Sunday, January 27, 2008

For Sale: Vintage Cookbooks, Cookbooklets and Grandma's Kitchen Comfort

Bonnie Slotnick has a website, but she discourages her customers from using e-mail. She’d prefer to speak to them directly.

She rarely cooks in the compact kitchen of her circa-1892 New York apartment, yet each day, she is surrounded by nearly four thousand cookbooks.

What might appear to be curious contradictions in an era of web-based businesses and instant search results are quickly dispelled during a visit to Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks at 163 West Tenth Street in New York’s Greenwich Village. The experience is like a journey back in time.

It is a bitterly cold day in Manhattan, but a whimsical early-Valentine’s Day window display of red paper-doily hearts and cookbooks on food and love beckons visitors to enter the town house. Inside the narrow shop, tidy white shelves hold a plethora of cookbooks from floor to ceiling. Sections are neatly labeled according to categories – Regional Cooking, Children’s Cookbooks, Household Manuals, Holidays, Cocktail Guides, or James Beard. There is a smattering of antique kitchen gadgets and utensils and bric-a-brac throughout the shop.

Bonnie Slotnick is a slender, soft-spoken woman. Her words are underscored with fluid, graceful hand movements that convey a sense of gentle elegance. She describes her inventory as vintage cookbooks and ephemera, which is the word typically used for something short-lived and without lasting significance. Yet, she quickly clarifies that the term is really a misnomer in her mind when it comes to her collection.

She spent 16 years in cookbook publishing, and over time, honed her skills as a “book searcher,” someone adept at tracking down rare editions. She opened her New York store on West 10th Street just off of 7th Avenue South in 1997.

I have just finished a leisurely browse through the shop, and carry three treasures to the front desk – a 1928 edition of The Boston Cooking-School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer, a 1969 facsimile edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, and a book from the 1970s titled Recipes from America’s Restored Villages. I ask Bonnie if she recalls her first cookbook.

She removes a fragile pamphlet from a cubby hole at her desk. The red cover has faded over time. The title is Butternut Bread’s Interesting Collection of Good Ideas, a pamphlet from the “Here’s a Good Idea Radio Series.” There is no date on the pamphlet, but it is probably from the late 1950s or early 1960s. The name “Libby” is written in pencil at the top of the cover. It is her mother’s name, and Bonnie wrote it there as a child because it was her mother’s book. Inside is a checklist of household tips organized according to iconic homespun green illustrations. She remembers being captivated by the book, and particularly the illustrations, as a child. When she discovered it again in a drawer as she was preparing to sell her parent’s house, it immediately evoked “the most comforting, wonderful nostalgic things.”

I mention my favorite book from childhood, Betty Crocker’s New Boy’s and Girls Cookbook. “That’s the one with yellow stripes,” she notes immediately.

Bonnie personally tends to gravitate towards 19th century American and English cookbooks of the period 1850 to 1950 – “books without dust jackets.” She points out that as she began to collect, she wasn’t necessarily doing so for the recipes. “I love reading the recipes, but in the period that attracts me, the recipes aren’t all that attractive.” Indeed, she notes that most cookbooks of that period advocated the systematic overcooking of vegetables.

While she does enjoy baking, her attraction to cookbooks amounts to something more. “I’ve always been nostalgic, even when I was very little,” she notes. “They kind of take me away. It seems like a gentler time.” The aura of vintage cookbooks even extends to the language. “The word grand is one I miss. It was used a lot in early food writing.”

While she does stock some volumes by celebrity authors, she is not enamored of the current celebrity chef obsession. “The celebrity chef, I cut off at Julia Child.”

I ask her if she knows the answer to my father’s favorite question – “Why are so many of us are addicted to cookbooks?” She smiles, and talks about how people are drawn to cookbooks for different reasons. One might buy a modern cookbook for a specific recipe, while someone else will buy a vintage cookbook because of the memories they inspire.

What is it that draws her customers to her collection? “They like where the books take them. Maybe an older book takes them back to their grandmother’s kitchen.” In a large, often impersonal city like New York those kinds of associations can be important. “They [vintage cookbooks] represent some kind of comfort and security,” Bonnie responds.

“Cookbooks tell you about the one universal aspect of human beings. They eat.”
Bonnie recommends taking pictures of your cookbooks, especially if you have a large collection. She talks about customers who have lost significant collections in fires, and have then had difficulty reconstructing their collections from memory.

She shows me a lower shelf lined with boxes that are stuffed with food company promotional cookbooks. “My friend calls these cookbooklets,” she laughs. She opens a box that contains dozens, ranging from Chocolate to Cheese. She is quite taken by the evocative illustrations and photography. The small booklets seem to carry a Proust-like ability to conjure up sentimental memories for her.

She pulls out a first edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, priced at $250, and places it on the desk. The gilded lettering on the spine is faded. I feel a sense of awe. I’m almost afraid to touch it. “Go ahead,” she encourages. “That book has been taped together so many times.”

As we conclude our conversation, two women are preparing to leave the shop. They have not made a single purchase, but they are clearly delighted. “It’s just so much fun in here,” one woman enthuses.

Upon hearing the comment, Bonnie gives me a contented smile. That is exactly the reason she collects cookbooks.

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A Birthday Bite of the Big Apple

Monday, January 21, 2008

Today, I am another year older. The birthdays seem to come faster now.

There are certain inevitable truths about my birthday. Sometimes it falls on a holiday, and everyone gets the day off. Hurray! If it doesn’t fall on a holiday, I take the day off anyway and dream up an adventure just for me. Either way I win.

Other birthday truths – it is certainly going to be cold, as anyone born is January is forced to reconcile. You rarely celebrate with a backyard barbecue. If the sky is clear, the moon is usually nearly full, something I have always considered a celestial celebration of me. Finally, my birthday celebration, whether it lasts one day or a week, will most certainly involve food.

A prior plan to fly south for the long holiday weekend has been scuttled by a pesky sinus infection, but I am nothing if not resilient, especially at my age. So I cook up an alternative escapade – an epicurean expedition through various neighborhoods of Manhattan – a chef’s tasting menu of the best that New York has to offer.

I am bundled tight as I trot along East 86th Street towards 5th Avenue. Central Park is visible just ahead. I turn into Café Sabarsky at 1048 Fifth Avenue. It is part of the Neue Galerie which contains 20th Century German and Viennese art.

The café is in the style of a Viennese coffee establishment. I slide into a booth with a white marble table and a red and gold velvet upholstered banquette. I order espresso with hot milk and foam, or Wiener Melange. The steaming, caramel-colored drink is delivered on a silver tray.

My breakfast entrée is Klimttorte, a traditional chocolate and hazelnut confection (pictured above). The cake – a Viennese Waltz of delicate chocolate and nutty layers – is finished with a regal accent of gold leaf.

Several hours are spent at the Metropolitan Museum of Art viewing everything from Van Gogh’s “Wheatfield with Cypresses,” the new Galleries for Oceanic Art, and a jewel-box-of-an-exhibit of timepieces called the “Art of Time” which is a slightly sobering experience on one’s birthday.

As the afternoon marches on, I head downtown to Greenwich Village. The guide books tell me that Greenwich Village was once a “country village.” The maze of narrow streets mimics the boundaries of small farms and streams of centuries ago.

McNulty’s Tea and Coffee is at 109 Christopher Street. The shop opened in 1895. At that time, the location was just about on the banks of the Hudson River. Tea and coffee were unloaded at the docks and sold at McNulty’s. Inside, there is an ancient tin ceiling and rustic bins of coffee and tea. I am torn between several options, and inquire about the difference between Delmonico, Turkish and Viennese-style coffees. The man behind the counter explains that the coffees are listed from mild to strong, with Viennese being the most robust. He tells me that McNulty’s once supplied coffee to the famous New York restaurant Delmonico’s, hence the name of the coffee at the top of the list. That’s enough to convince me to buy a pound of the coffee.

On 163 West Tenth Street, I enter Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks. Bonnie is a dealer in vintage cookbooks, and her warm and comfortably-decorated narrow shop is stocked from floor to ceiling with every conceivable cookery book, the collection numbering nearly four thousand. Specialties include cookbooks on American regional cooking, children’s cookbooks and housekeeping manuals. I locate a facsimile of Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, and an early edition of the Boston Cooking School Cookbook by Fannie Farmer. Bonnie and I have a long chat about cookbooks and the people who love them, which will be the subject of an upcoming post.

The sun is starting to set as I approach Murray’s Cheese at 257 Bleecker Street. In fact, the store is bathed is a golden haze. But, maybe that’s the warmth radiating from within. Murray’s has operated at several locations in Greenwich Village since 1940, and was originally opened by Murray Greenberg, an Eastern European immigrant who operated a wholesale butter and egg shop. The current owner, Rob Kaufelt bought the shop in 1991. There is a long glass display counter generously stocked with wheels of cheese from upstate and across the world. I don’t know where to begin.

Jonathan, an affable staff member wearing a red ball cap and wire rimmed glasses, asks me if I’d like a sample – “Just pick anything,” he advises. Jonathan takes me on a vigorous run up and down the cheese case sampling exquisite slivers of cheese that warm me to the bone. When we are done, he has introduced me to Goat Tomme from Twig Farm in Middlebury, Vermont (described as “fudgy”), Meadow Creek Grayson, a washed rind cheese made from raw Jersey cow milk, Gres Des Vosses, a cousin of Munster with a “barnyard aroma” and a creamy and potent Cashel Blue from Ireland. Jonathan wraps each of my prizes in gold and white Murray’s paper, and places them in a small wooden box that I take to the checkout counter.

It is dark and frigid when I arrive at the restaurant Blue Hill at 75 Washington Place. Supper is spent dining at the bar, where Rocky the bartender is the master of ceremonies, entertaining a group of Monday night regulars.

Rocky is a powerfully-built gentleman with a welcoming smile who bears a resemblance to the actor Lou Gossett Jr. in his prime. Blue Hill is Chef Dan Barber’s restaurant, set in a Greenwich Village townhouse, where the meat and organic vegetables are shipped in daily from Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York. Chef Barber is one of New York’s leading proponents of the locally-grown movement.

Inside Blue Hill it is toasty. Rocky’s cohorts around the bar include Tamara, an opera singer, wine purveyor and ringleader of a weekend supper club, and Warren and Ally, a young couple from the neighborhood.

My appetizer is This Morning’s Farm Egg, Foraged Mushrooms, and Stone Barns Greens, Lettuce and Herb Broth, served with a spicy Pinot Noir from Ayers Vineyard in Willamette Valley, Oregon. The fresh poached egg nearly melts over the haystack of warm greens and broth. My entrée is Stone Barns Berkshire Pork. A waiter brings the hot plate to the bar and says, “You are the proud owner of this beautiful pork chop.” It is indeed gorgeous – a glistening chop with a Frenched bone, sitting atop a dark, glossy reduction of cranberries and root vegetables.

In between, Rocky serves up his homemade version of an apple martini, a powerful concoction that suggests liquid apple pie in a cocktail glass.

Rocky doesn’t quite approve of my choice of Apple Cobbler for dessert, and instead recommends the Chocolate Bread Pudding with Chocolate Sauce and Vanilla Ice Cream. Warren heartily endorses the idea. “If you don’t like it, I’ll finish it,” he offers.

He doesn’t have to.

After dinner, I make one more stop, even thought the night temperature has dropped considerably. I walk briskly to Magnolia Bakery on 401 Bleecker Street, home of some of the best-loved cupcakes in New York. Veronica has recently reminded me how we had wandered aimlessly last summer in search of the shop. This time I’m taking no chances and I’ve brought a map. Standing outside on the street, I nearly talk myself out of a purchase. After all, that bread pudding that Rocky insisted I eat was pretty filling. But then, those red velvet cupcakes in the window call to me. “It’s your birthday, T.W.,” they chant. “You must have cupcakes!”

I squeeze my way into the tiny shop, take a piece of wax paper and select four cupcakes which I place in a white cardboard box. The young man at the counter barely looks up, but slaps cellophane tape on the box to keep the lid secure, and takes my money.

Nothing frothy or saccharine. Just cupcakes to go.

I take the cupcakes home, and they are a fitting culmination to the day.

If there is any insight to my birthday story, it is this – all over New York, and in every town, there are people just waiting for you so they can share the best that life has to offer. Take them up on it. You won’t be sorry. It will taste good!

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Breakfast at Fisherman’s Wharf

The streets are deserted. I’m conscious of a solitary jogger, an occasional dock worker, and a cold, salty breeze buffeting me off of the San Francisco Bay. A sea gull dips in my path. Del Monte Square, part of the historic Cannery Row, is still asleep.

I need to get some breakfast before the day of meetings begins.

Along Fisherman’s Grotto – a sequence of stalls and restaurants offering the victuals of the sea – plump, gangling crabs sit on ice, and proprietors prepare dozens of bulging lump crab sandwiches for the tourists.

A few steps down the road, I stop to gaze in the window of the Boudin Bakery.

Boudin invented San Francisco Sourdough bread in 1849. There are stacks of crispy golden bread that would make a fine breakfast. There is even a loaf in the shape of a crab.

The crusty crustacean is tempting, but bread for breakfast seems so, traditional. Between the chill in the air and the romantic feel of the wharf I think – Why not go for the real thing? So I turn on my heels and head back towards Fisherman’s Grotto to Guardino’s where I order up a piping hot cup of clam chowder.

The thick, chunky stew is deliciously creamy and loaded with lumps of briny clams. There is a hint of pepper, and I sense of splash of sherry. I stand on the wharf and devour it, a lone seagull my only dining companion.

By land or by sea, breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day.

© 2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Cupcakes and The Child Within

I’m going to be an uncle again!

That means many reasons to celebrate. It’s some time since I’ve been a new uncle. My nephews Doug and Dave are 21 and 18 respectively. John and Ramiza’s baby will be a much-loved addition to our family, so as they pass through New York returning to their home abroad, we plan an impromptu baby shower, just to make their suitcases a little heavier.

My assignment is dessert, and what better way to celebrate the impending arrival of a little one then to bake a batch of little cakes, or cupcakes? The classic cupcake recipe from the Magnolia Bakery in Greenwich Village is the obvious choice. When John and Ramiza lived in New York, we would often head there for celebrations that required fluffy pastel cupcakes. It wasn’t hard to find a reason!

Admittedly, I’ve never thought much about where this ubiquitous petite celebratory treat first came from. My impulse is usually to eat! But a quick inquiry is almost as eye-popping as a dash of rainbow-colored sprinkles. According to the “Oxford Companion to Food” by Alan Davidson, the name emerged in the 19th century in Britain and North America. The phrase could be similar to “Pound Cake,” which indicated the weight and measurement of ingredients, and might have originally referred to cake recipes made with a one cup measure that produced a single, large cake. Each ingredient was measured by the cup-full. The Food Timeline says there are old cookbooks with recipes for individual confections baked in small cups, teacups or small clay baking pans. The Queen Cake is a recipe that was sometimes prepared as individual cakes. Eventually, our grown-up need for time-management, efficiency and feeding large crowds probably led to the invention of the twelve-portion cupcake baking sheet.

Cupcakes produce a whipping frenzy, and my KitchenAid mixer is set on high speed. It is a little like adult play time. I beat butter, eggs and sugar into frothy mountains. The food coloring swirls into the butter cream icing, creating widening concentric circles of Robin’s egg blue and pale pink color.

The effect is hypnotic, and I am transported to a faraway time and place that is defined by vibrant Play-Doh, bright scraps of construction paper, party balloons and paper mache. It is a time when birthday cupcakes were brought to elementary school in Tupperware to share with classmates. The method of consumption was instinctive – lick off all the frosting first, and then decide if you will eat the cupcake!

Greedily, I lick the spatula, and my tongue is tinted shades of deep blue and shocking pink. Confectioners sugar floats in the air and nonpareils “ping” across the kitchen counter, with only some gripping to the peaks of frosting. The project consumes the morning, and I am completely captivated as grown-up issues fade away, if only for a brief time.

Ramiza’s eyes widen as I bring the Tupperware carrier into the house. We stack the cupcakes high and each of us eagerly waits for the moment when we can snatch our favorite color and take a bite. And the child within, kicks with delight.

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Stew, Slow and Simple

It doesn’t take a particularly logical train of thought to get me started on a new cooking project. But, it is often a complicated path. Here’s a typical chain of events:

  • I’m sitting in a hotel in Middlebury, Vermont last weekend drinking coffee and watching Tyler Florence on the Food Network. He’s whipping up his “ultimate” version of coq au vin. He adds an entire bottle of red wine to chicken and pearl onions that is simmering in a glossy-red Dutch oven. I’m intrigued, but it’s only breakfast time.
  • On New Year’s Day, I note that I’ve still got a couple of coupons left for that department store whose name begins with an “M.” I check the web site and discover a kick-ass sale of kitchenware by the Doyenne of Domesticity – whose name begins with “M” – including fifty-percent-off a shiny, fire-engine red Dutch oven. Before the New Year is several hours old, I am the proud owner of a Dutch oven, and I’ve saved a bundle. Not a bad way to start off 2008.
  • On Thursday, I’m giving serious thought to how I will use that last remaining bottle of delicious Bordeaux from Christmas Day.
  • On Saturday morning, I’m lounging in bed. I think I’ve finally licked my chronic sleeping issues. All it took was a rather pricy purchase of a 1-inch thick foam mat that now sits atop my regular mattress. I’m feeling well-rested, and just a little lazy. Since I’m usually thinking about food, the question rolls through my head, “What shall I cook this weekend? Maybe something simple and slow in the Dutch oven? Something easy that cooks on its own?” I wonder where I might research more about braising and stew and I remember “The Art of Simple Food” by Alice Waters, which sits in the kitchen, but I’ve not had a chance to read. Sure enough, there is a section on braising and stews and an inviting recipe for Beef Stew. One week into this journey, it’s beginning to feel like destiny.

  • About half of the morning is spent at Whole Foods, shopping for the best ingredients I can find. I think I blow a week’s worth of grocery money, but the chunks of boneless beef chuck look good enough to grace the cover of Saveur magazine. I season the beef with salt and pepper and put it into the refrigerator, ready to hit the ground running on Sunday, creating a classic beef stew.

    Sounds simple, right?
Along the way, I’ve hit a slight snag. The truth is, I’m a bit of a novice with Dutch ovens, and the optimal cooking techniques. Braise or stew? Which is it?

“The Elements of Cooking” by Michael Ruhlman offers some basics on braising. He calls it a “combination cooking method” of dry heat, in which meat is seared in very hot fat, followed by moist heat, where the meat is simmered in liquid at a very low temperature, but never a boil. Braising works well with cuts of meat that that contain connective tissue, which breaks down during the cooking process and thickens the sauce. Stew, on the other hand, is primarily the moist heat method, but the meat is cut into smaller pieces, a greater amount of liquid is used, and you don’t always sear the meat, although it will boost the flavor if you do. The Dutch oven is constructed of cast iron, so it conducts heat evenly and the tight-fitting lid keeps steam from escaping so the long, slow cooking method results in tender meat and luscious thick sauce.
There appears to be some controversy over techniques. Harold McGee is on record that the optimal braise starts at a temperature of 200 degrees F and is increased to 250 degrees F after two hours. Other’s suggest higher temperatures.

This is all becoming complicated, so I stick to Alice Waters’ directions. The beef stew recipe looks a bit like a cross between a braise and a stew. She recommends beef chuck because the connective tissue and fat offers more flavor.

First, bacon is browned in a pan. Then, the chunks of beef are browned in the bacon fat.

Aromatic vegetables – onions, carrots, and thyme, savory and parsley – are then browned just slightly before being added to the meat in the Dutch oven. The pan drippings are deglazed with brandy and the Bordeaux. Organic fire-roasted tomatoes, chopped garlic and beef stock are added to the pot along with the wine reduction.

Essentially what I’ve done is layered one flavor on top of another. The mixture is topped with a long strip of orange zest. I particularly like the fact that I can cover the pot and place it untouched and unattended in a 325 degree F oven for three hours.

The method is sheer simplicity, and the aroma is sheer torture. I keep glancing at the clock to see how soon it is until dinner. The house is fragrant with savory meat, rich wine, herbs, garlic and citrus. I’m about to loose my mind, and my appetite is on a rampage.

Time is up, and I open the lid. The odyssey of braising, stews and a lip-stick red Dutch oven in search of a home is complete. Simple, however, is a misnomer.

The mahogany sauce looks like satin, and the onions have practically melted. The beef is succulent and smoky, the carrots tender, and the orange zest adds a sweet, fresh note. The stew … uh, braise … is served atop toasted bread rubbed with garlic. Who needs fussy, complicated cuisine?

The best part is the leftovers. I can almost bet the beef stew will taste even better tomorrow, and I won’t have to cook for several days.

What could be simpler?

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

A Taste of Honey

My cousin Patti married her honey Paul Crosby in Middlebury, Vermont during the Christmas holidays.

You might think I’m being an incurable romantic by using such a term. It was, indeed, an enchanted winter’s eve wedding, but the description is no exaggeration when it comes to Paul. Among his many interests, this Renaissance man makes cheese, keeps bees and collects his own honey.

We are standing in Patti and Paul’s warm and inviting country kitchen at the day-after-wedding brunch. Paul hands me a jar of honey labeled “Pure Honey by Crosby’s Bees.”

Paul pursues the production of a culinary ingredient that is legendary. In ancient days, honey was considered “the food of the gods.” While we may think of it as a common sweetener, it is technically water, glucose, fructose, pollen and wax, produced by bees from nectar and stored for food in hives. Honey bees are important to the ecosystem. Their process of pollination is responsible for a significant percent of the food that U.S. consumers eat, but the bee population is declining, which has alarmed some scientists.

I sense a story, and begin to pump Paul for details. How did he get interested in bees and honey? “When I was young, I was afraid of bees,” he admits, but now he spends hours tending the hives. He owns two hives that are the dwelling to approximately 40,000 bees each. The hives sit on his wooded property near Fern Lake in Vermont.

Paul is buzzing with facts about bees and honey. “It takes 2 million visits to flowers to produce one teaspoon of honey,” he tells me. Paul collected 70 pounds of honey last year, and my math-deficient brain can’t begin to calculate the number of floral visits that amount of honey required. He tells me the end product could have come from more than 200 different varieties of flowers.

According to Paul, glass packaging is preferred to show off the true color of the product.
He explains that store-bought honey is blended from many sources, but he simply scrapes the residue off a frame that is built into the hive, and strains the honey into a bucket.

We talk about the flavors in home-grown honey. Paul explains that honey will reflect regional flavors depending on what types of vegetation the bees visit. Honey from California might taste of almonds and orange blossoms. Paul describes his honey as characteristic of the flora of Vermont with notes of apples and clover.

Of course, as a baker and chef, I’m curious about the culinary applications. What’s Paul’s favorite recipe using honey and how does one best enjoy the flavors of honey collected at home? “Use it in its natural state,” Paul recommends. “That way, you can savor the flavor.”

He tells me that heat and baking can actually alter the chemistry of honey. In order to best experience the flavor, he suggests using it in salad dressings, honey butter, or tossed with cooked baby carrots.

Back home in New York, I look at the jar of “Pure Honey by Crosby’s Bees” and I’m still thinking about Paul’s evocative description of the flavor of his honey. I’m usually not one for eating straight out of the jar, but I indulge in a first. I get myself a tablespoon and drizzle a sunny-yellow liquid pool into the bowl at the end of the long handle. The honey is a luminescent gold, almost transparent. I pour it onto my tongue. It is smooth and silky -- barely sticky -- with a mellow sweetness that is not at all cloying. There are complex layers of flavors. I taste fresh-cut grass and clover, delicate floral blossoms and the crisp, clean taste of green apples. I lick the spoon. It’s like taking a taste of a warm, breezy Vermont summer afternoon.

It will take you just a few minutes to whip up a batch of Honey Butter, which tastes luscious on nutty whole wheat bread.

Honey Butter

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 tablespoon honey

Place butter and honey in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until just combined.

Pack the honey butter into a crock and refrigerate, or transfer to a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Roll into a one-inch log and refrigerate.

I think it is fitting to celebrate honey at the start of 2008 and to think of its many practical applications in the kitchen and in life. As Ben Franklin wrote in Poor Richard’s Almanac, “Tart words make no friends: a spoonful of honey will catch more flies than a Gallon of Vinegar.”

©2008 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved