• Posted by Califia Suntree on September 25th, 2011, 9:42 AM

    On Friday morning, I opened the door at 7 am to get the newspaper, looked around and said, “It’s different today.” Checking the calendar, lo and behold, it was the first day of fall. Sweet corn and barbecues aside, autumn is the best season for cooks. (All those food-based holidays…) Get your table ready with some of the Spooning Shop‘s fall-themed vintage kitchenware! From Thanksgiving-ready Pyrex to dinner sets and linens, you are sure to find something that inspires a cozy feast.

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on April 15th, 2011, 8:35 AM

    Lightweight as it is, matzo is freighted with significance—it symbolizes the flight of the ancient Israelites from slavery in Egypt, and the resourcefulness of the ancient Israelite women in the face of deprivation. But, as Tel-Aviv based food writer Phyllis Glazer explains in her article in this week’s LA Times, it is also the core of Passover cuisine, since all leavened foods are prohibited during the holiday. But matzo is not the world’s tastiest food, meaningful as it is; Glazer’s ingenious modern-meets-ancient solution to this flavor quandry is nuts. Literally nuts, not meshuggenah nuts. Her seder recipes include roasted asparagus with hazelnuts and currents, walnut-stuffed eggplant rolls, and a chocolate-pecan fudge cake.

    I’ve had the great fortune over the past decade or so to celebrate Passover with Miriyam Glazer—Phyllis’ sister and co-author of the excellent cookbook The Essential Book of Jewish Festival Cooking. This year, I’m hoping, the seder is going to be nuttier than usual.

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  • Posted by Califia Suntree on December 17th, 2010, 2:54 PM

    It’s now one week to Christmas, so if you don’t already have your gifts squared away you are officially “behind.” According to the National Retail Federation, a mere 16.9% of holiday shoppers have not yet begun the process. Funny, I thought everyone was like me and didn’t think about Christmas until it was breathing down our necks…Who knew Americans were such go-getters? The NRF also reports that the average Christmas celebrant will spend $689 on the holidays, roughly $485 of which is on gifts. Who knew Americans were such spendthrifts? OK, everyone knew that.

    That kind of spending strikes me as unnecessary. Even if you don’t have the time or inclination to handmake things for everyone on your list, you can certainly reduce your spending by supplementing the gizmos, pajamas, and tchochkes with tasty edibles. One of the gifts I remember most vividly from Xmas ’09 is an addictively delicious white chocolate-walnut-Chex candy that my aunt Peggy made (see recipe below). I ate the whole bag so fast I’m surprised I didn’t go into insulin shock, and I can feel the joy to this very day. Read on… »

  • Posted by Califia Suntree on November 24th, 2010, 8:53 AM

    Happy day-before-Thanksgiving, America’s biggest grocery shopping/travel torture day! We should start calling it Black Wednesday, shouldn’t we? For everyone’s mood? Anyway, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays in part because it’s secular and specific to our country—as a nonreligious person, it’s nice to feel part of something—and in part because it’s all about cooking and eating. (OK, and family and gratitude and la la la.) As everyone heads out to shop for tomorrow’s dinner, here are some tips to keep you from breaking the bank and still feed your loved ones to the point of near coma, like the Pilgrims intended: Read on… »

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