From the category archives:

Holidays • Celebrations • Ceremonies

It’s Not the Heat . . .

05.05.2010
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IT’S THE BUTTERCREAM. If the one doesn’t sap your energy, the other will buzz you good. The two combined make for a melted mess. This pretty much sums up the past week for me, and gives a hint at my recent lapse in posting. That’s right, you can blame it on buttercream—that tooth-achingly sweet frosting [...]

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Kokkinopefti: Red Eggs and Koulouria

04.01.2010
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THE RED FALLS. In Greek you say Kokkinopefti, and this very literal, symbolic description serves as one popular name for the day, Holy Thursday. The red comes down, washing what it may. In this case, eggs for Easter.
In Greece on Great Thursday—what some call Maundy Thursday in English (and which, when I was little, I heard [...]

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In Praise of Tsoureki

03.30.2010
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IT HAS RISEN. It has risen indeed. And it’s damn good, if I say so myself.
Some background: the Greek in me simply does not consider it a proper Easter without a loaf of Tsoureki on the table. Pronounced “soo-REH-kee,” this festival bread is similar to challah with its sweet, eggy, cake-like charms. I have been [...]

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Mardi Gras Tradition: oreillettes à l’orange

02.15.2010
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Hey, wait! Where’s the recipe for Oreillettes à l’orange? Don’t worry, it’s only migrated to a new home on the Internet: www.acparker.com/blog

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Friendship Day Marshmallows

02.10.2010
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WHAT’S WRONG WITH KIDS celebrating Valentine’s Day? Despite having an adequately tuned radar when it comes to inclusive and “politically correct” language, I confess that I don’t understand the problem with using the term “Valentine’s Day” in elementary school. Maybe the taboo is particular to my son’s school; if not, then I guess it’s a [...]

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Crêpes Not Groundhogs

02.03.2010

YESTERDAY I WAS FRENCH. Double nationality is nice that way: you can opt in and out. Sort of. If not in all bureaucratic matters, then at least culturally. Certainly in terms of cuisine. Yesterday, the second day of February, provided the perfect opportunity for me to jump the American ship, don a beret (no, not [...]

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Epiphany: the Galette des Rois

01.05.2010

I ALWAYS ASSUMED that Christmas ended a minute past 11:59 on the night of December twenty-fifth. I grew up, probably like most American children, thinking that the Twelve Days of Christmas started in mid-December and built to a climax on the day we opened gifts and (not always) dragged ourselves out in the cold to [...]

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“Bonne Année” Du Puy Lentil Soup

12.29.2009

WE LAUGH ABOUT lentils, but it’s like laughing with them, not at them. We laugh because one year a box burst open in my mother-in-law’s luggage; we spent twenty minutes picking tiny green bits out of her sweaters, skirts, shoes, and undergarments, and even then I think some made it back home with her. For [...]

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“Blue Grey” Chocolate Truffles

12.27.2009

‘TWAS THE NIGHT before Christmas, and all through the house . . . Or at least in the kitchen, I was stirring up the scents of simmering cream, bittersweet chocolate, and black tea with bergamot.

It’s been four or five years since I last made these Earl Grey truffles. The recipe (which I will loosely describe [...]

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Irish Thanksgiving Mash-Up

11.13.2009

GUACAMOLE, YOU SAY? Some kind of curry salad? Let me give you a hint: see those spuds in the background? That’s right, you’re looking at a lovely bowl of spicy sweet potatoes, just in time for Thanksgiving. Although the orange color (lightened with cream) does not pop in the photo, you can see the green. That’s [...]

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Kolyva: Food for the Departed

01.05.2009
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SOMETIMES BEING PART of a multi-cultural family, I feel like a fraud no matter where I turn. I am, at best, half Greek. I am second-generation American and have no history with the Greek Orthodox Church, being raised nominally Presbyterian. In an Orthodox service—although now I’ve been to quite a few—I still hesitate and watch [...]

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