On My Mind

You Can’t Win ‘Em All.

Happy Friday! The end of this week is a welcome sigh of relief for me, as I am recovering from my second COVID vaccination. Thankfully, I’ve had no horrible side effects so far, only a very achy left arm and a general feeling of sluggishness. Now I can look forward to getting through the next … Read More

Watch that first step—it’s a doozy!

I love watching babies as they shift from scurrying on their knees to toddling around on their feet, and I find it not only adorable, but inspiring, to see them diligently rise after every fall, though they are clumsy and awkward in their efforts. The older I get, the more I find new things to … Read More

Not Quite Katz’s (but darn good pastrami)

April, I have decided, is a lovely time to visit New York. When my husband, Les, and I traveled there for our honeymoon trip a few years ago, I realized that being in the city with someone who grew up in the city is the best experience of all. When you are traveling with a … Read More


On this date last year, my husband, Les, and I sat shoulder-to-shoulder with a bunch of unmasked strangers in an historic theater for a concert performance by Little River Band. You remember LRB, and the group’s inescapable 1978 hit, “Reminiscing?” I had convinced Les to go with me to this show, one of more than … Read More

photo: wikimedia.org

Yay! Another Jewish Food Holiday!

I’ve said many times that I will embrace any food challenge, and I always learn something from my adventures. Recently, however, my lessons went beyond the culinary into the spiritual when I was invited to participate in a “Chopped”-style cooking event for Tu Bishvat, a Jewish celebration that I had never even heard of. My … Read More

In 1977, Terrie and I set up the village together.

On Christmas with Our Grandma

The whole family is abuzz about the ways my Gram made Christmas special. I’ve been reminiscing this season, as I’ve hung on our own tree the precious ornaments Gram gave me throughout my childhood. My aunt coached me through the making of Gram’s molasses cookies, a recipe that was handed down from my great-grandmother. And … Read More

On the Best-Laid Plans.

This past Sunday was a doozy of a day in our kitchen. It wasn’t for lack of planning—no, my husband, Les, and I had laid out a terrific plan for completing a list of specific preparations for Thanksgiving. But things went amiss, and through a comedy of errors, I was rattled back into the reality … Read More

I’ll Take “Gratitude” for $1000, Please

The news should not have hit me like a train, but my awareness of Alex Trebek’s serious illness didn’t prepare me for the announcement of his death Sunday. When the charismatic host of Jeopardy announced early last year that he had been diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer, my interest in the quiz show was … Read More


When I published my first post on Comfort du Jour in April, I didn’t know what it would become or what it would mean to me. It took a global pandemic to help me finally grasp that the phrase “life is short” is more than a catchphrase; it’s a reality. What I did know is … Read More

Sourdough Pumpkin Challah (a bread maker’s journey)

When I set out in 2011 to learn the terrifying skill of bread making, my primary goal was to have the welcoming aroma waft out of my oven and throughout the house. Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly baked bread? My first few attempts were pretty confused, with some downright inedible, but also with … Read More

I Want a Sunday Kind of Supper

It’s challenging enough in normal times to get dinner on the table on a busy weekday. Toss in a pandemic? I’m lost. At this point, I barely know what day it is, except for the display on my smart phone screen. Before COVID, managing the “life” part of the work-life balance felt easier because I … Read More

What Makes Breakfast Better?

One of the websites I visit frequently for inspiration, or sometimes sheer amusement value, is the (U.S.) National Day Calendar, which announces quite matter-of-factly what we should be celebrating on a given day. This gave me a heads-up to plan for National S’mores Day, when I shared my adventures with this dessert pizza and this … Read More

“Now You’re Cooking With Gas!”

It was a phrase my Gram said all the time, though she wasn’t necessarily referring to her method of stove-top cooking. Rather, she said it any time one of us grandkids had done something well. “Look, Gram, I’m riding my bike without training wheels!” “Woo-eee, now you’re cooking with gas!” And she would clap at … Read More

Squash plants produce “male” and “female” blossoms, and only the females result in fruit. The two at the bottom are fused together, so it will be interesting to see how they grow.

First Fruits

Last week, when I came home from a weekly grocery run, I stepped warily toward the garden at the end of the driveway. I’m accustomed to feeling like a lousy farmer thanks to the herd of deer in our woods. With a sigh on my lips, I lifted back the giant leaves drooping from our … Read More

Vanilla-Black Pepper Old Fashioned


When I set out to develop a recipe to properly acknowledge our nation’s birthday, my instinct was to make something that looked like the flag, because isn’t that what everyone does on the 4th of July? For my culinary tribute to America, I decided instead to focus on the flavors that make a food distinctly … Read More


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