Why I’ve Spent 15 Years Stocking Up These French Kitchen Towels

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers tell us about their most priceless possessions—and the irreplaceable stories behind them…

An object is often worth more than its material form. It can bring with it cultural echoes, family history, and personal memory. In The Things We Treasure, writers tell us about their most priceless possessions—and the irreplaceable stories behind them.


I carry my kitchen towels wherever I go. Well, at least one or two of them. Certainly to any place where I know I’m going to be cooking, but also to picnics, long car trips, even on planes—it’s amazing how handy they are when you have to eat on the fly. And when I was commuting to an office, there was always one tucked into my lunchbox.

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This Is the Only Way I Cook Bacon Now, Thanks to … a Power Outage

It has been decades since my husband and I decamped from Metropolis and moved to the country, which means one thing: We’ve had our fair share of power outages. In 1996, just three months into owning our first home, the power went out in a freak snowsto…

It has been decades since my husband and I decamped from Metropolis and moved to the country, which means one thing: We’ve had our fair share of power outages. In 1996, just three months into owning our first home, the power went out in a freak snowstorm that kept us in the dark for 11 days. We were younger then is about all I can say about how we got through it. Fortunately, that one snowstorm is still the record holder; most of our power outages since then have been no more than a few days (which is still plenty). With the exception of the freaky August 2003 power outage that knocked out electricity for 55 million people in the Northeast, all of our blackouts have been in the winter.

Recently, on a beautiful, calm Saturday morning, just as we started to make breakfast and tucked the bacon into the oven, we heard a huge crash outside the house and saw a flash of light. Then, the radio suddenly went off (the only immediate evidence on a sunny day that we had lost power). When I looked out the window, I could see the power lines dancing on the poles in front of the house, and then I spotted the tree limb in the street. One of the old maples near the road must have pulled down a line.

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I Watched Mom Make Sunday Sauce 900 Times, but Never Learned Till She Was Gone

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that’s meaningful to them and their loved ones.

It was probably too soon to be making her most frequently cooked dish. My mother, Dor…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, a writer shares the story of a single dish that's meaningful to them and their loved ones.


It was probably too soon to be making her most frequently cooked dish. My mother, Dorothy, had only been dead a few weeks. Even though I made a few of her other recipes since then without incident, somehow this one tripped me up.

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