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Something about summer makes me crave light, flavor-packed meals. Refreshing, satisfying, usually spicy. We plan to travel to the coast with friends of ours this weekend to harvest mussels and cook up a classic moules-frites—mussels steamed over garlic-herb-infused wine and served alongside crisp, salted fries.

We all pay a lot of lip service to the idea of "home." Images of well-made beds and flowers in vases. People eating together around a big table. But often, especially for people of my generation, home is fraught with complications.

Our gluttonous ramp-age continues as we scramble to exploit our last locally-foraged (and free!) crop of fresh ramps before moving to the Northwest. Ramps are traditionally served with ham, potatoes, eggs, or a combination thereof.

One of my favorite things about the Joy of Cooking, even way before I became part of the family and started working on the book, is that the recipes are always a great place to start. Say you want to make a chicken casserole, but with your own touches. All you really need to do is find the basic recipe in JOY, then improvise a little.

Sadly, this is the last spring we will be within foraging-distance of ramps. This is a total bummer, as store-bought ramps have skyrocketed in price ($24/pound in NYC). Needless to say, in between packing boxes we have been plotting how to make the best use of our last local ramp harvest.

It seems like folks are always searching for hassle-free implements for their very much hassled lives. Wrinkle-free clothes, dish detergent that also softens your hands, thermostats you can control away from home...

This has been one of the coolest, wettest springs on record in this area. We've had two good gully washers and a lot of small rain showers. The wildflowers rejoice. The trees, however, have been losing their footing.


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!