Dutch Apple Puff

Sunday dinner. Roast beef or roast pork. Baked ham, the layer of fat scored and pricked with clove. Fried chicken some times and mashed potatoes, always. Pickles from the cellar. A vegetable or two, mostly lapping in mushroom soup and topped with cracker crumbs. In summer, sliced tomatoes and fresh lima beans or sweet corn.Do families still gather round big tables after Sunday church, three generations at least, so many aunts and cousins that it’s nearly as certain the meal will end with birthday cake as it will start with grace?Growing up, some weeks Mom cooked Sunday dinner. Mostly though, it’s Sunday suppers that I remember. If it were just the four of us, or five including Gramma who lived in town, Mom would send my sister or me to the basement for the waffle iron.In minutes, we’d sit down to plates of steaming waffles, sugar-crisp on the outside, soft in the middle and topped with fat scoops of vanilla ice cream and a few drops of precious maple syrup.It must be our waffle supper…

Fat Rascals

The Recipe: My cousin Laura's rendition of an old-fashioned biscuit from Yorkshire in the north of England, peppered with dried currants. The dough is mixed by hand (so, hey, no mixer required!) and rolls out so easily. At Christmas, I especially like to make Fat Rascals in small star shapes just a bite or two big.But first, let me tell you a story about a boy on my street. Would cookies help, even a little? Mornings, I watch a boy trudge up the street on his way to school.He’s maybe nine. His backpack hangs low, his head bends downward. Delaying the inevitable, he kicks at leaves, a rock, the curb.Afternoons, I watch the same-but-different boy head down the street toward home. His steps are quick, his shoulders thrown back, his face lifts to the sun. Still heavy, the backpack now bounces.School may be hard for this man-in-the-making. Perhaps his classmates tease or the learning comes slowly.But my own wish for the nameless one is that his lively homeward steps mean he will be welc…

Quick Brown Bread

An old-fashioned molasses quick bread studded with dried fruit and nuts, easy to cut into thin slices and enjoy bite by barely sweet bite. It's not whole-wheat "brown bread" (though it does call for whole wheat flour) and it's not "Boston brown bread" (although is trademarked by a similar healthy dose of molasses). Instead, it's a minimalist loaf definitely worthy of a spot in a recipe repertoire.

Egg Free. No Added Fat. No Yeast. No Mixer Required. Just One Bowl. Budget Friendly. Fresh & Flexible. Easily Converted to Vegan.

Peach Un-Cobbler

The Recipe: A cobbler so good, the fruit can shine alone, what I call an "Un-Cobbler" – just leave off the buttery-sugary topping to save 100 and even 200 calories a serving, it's completely virtuous and still-delicious. Or keep the topping, honest, because yeah, of course, to some people, peach cobbler isn't actually peach cobbler without something sweet and crunchy on top. The Conversation: Getting friendly with the peach man at the farmers market. The peach man at the farmers market and I have become friendly this summer. Twice a week, I stop in for a basket of his stand’s fat peaches, juicy orbs that fall off their pits when cut and drip onto your chin when bitten. What’re you making today? he asks, knowing the likely answer, More cobbler. Every cook’s recipe collection should include at least one good cobbler. All the recipes start with a fruit base, some times peaches, often apples, pears or even apricots, occasionally mixed with berries.Then the recipes dive…