mother’s

In my first book, The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry, this recipe was known as "Potage 'Minestrone' a la Ma Mere," since all the recipes had French names. This is neither French, nor strictly speaking, even minestrone. Instead, it served as a catch-all flexible soup recipe into which my mother could leverage the various leftovers from our dinner table. With five kids on a Michigan farm, my mother couldn't afford to … [Read more...]