My Oma’s Apple Pancakes—& Why They Never Taste the Same Without Her

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.

In Marcel Proust’s book In Search of Lost Time, the narrator famously reminisces abou…

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.


In Marcel Proust’s book In Search of Lost Time, the narrator famously reminisces about tasting a madeleine dipped in tea. We all have these moments, perhaps not as eloquently recounted, but nevertheless indelible in our minds. But did our madeleines really taste that good, or did the lens of time blur reality into a prelapsarian food idyll—before globalization made us more “sophisticated” eaters?

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Run a Business, Raise My Daughter & Keep My Cool? Here’s How That’s Going.

Six months ago, I was on the way home from the canceled Natural Products Expo when news broke about cases of coronavirus in New York City. Walking through the terminal at JFK, I saw people in masks for the first time. Nobody on the flight from L.A. had…

Six months ago, I was on the way home from the canceled Natural Products Expo when news broke about cases of coronavirus in New York City. Walking through the terminal at JFK, I saw people in masks for the first time. Nobody on the flight from L.A. had had one on, including me.

The city was on the verge of quarantine. My daughter Ramona’s school transitioned to wholly remote learning. I felt lucky that my business had been deemed essential, but with my kid thrown into the equation, everything changed. How would I manage full-time motherhood on top of full-time entrepreneurship? It seemed impossible, but I needed the money.

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What I Will—& Won’t—Regret About My Pandemic Wedding

I didn’t grow up imagining what my wedding would look like. But I did always assume I would get married.

I was lucky enough to have had a happy, fairly conventional childhood. I grew up in a small town in upstate New York in a traditional family of fo…

I didn’t grow up imagining what my wedding would look like. But I did always assume I would get married.

I was lucky enough to have had a happy, fairly conventional childhood. I grew up in a small town in upstate New York in a traditional family of four, with parents who’ve now been married for 36 years. From my limited perspective, that’s just what adults did: they got married.

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1,000 Ways to Love Rasam—Southern India’s Signature Peppery Broth

The simplicity of a rasam is a decoy for its depth. At first sip, you may only discern the faint sweetness of a ripe tomato. Then comes the punch of tamarind. You reel momentarily from this affront, but you will soon be soothed by the nutty richness of…

The simplicity of a rasam is a decoy for its depth. At first sip, you may only discern the faint sweetness of a ripe tomato. Then comes the punch of tamarind. You reel momentarily from this affront, but you will soon be soothed by the nutty richness of mustard seeds fried in ghee—called the thalippu, or tempering that crowns this trellis of flavor.

For eons, South Indians of all stripes have claimed an intimate understanding of rasam, a broth (not unlike a stock) that teases complexity out of even the most minimal ingredients. At its simplest, this could mean a tomato or two, or a knob of dried tamarind and a scattering of spices—all allowed to commingle until their flavors merge into a cohesive whole.

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Why I’ll Always Love Clotheslines

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, creatives, and design experts tell us about their most priceless possessions—real, imag…

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, creatives, and design experts tell us about their most priceless possessions—real, imagined, lost, and found—and the irreplaceable stories behind them.


My Brilliant Friend, the first in a quartet of novels by Elena Ferrante, is set in 1950s Naples. Against the backdrop of a neighborhood still reeling from the war, Ferrante paints colorful scenes of ongoing feuds between the local women.

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My Life Is Nothing Like My Jichan’s, But Our Tortilla Eggs Are the Same

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.

In American popular culture, weekend mornings often consist of stacks of impossibly f…

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.


In American popular culture, weekend mornings often consist of stacks of impossibly fluffy pancakes, crispy hash browns, and platters of wavy bacon. But when my siblings and I were growing up in suburban Orange County, Calif., on any given Sunday, you’d be more likely to find us ripping up tortillas over a skillet of hot oil—under the watchful eye of my father, who was on standby with a bowl of scrambled eggs, ready to douse the jagged little triangles at exactly the right moment.

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The Handmade Cookbook That Taught Me How to Grow a Family

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

When I graduated from college, my sister handed me a gift during our family’s celebratory …

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


When I graduated from college, my sister handed me a gift during our family's celebratory dinner that prompted me to sob into my chocolate cake. It was a spiral-bound book named Abby Won’t Starve: a Post-College Cookbook. In it, she had assembled family recipes from absolutely everyone—our mother, of course, who’d cooked Julia Child classics all through our childhoods; my sister’s new boyfriend (who would, the following year, become her husband); my godmother; she even culled recipes from our dead grandfather’s girlfriend.

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The Nigerian Fried Rice That Turned Me Into My Mother

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.

I am my mother. In every line I speak, no, every word. Every sway of the hips. Every pot o…

Good food is worth a thousand words—sometimes more. In My Family Recipe, writers share the stories of dishes that are meaningful to them and their loved ones.


I am my mother. In every line I speak, no, every word. Every sway of the hips. Every pot of fried rice hurriedly spooned into red Freezinhot coolers with flower motifs, full of blackened pieces of beef—not burnt, just colored by hot oil—and chicken, fried in groundnut oil so the fragrance of freshly roasted peanuts lingers sweet. Every bottle of Limca and Goldspot packed into a yellow Thermocool cooler, and every packet of apple or orange Capri Sonne. Growing up, I thought her ‘wahala’—her penchant for fussing and worrying was too much. I didn’t know what it meant then, to be responsible for children.

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I’ll Never Look at My Kitchen the Same Way Again

In Our World, Before & After, we’re asking our favorite culture writers, cooks, and home/design experts to describe how life will be different after COVID-19—with essays on cooking and being at home, the new ways and foods we’ll eat, plus travel gu…

In Our World, Before & After, we're asking our favorite culture writers, cooks, and home/design experts to describe how life will be different after COVID-19—with essays on cooking and being at home, the new ways and foods we’ll eat, plus travel guides (both real and imagined).


I don’t think any of us ever imagined such long stretches of time in our homes. We are a peripatetic lot: We dash to the office, jump on the next flight, race to the market, take off to sporting events and create elaborate visits with friends and family. None of these, nor countless other activities, left too much time to stop and think about our homes, how they functioned, how they looked and, most especially, how we truly wanted to live in them!

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Life After Layoffs: How Empanadas Gave Me A Sense Of Belonging

When COVID-19 reached the United States, I was working full time as an in-house content writer for a company that was about to launch a credit card review website. I kept coming into work each day feeling secure that this pandemic surely wouldn’t affec…

When COVID-19 reached the United States, I was working full time as an in-house content writer for a company that was about to launch a credit card review website. I kept coming into work each day feeling secure that this pandemic surely wouldn’t affect the industry I worked in. It wasn’t long before human resources decided that I, along with other creative team members, were costing the company too much in the midst of this health crisis and dismissed us.

I drove home, thinking about what I was going to do. It felt as though something greater than myself took over, and I made a detour to my favorite Latino grocery store. I felt myself guided towards the ingredients I needed to make Peruvian-style empanadas: a cartload of red onions, a big hunk of beef eye round (what is referred to as “boliche”), butter, lard, ají amarillo chilies, cumin, and oregano. I loaded my trunk with the groceries, pulled out my phone, and announced to my social media followers that I had just gotten laid off and would be selling Peruvian empanadas that week.

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