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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Bean by Bean

It snowed yesterday. And I woke this morning to these dispiriting words: "Snow will start in 55 minutes." I'd like to point out that it's the end of April! In search of spring, I picked up a pound of fava beans. I have a serious love/hate relationship with this particular vegetable. I'm always cheered by their tender green color, and...

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Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant

That, in case you missed the reference, is the title of one of my favorite Laurie Colwin pieces. It is also exactly where I found myself last night. I've noticed that supermarkets are suddenly selling "baby eggplants" which fill in nicely for Asian eggplants. Bought one, and then stood in the kitchen, contemplating it. I suddenly thought about the eggplant...

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A Pickle from the Past

I want to share one last recipe from Virginia Cookery, one that reads almost like poetry. It’s from the personal family cookbook of Robert Bland Lee - who was the first Virginian representative to the US Congress (and also the uncle of Robert E. Lee). His wife Elizabeth Collins, a Quaker born near Philadelphia, wrote these recipes in her own...

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