Billie Breslin has traveled far from her home in California to take a job at Delicious!, New York’s most iconic food magazine. Away from her family, particularly her older sister, Genie, Billie feels like a fish out of water—until she is welcomed by the magazine’s colorful staff. She is also seduced by the vibrant downtown food scene, especially by Fontanari’s, the famous Italian food shop where she works on weekends. Then Delicious! is abruptly shut down, but Billie agrees to stay on in the empty office, maintaining the hotline for reader complaints in order to pay her bills.

To Billie’s surprise, the lonely job becomes the portal to a miraculous discovery. In a hidden room in the magazine’s library, Billie finds a cache of letters written during World War II by Lulu Swan, a plucky twelve-year-old, to the legendary chef James Beard... MORE

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Gift Guide, Day 28

Gifts from the Sea We're getting close to Christmas, and I've been wandering the aisles of local shops, looking for plausible presents. That's when I saw the seaweed. Kombu comes in dried ribbons that unfurl into long sheets that are at least as tall as I am. It's wonderful stuff. A small piece steeped in simmering soup for fifteen minutes...

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2014 Gift Guide, Day 27

Rolling in Dough Baking your own bread is the most satisfying thing you can do in the kitchen. For lazy people (count me among them), Jim Leahy’s excellent no-knead recipe produces an astonishingly satisfying loaf. But bread's my favorite food - the answer I always give when people ask what I'd eat if I could only eat one thing for...

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2014 Gift Guide, Day 26

Home Grown Here on the East Coast, January, February, and March are bleak. Snow melts into sludge. Sunlight's in short supply. Night comes too soon. You begin longing for fresh vegetables, waiting for the return of vibrant farmers' markets. This gift really helps. I love looking at the vertical garden in my window. Tasting it is even better. You harvest...

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