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in search of spring

Lifeless in appearance, sluggish dazed spring approaches– William Carlos Williams, “Spring and All” Spring comes to Chicago in fits and starts. We swing from freezing temperatures to upward of 70-degrees and back again, sometimes within the same day. The sun teases us into thinking we barely need jackets, but the wind off the lake reminds …

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a good bagel is hard to find

When I lived in Italy, the one meal that became a repeated source of disappointment was breakfast. Don’t get me wrong, I was entranced by the dainty cups and spoons, the mysterious drink requests (caffe normale con un cubetto di ghiaccio [espresso with one ice cube?]), the sometimes oddly tetrahedral or cylindrical sugar packets, and …

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open (and ground) sesame

When I mentioned to a few people that I was planning to make Armenian tahini bread, the most common response was, “Where exactly is Armenia?” This landlocked country in Transcaucasia, bound by Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and Turkey to to the south and west, has had a rough go …

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mean greens

I’ve never really found my salad groove. I like salads well enough. I have the best of intentions. I dutifully buy greens, but I seldom have a clear plan of how I’ll use them. They tend to sit in the bottom of the vegetable drawer in the refrigerator waiting for me to find some inspiration, …

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very mine and very fine

February 14th is a doubly momentous date on my calendar. Not only is it that best-loathed love holiday but also the infinitely less-odious day of my birth. I’ve never been much for Valentine’s Day, but I am very amenable to birthday treats. Not just any sort of treat though. Context demands that it to be …

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