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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2014 Gift Guide, Day 29

Some Like it Hot This is probably the last day you can reasonably order a gift online to arrive in time for Christmas. So I'm going to suggest my favorite small kitchen appliance. I've had this small spice grinder for many years, and it just keeps trucking along. But these days, as I find myself using more spices, cooking 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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