When I was 20, I married a Vietnam war objector. My husband, four friends and I decided to travel to Europe so my husband could escape the draft. We followed Joni Mitchell’s lead and eventually ended up in Ierapetra, Crete, close to Mitchell’s beloved caves at Matala.

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TRAVERSE CITY — Northern Michigan residents Lee and Daphne Cobb dreamed of opening their own ice cream shop.

I am sitting at my father’s table in upstate New York, taking my turn to care for him. Since I arrived, there has been a steady stream of visitors and I am so lucky to hear, once again, the stories I know and those I am hearing for the first time. He is 88 years old, so there is ample fodder…

Last night I finished planting the big garden. It has been really dry, but we had rain during the night. It was a much-needed rain. In the smaller garden we still need to plant potatoes. We have red potatoes out already but need to put some out for winter use. I always like to put out Serran…

If you’re tired of the ubiquitous pizza, barbecue and coleslaw at picnics and potlucks, you might shake things up and start the season with a savory, crisp-crusted pissaladière (pe-sah-lah-de-AIR).

There are some foods, some flavors, that feel as though they’ve been with me my entire life. Fresh basil is not one of them. I can pinpoint the exact moment I first experienced the sweet, clean, faintly peppered note that tastes like green summertime and begs for a few slices of freshly pick…

TRAVERSE CITY — Traverse City brothers Patrick and Michael Evans graduated from the Great Lakes Culinary Institute and went on to work separately at various restaurants in San Francisco.

My first encounter with fish sauce was several decades ago. I was utterly offended and immediately discarded the odious stuff. It smelled dangerous. Since I’m a chef and fish sauce is an essential flavor in my beloved Southeast Asian cooking I couldn’t just kick it out of my cooking life. It…

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan Department of Natural Resources states that May is the main month for morel mushrooms, though residents may find the fungi from late April through mid-June.

‘We’re two peas in a pod,” my daughter Cat said, linking arms with me as we walked the farmers market together. The slanting light from the morning sun illuminated the crates of colorful spring produce. “Oh, I know; the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” I giggled. And she was not the on…

Today was our first day of 80-degree weather this year and we enjoyed the great outdoors. Daughters Susan and Verena and grandchildren Jennifer and Ryan came last night and are staying again tonight.

Citrus is unique among fruit. Every variety of this abundant cultivated species come from only three native South and East Asian ancestors: citron, pommelo and mandarin orange … citrus that researchers believe existed in China 7 million years ago. All modern citrus fruits are the result of c…

I was cleaning out the freezer the other day, freeing up space in anticipation of another summer’s bounty, when I realized that it was Friday night. Let me repeat that. It was Friday night and I was cleaning out the freezer. And I was perfectly happy, content. It doesn’t seem like too long a…

Whether you spell it larb, laap, larp, laab, or lahb, this Southeast Asian dish is the epitome of fast, fresh big-flavored food, ideal for warm weather dining. Pronounce larb, laap or laab with a short A sound, as in l-a-a-b. The name comes from an old word meaning “to finely chop.”

It is just after 5 a.m. and my husband Joe and sons Benjamin, 21, and Joseph, 18, have all left for another day’s work. Daughter Lovina, 16, will be leaving in a half hour for her job. That leaves just me and Loretta. Daughter Verena is still staying with daughter Susan and children. Son Kev…

GLEN ARBOR — Glen Lake Restaurant Week marks the beginning of the summer season for many Leelanau County eateries.

It’s the last day of March. The rain during the night brought colder temperatures this morning. Friday will be Good Friday so everyone will be off work. Sunday is Easter — we give thanks to our dear Savior Jesus Christ who died on the cross so we can be saved from our sins. We have so many b…

If you haven’t yet discovered the remarkable soybean, a good place to begin is with miso. Although Asian cooks have found many ways to transform this sacred bean into delicious foodstuff like tofu, tempeh, soymilk, yuba (dried soymilk skin), soy sauce (tamari and shoyu) and edamame (young gr…

Spring is finally here. The snow has melted, the sun is shining, and a warm and gentle breeze is blowing away the winter blues. Songbirds are singing and that pernicious pileated woodpecker is boring gigantic holes into a dead beech tree in my backyard. I poke my head out the window and brea…

It’s Tuesday evening. Supper is over and the dishes have been washed. Daughter Susan and children Jennifer, 3, and Ryan, 1, are staying here for three days. They are staining/finishing some trim and doors/door frames at her house, so the smell is a little strong and there are no doors on any…

The Persian New Year (Nowruz) celebrates nature’s renewal and rebirth in the new year. This nonreligious holiday traces its history through the centuries to the ancient Mesopotamian civilization and the Persian Empire. Nowruz arrived on Saturday, March 20. Its festivities continue for two weeks.

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