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We just took our winter clothes out of storage, and our apartment looks like it exploded. This is unsettling, mostly because I don't work well in messy environs. It's like having a persistent itch somewhere you can't scratch. This is also unsettling because I feel like we just got the place fairly organized and have taken a step backwards.

This time of year is always bittersweet for me. The change in the feel of the air, the clean, golden aura of the changing light--there's just something so beautiful and sad about autumn, and I can never quite shake a strange feeling of homesickness that I can only suppose is innate to my humanity. I think we all feel this way to a degree.

Beets are one of those foods that spark debate. As the saying goes, you either love them or you hate them, and I know both sorts of people. But I've also learned that it matters a great deal how you cook things. For instance, Brussels sprouts have come into vogue in recent years after the groundbreaking discovery that you don't have to boil them.

One of the toughest things about this job is staying inspired.

One would think this would be no problem in the age of blogging and Pinterest, food aggregator websites, and Feedly, but I think I've reached my personal saturation point with Internet media. I am no longer inspired. I'm just overwhelmed.

We've finally had our first "rain event" in Portland since moving here. We're all thinking about raincoats and galoshes and umbrellas and steeling ourselves for the months ahead. I also completely forgot that my winter clothes were in storage until just now.

We're all trying to be better these days about what we eat. Or if we're not trying, our better selves are thinking about it, or we at least know what we should be doing. One of the blessings and curses of the Information Age is that it's harder to be ignorant about things like that.

I first made a variation on this recipe several years ago, and, as many wonderful recipes begin their lives, this didn't start as a recipe of any sort. It started out as an attempt to use up some leftovers and things I had lying around. I call this the "I Really Don't Want To Go To The Grocery Store" method of cooking.

We're crossing over that great divide between summer and fall. Of course, judging from the heat wave we've been having the past few days, you'd never know it, but we're headed that way. Honest.


Joy of Cooking App for iPad and iPhone

After three years of collaborative effort with our friends at Culinate and Scribner, it is our pleasure to introduce the Joy of Cooking for iPad and iPhone! Please check out this full-featured, digital version of the 2006 edition. In addition to the recipes and indispensable reference information our readers know and love, the app has many features that are brand new to JOY:

  • Built-in recipe timers (you can have multiple timers going simultaneously)
  • Search for and filter recipes by key word, ingredient, cuisine, season, technique, diet, and more
  • Create shopping lists from within the app
  • Convert any recipe to metric automatically
  • Give voice commands or have recipe steps spoken to you
  • Create menus in the app
  • Share recipes from within the app
  • Color photography

Truly a JOY for the 21st century! Download by directing your browser to Don't forget to review the app!