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recipes

In the process of editing the book for the next edition, there are always some recipes that end up on the chopping block. The trouble with exceedingly large cookbooks is that we often have to make hard choices--we want to update the book to reflect the way people eat now, but we don't want to throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.

Is it possible not to love a crunchy almond cookie tossed in powdered sugar? And, after thousands of years of refining various cuisines, honing cooking tools, and passing down culinary knowledge from one generation to the next, is it possible to forget everything else when in the presence of one of these cookies?

Over years of observing the food world’s seasonal rush to make staple holiday dishes into exotic novelties, perhaps the most riffed-upon is the humble potato pancake, or latke.

We all have slightly unrealistic expectations about parties. When we plan one, we imagine (at least I do) perfectly ironed vintage linens atop the table, a loaf of homemade rustic bread, delicious cheeses and charcuterie, and home-canned jams, pickles, and conserves.

I feel as if I grew up in the age of the scone. I remember when coffee shops started carrying them, and it was a great treat when my mother made them at home. Now, scones are old hat. Not that they are any less delicious. In fact, they may be more so now that many of us have actually gotten the hang of making them. But does the world really need another scone recipe?

When I bought my copy of JOY after graduating high school, let's just say my cooking priorities were a lot simpler. I was living in a singlewide trailer on top of a hill and working on a goat farm. After a quick breakfast, I would work long days and come home after dark, looking for nothing so much as a simple dinner, a shower, and my twin-sized mattress on the floor.

Having a viable website has resulted in a steady stream of emails from JOY fans. As a result, we've been able to gather some basic information about the people who visit our site. One surprising find is that we have a solid fan base in Canada. I don't know why I find this surprising, as our neighbors to the North undoubtedly have many things in common with us.

Every year, I stockpile cookie recipes. I scour blogs, cookbooks, and my relatives' recipe boxes for ideas. I flip through food magazines at the doctor's office and never pass up an opportunity to ogle the cookie selection at any bakery I set foot in.

This time of year, we find ourselves eating greens of one kind or another almost every day. Cabbage, bok choy, spinach, tatsoi, collards, swiss chard, mustard greens, and kale are just some of the greens vying for position in our crisper drawers.

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