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New York City, November 21, 2017

★★★★ The sunlight was so low as to make everything confusing, a tangle of long shadows and glary reflections.

Two Prokofiev Pieces To Get You Through A Holiday Weekend

I’m having such a good time reading about Prokofiev, so much so that I do not care any longer if Prokofiev month feels like a chore to readers.

Spice Cake

Spice cake was the best cake. The other kids thought that this was not the case, and argued for chocolate cake, they were wrong; spice cake was the best cake because I was six years old, it was my favorite and hence, it was the best cake.

In Defense of Tony Chachere's

When I first encountered Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (pronounced SAH-shur-ee) I was twenty years old and living in Lake Charles, Louisiana—a city off of I-10, made infamous by the (very douche-y) Nic Pizzolatto of True Detective as “one of the easiest places to get your ass kicked on the Gulf Coast.” Lake Charles is also the birthplace of Lucinda Williams and the title of one of her saddest and most famous songs (about an ex-boyfriend.) My ex-boyfriend grew up about a half hour south of the city and in the spring of 2010 he and I lived with two friends and one enemy in a dingy housing development called the Fleur de Lis Apartments.

Ten Points in Praise of Sumac

Image: Steven Jackson via Flickr Sumac is a berry that tastes like a powdery lemon, a soft bright lime, a sour flower.

Piment d'Espelette

Image: Stijn Nieuwendijk via Flickr We’re in our boss’ kitchen, which is tidy and taupe in the way I’d only ever seen in a Martha Stewart Living, my mom’s copy, the one she checked out from the library.


Image: Denna Jones via Flickr As a kid in Texas, I spent most afternoons at my neighbor’s house—she was an elderly Spanish woman, she’d moved from Madrid for her own children—and after I’d annoyed her into oblivion for the whereabouts of her grandson, she’d sit me at her daughter’s table and cook me a meal.

Robert David & Adrian Diaconu, "Bacterial Motion (Edit One)"

Be thankful it’s almost over. Enjoy.

New York City, November 20, 2017

★★★★ The river was inky and almost nonreflective, but so much sun shone on a building on the far shore that it cast a butter-colored gleam on the dull water regardless.

Soda With Bitters

Image: Farther Along via Flickr Last winter, I embarked on my first Drynuary with a mix of shock and self-righteousness.


Image: Blaine Horrocks via Flickr My mother and grandmother weren’t the types to use “recipes” very often, and, once they were both dead, and I was visiting my aunt, I was surprised when she pulled out a giant box of cards, notebooks, and loose sheets of lined paper covered in both of their distinctive scrawls.

A Taxonomy Of Spices Based On Three Million Instacart Orders

Earlier this summer, Jeremy Stanley, the Vice President of Data Science at Instacart, made the data on three million Instacart orders available for anyone to look at.

Germans Do Not Have a Word For Cilantro Because They Hate It

“Real Coriander,” as Germans call it, because they are wrong. Image: public domain A few years ago (fine, it was almost eight years ago, because time really is a flat circle and I am a jabillion years old), the New York Times ran a very widely read story about a very polarizing herb.

Why My Parents Eat Paprika On Cottage Cheese

Image via Cardboard America For as long as I can remember, my parents have eaten cottage cheese with paprika on it.

Tasting The Devil

Photo via Wikimedia Commons. The “ouzo effect,” or “louche effect,” takes place when you pour water into one of the aniseed boozes.

Eat More Peppercorns

Image: Steenbergs via Flickr My favorite thing to eat in the entire world, aside from Ferrero Rocher bon-bons and flan, is a Szechuan dish called ma po tofu.

Blue Hawaii, "Versus Game" (Hwulu Remix)

Thanksgiving is two days away, but in Now Hours it might as well be next month. Can you believe it was only a year ago that Mike Pence went to see Hamilton?

New York City, November 20, 2017

★★★★ The wind made ripping and bashing noises through the night, but all the sounds of storminess led to a dry morning.

Ketchup Is A Pickle

Image: Mike Mozart via Flickr I need to tell you something, which is that ketchup is, unfortunately for you, a pickle.

Julio's Seasoning

Within the first few years of my move to New York City, I was invited by a fairly new friend to spend a weekend at her parents’ summer home in Vermont.