How Baba’s Surprise Pastries Kept Our Family Together

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.

The packages began arriving in early April, a few weeks after the pandemic confined m…

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.


The packages began arriving in early April, a few weeks after the pandemic confined my father to his home. The first box contained sambusac, Iraqi pastries filled, variably, with chickpea paste, salted cheese, or a mix of nuts, sugar, and cinnamon. The next box carried kubbot, deep-fried Iraqi dumplings with ground meat, cumin, cardamom, and pine nuts. After that came jars of quince jam and Tupperwares of stuffed grape leaves, which we shared with our neighbors. The fifth box—this time at my son’s request—delivered gaurag, a crunchy Iraqi flatbread, packaged in enough Bubble Wrap to survive the flight from Los Angeles to the Bronx intact. It did.

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Betcha Didn’t Know All of These Were Stone Fruits

Whether you’re wandering around in a farmers market or passing through a section of the grocery store, odds are you’ve seen the term “stone fruit” tossed around near the peaches and plums. You put your keen mind to the task and gather that the term is …

Whether you’re wandering around in a farmers market or passing through a section of the grocery store, odds are you’ve seen the term “stone fruit” tossed around near the peaches and plums. You put your keen mind to the task and gather that the term is referencing a fruit (great start) with a, well, stone-like pit. Nailed it! But is there more to the concept? What is a stone fruit, exactly?

What is a stone fruit?

We’ve already gone over the obvious: Stone fruits are those with pits in the center. Officially, they’re fruits with a fleshy exterior known as the mesocarp (covered with a skin, or exocarp) that encases a stone or pit (the shell of which is a hardened endocarp with a seed inside). Also known as drupes, this category includes peaches, plums, cherries, nectarines, apricots, and pluots.

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One-Ingredient Date Jam Is Excellent on Anything

Typically speaking, jam is a mixture of fruit and sugar—often lemon juice, sometimes pectin—cooked until glossy and thick and as spreadable as soft butter. But this recipe stops at the fruit.

And not fresh fruit either. While preserving is a simple wa…

Typically speaking, jam is a mixture of fruit and sugar—often lemon juice, sometimes pectin—cooked until glossy and thick and as spreadable as soft butter. But this recipe stops at the fruit.

And not fresh fruit either. While preserving is a simple way to stretch the seasons—to carry spring strawberries into summer, summer peaches into fall—dried fruit is evergreen, shelf-stable, and, it turns out, just as jam-able.

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Pan-Seared Scallops Are for Date Nights With Yourself

Table for One is a column by Eric Kim, who loves cooking for himself—and only himself—and seeks to celebrate the beauty of solitude in its many forms.

For years, one of my favorite places to be alone was the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Specifically th…

Table for One is a column by Eric Kim, who loves cooking for himself—and only himself—and seeks to celebrate the beauty of solitude in its many forms.


For years, one of my favorite places to be alone was the Grand Central Oyster Bar. Specifically the saloon in the way back, where the lighting was dimmer, the drinks were stronger, and people left you alone at the bar.

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