The Price of a Meal

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Someone who’s part of my inner circle is working on a novel. He made a richly detailed first draft and is engaged in getting feedback from a few trusted friends. Two early readers of his book commented the story had too many references to food. One even suggested … Read more

My Quarantine Smells Like Jasmine Rice

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Scents that jolt our memories are important because we rarely smell them anymore. Think about that for a moment. I can still summon the soothing aroma of the Nivea lotion I used during my sixteenth summer. And the piquantly fruity smell of Haribo Gummi Bears, my favorite snack … Read more

Plum Passion

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. In Maryland, strawberries mean spring, and peaches and plums mean summer. These aren’t the only fruits that prosper due to our excellent fruit-growing climate, but they are ones that are truly ravishing and worth only eating in season. I feel especially passionate about plums this summer. They are … Read more

When Food is a Character

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. There’s a poignant food moment during Made in Heaven, the gorgeous Amazon drama set in New Delhi, that makes me hungry remembering it. Tara, the show’s beautiful and troubled heroine, is alone at night when she buys a snack called golgappas from a street vendor. Golgappas are mini puris stuffed … Read more

How to Feed a Writer

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. M.F.K. Fisher, the great American food writer, once stated:”A writing cook and a cooking writer must be bold at the desk as well as the stove.” In the 1930s and ’40s, when Mary Frances began her concurrent explorations of cooking and writing, most writers did not cook, probably … Read more

Milano, Milano!

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. I send greetings from the north of Italy, where Christmas lights are twinkling and it’s time to buy panettone. It was a grand surprise a few months ago, when my Italian publisher, Neri Pozza, share an invitation to be a literary guest at Festival In Noir, an international … Read more

A Mushrooming Obsession

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. After we had a dead elm tree cut down last year, little white mushrooms sprang up on the wood-flecked ground.  I was nervous because we had just taken in a Yorkshire Terrier puppy with an appreciation for organic material. Daisy snuffles up berries, pods, pinecones and black walnuts … Read more

Nuts to Christmas

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. Mixed families often double their holidays. Which means the culinary options are rather excellent. Take Christmas. I grew up the daughter of a German mother who still makes hundreds of beautiful cookies each year. I have learned to bake some of these cookies, but I can’t hold a … Read more

Indian Chutney for an American Summer

This post originally appeared on Murder Is Everywhere. In the height of summer, a heap of imperfectly gorgeous tomatoes rest on my kitchen island. They beseech me to touch them and make something great. The obvious thing would be to make a lush sauce—but it’s 90 degrees outside, and I’m not in the mood for cozy … Read more