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I’m not sure why, but somehow shanks have become very special. Of course, most of the credit goes to Osso Bucco… marrow from the cross-cut bone and creamy, saffron-scented risotto comes standard. Who are we to complain?

If I could describe this summer with one word, it would be "parched." This is my third summer living in western Oregon, and while my family and friends back east seem to think it rains constantly, I've learned that Oregon summers are remarkably dry. Everything is brown and...crispy.

When I left home the winter of my junior year in college to study abroad, I don't think I could've been more ready. I had a yearning bordering on obsession to go beyond what I knew. And go I did. I lived with a French family in their attic apartment for six months. I went to classes with French students. I traveled around France and Germany and the Netherlands.

When you live without air conditioning, you learn to embrace the heat.

There are tactics for coping--always having a bottle of rosé in the fridge, keeping the ice cube trays full, or following the cat's lead and lying prone on the tiled bathroom floor (and trying not to think about how clean said bathroom floor actually is). You can also keep the heat down by not cooking.

As we get deeper into the process of writing the next edition of the cookbook, we find it difficult to think about anything else. We wake up in the morning and start talking about marination techniques and fall asleep with visions of chocolate chip cookies dancing in our heads. It's a little strange.

So it’s Memorial Day, which means it’s okay to talk about lobster rolls. Lobsters are available year-round, alive, throughout the United States. So why does summer get all of the lobster roll action? We think any time is the best time for gratuitous lobster consumption, wallet-permitting. Tax refunds come in spring, after all!

I find that when I'm trying to write recipes for our website, I'm conflicted about what to do. It's not that I don't have lots of ideas. It's that I'm never sure whether to be creative and spontaneous or traditional.

I have a startling confession to make. We don't plan our meals.

At the moment, we're in the editorial phase of sketching out the next edition of the book, and while we are maintaining the blog and doing a little bit of recipe testing and development, we're mostly in a pattern of just cooking what sounds good at the moment, using ingredients we get at the farmer's market.

March has been all over the place here in the Pacific Northwest... sunshine, showers, sun-showers, wind, humidity, short-sleeve days and bone-chillers. What to cook? Dainty aspargus dishes are a few weeks away and a winter stew or braise seems as appropriate as anything.


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!