A Fractured Relationship—& the Kebab That Filled the Cracks

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.

Some of my most visceral childhood memories involve going to the butcher’s market wit…

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.


Some of my most visceral childhood memories involve going to the butcher’s market with my father—dozens of nearly identical shops, each no larger than a service elevator, tightly stacked up against one another like a deck of cards. These excursions usually followed Sunday prayers at our local gurdwara, the beating heart of a bustling Delhi bazaar. Around us, processions of herders displayed their livestock like prized show horses. Lilies curled and crisped under the hot Indian sun. A pack of parched stray dogs found relief in an unlatched water tanker. I would grip my father’s hand tight as the butcher’s blade sliced through the lamb’s neck like butter, wincing at the blood and sinew.

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19 of Our Team’s Absolute Worst Rental Stories

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life re…

Rent Like You Mean It is a series all about giving our rental spaces a new lease. We’ve rounded up a whole host of refreshing spruce-ups (and cover-ups), impactful DIYs (plus how to get them back to square one when you leave), and peeks at real-life rental transformations. Because a lease should never stop you from having a space that feels like yours—even if it’s only for a year.


Listen, it’s a tough rental world out there. Between callous management companies, unfair laws, and (at best) apathetic landlords, it can often feel like no one’s on your side. As anyone who’s ever rented can tell you, there’s always a grievance—something broke and didn’t get fixed, pests never got fully exterminated, noisy neighbors were never reprimanded, and so on. And while owning a home certainly has its own drawbacks (um, you have to take care of the entire thing… all the time), renting a place to live often feels like the most helpless thing you can do, since basically every decision is up to your land(over)lord.

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The Power of Self-Publishing in Food Media

At the beginning of 2020, Alicia Kennedy saw her freelance income evaporate almost overnight: An anchoring contributing editor job was discontinued, and her wages at a contributing writer position were reduced. She had been toying with the idea of star…

At the beginning of 2020, Alicia Kennedy saw her freelance income evaporate almost overnight: An anchoring contributing editor job was discontinued, and her wages at a contributing writer position were reduced. She had been toying with the idea of starting a newsletter—one that might offer readers something more substantial than an abandoned TinyLetter newsletter she enjoyed years back. So she began writing From the Desk of Alicia Kennedy, her weekly dispatch on food, politics, media, and other musings, and less than one year later, the newsletter is second-most popular in the food category on the publishing platform Substack. With around 1,700 paid subscribers (and another 13,000 who opt for the free version), it has become Kennedy’s main source of income.

As more food writers and recipe developers become fed up with traditional outlets, both food media "celebrities" (those with highly bankable followings in the hundreds of thousands) and freelancers like Kennedy, who felt there were too few opportunities for her work, are finding success in publishing content in newsletters and through other independent channels. Kennedy, whose newsletter often covers climate change and labor practices, was finding many outlets felt this work "complicated" or politicized the conversation around food: "I felt like I couldn’t say anything of any significance in them," she said in a phone interview recently.

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My Mom Has Always Foraged—A Year Into the Pandemic, I Understand Why

“Did you eat your ginkgo nuts today?” My mom’s anxious, familiar refrain turned in my head even after we spoke. The next morning, I investigated my crowded freezer, where she stashes said ginkgo nuts. The bag was still full.

The first thing my omma do…

"Did you eat your ginkgo nuts today?" My mom’s anxious, familiar refrain turned in my head even after we spoke. The next morning, I investigated my crowded freezer, where she stashes said ginkgo nuts. The bag was still full.

The first thing my omma does upon arriving at my home (we don’t live together, but are in a "pod") is open my fridge and freezer. Like a discerning chef, she wants to know which of the ingredients and home-cooked dishes she brought over last time I actually ate, and which I didn’t. Today, she’s disappointed. She puts the bag back in the freezer and peers up at me accusingly. "You didn’t eat any ginkgos," she says, her voice heavy with the kind of disappointment that non-Korean parents likely reserve for kids who’ve hosted a kegger while they were out of town. "Ginkgo nuts make your blood circulate and memory sharp," she reminds me.

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The Legendary Story of Thangam Philip: Food Scientist, Nutritionist, Chef & Mentor

Thangam Philip has crosshatched my life in the most curious ways. My uncle studied catering under her (very) stern supervision. My mother once took a class at the Dadar Catering College, where Philip reigned as principal—in fact, we still have a stack …

Thangam Philip has crosshatched my life in the most curious ways. My uncle studied catering under her (very) stern supervision. My mother once took a class at the Dadar Catering College, where Philip reigned as principal—in fact, we still have a stack of her recipes, typed on sheaves of yellowed, raspy pages, all carefully filed away in a blue plastic folder. As for me: I own newer, glossier, books on baking, but it is The Thangam Philip Book of Baking, with its infallible madeleine and sponge recipes, that I unfailingly turn to.

Whichever way you spin it, Philip was a food legend.

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A Beloved Syrian Dessert & the Inheritance of Loss

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.

Back in early February, before the world as we knew it changed, I hosted 20 people at…

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.


Back in early February, before the world as we knew it changed, I hosted 20 people at my home in Chicago. Crowding around a dining table packed to the edges with my favorite Syrian Jewish dishes, we ate and talked about the Syrian war. It was a benefit luncheon I was hosting to raise money for displaced people of the nearly 10-year old conflict that has, for most of its duration, been a blip on the map of global crises.

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The Quarantine Hobby That Got Me Through the Year

I don’t think I’m alone when I say 2020 has been hard.

As someone diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, my thoughts are prone to excessive worry even in typical, pandemic-free years. So when I lost my job due to COVID-19, watched case numbers r…

I don’t think I’m alone when I say 2020 has been hard.

As someone diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, my thoughts are prone to excessive worry even in typical, pandemic-free years. So when I lost my job due to COVID-19, watched case numbers rise, and compulsively followed every development of the election, this year served me a layer-cake of anxiety on a silver platter.

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Fresh Tarragon and Its 9 Best Uses

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.
Today: All this month we’ll be stocking up on fresh herbs to get our spring fix. Next up, tarragon. Read More >>

Every week we get Down & Dirty, in which we break down our favorite unique seasonal fruits, vegetables, and more.

Today: All this month we'll be stocking up on fresh herbs to get our spring fix. Next up, tarragon.

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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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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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