Robyn Sargent’s job is a delicious one. In her “office,” a spacious test kitchen equipped with the latest baking pans and gadgets, Robyn bakes cinnamon rolls and pizza dough and cream puffs. She adjusts seasonings and ingredients until the final product tastes just right. And she gets paid to do this. I discovered King Arthur Baking this past holiday season. A lovely friend gave me a gift card for Christmas.
Amy Marsalis usually celebrates Valentine’s Day at home. She sets a beautiful table, while Keith, her husband of 20 years, prepares a delicious meal. If not for COVID, the couple, who love to welcome guests to their home, had debated a red-themed dinner for the holiday. They pictured bolognese, perhaps, maybe a red velvet cake, a tomato appetizer, and, of course, red wine.
We’re not big on going out on Valentine’s Day, but we try to make it a special night in. Besides, as a dear friend likes to say, “Every day is Valentine’s Day!” I’m not sure what’s on our menu yet, but we’ll cook a nice meal, pour some red wine, and set the table with candles and cloth napkins. If you’re cooking at home on Valentine’s Day, or any day,
To relax, some people turn to yoga or tennis or knitting. When Judith Little’s three children were young, she tucked them into bed at night, fired up her laptop, and wrote. A Houston lawyer by day, she “retreated into a world of characters who did what I wanted them to do,” she laughs. The pages of her first writing project, “a bad book she never finished,” lie buried under boxes
At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur, I once peddled Girl Scout cookies for 75 cents a box. They now sell for $4 and up. Agenia Clark, CEO of Girl Scouts of Middle Tennessee, laughed long and loud when I admitted this. But I won’t hold it against her. Thanks to the lovely Agenia, and the Girl Scout cookies she provided, our holiday household conducted a taste test last
Late last year, a college friend passed away. Other than at our sorority reunion—18 months ago, when she was still in good health—I hadn’t seen her in decades. But, thanks to email and texts and social media, we’d stayed in touch. And her death hit me hard. I still haven’t written a sympathy note to her husband. I’m at a loss for what to say to a man I know
I’m sure you’ve spotted Christine Han’s stunning photographs. You’ll see her work in glossy magazines, delectable cookbooks, and advertisements for Pepsi and Starbucks and Bose. Scroll through the pages of Cup of Jo or Apartment Therapy, and Christine’s photos will tell the story of a person or space.
Outdoor dining has screeched to a halt—at least in my part of the country. The holidays are over, the decorations are down, and it’s dark by 5:30. The cold, dreary months of January and February stretch before us. To combat the winter blues, my friend, Janet has developed a coping mechanism. Instead of grumbling about the short days and freezing temps, she adopts a positive attitude. “Hurray,” she says. “I
Do you eat a traditional meal on New Year’s Day? Around the world, foods served on the first day of the year symbolize luck, prosperity, and fertility. In Japan, noodles represent longevity. Italians serve dishes with lentils. Scandinavians dine on herring, and the people of Mexico eat grapes. And, as Judy Wright discovered when she moved to Nashville, Southerners sit down to collard greens, pork, and black-eyed peas. And this
Four years ago, we sold our big house in Texas and moved 800 miles away to a small home in Nashville. As we sorted through our belongings, and packed up our life in Houston, we donated, purged, consigned, and sold. I got rid of the dishes and linens and cookware and clothing I didn’t use or wear. All the stuff I didn’t like. But I saved—and transported to our new city— a