How My Father Survived a Communist Labor Camp & Forged a New Life

There’s a defining scar in my father’s heel. It’s deep and dry and cracked—and self-inflicted. The mark is a remnant of his six years on a Communist labor farm in his youth, when one night he purposely took a scythe to his flesh to cause enough injury to be granted rest, despite not completing his […]

Maida Heatter: ‘Happiness Is Baking Cookies. Happiness Is Giving Them Away.’

There was the bourbon-infused chocolate cake, the chocolate mousse torte, the East 62nd Street lemon cake, the Budapest coffee cake, and for her own birthday one year, the September 7th cake—“two thin, lightweight, dark layers are filled with white whipped cream and are thickly covered with a wonderful dark coffee-chocolate whipped cream.” For Maida Heatter, […]

Alex Guarnaschelli’s 11-Year-Old Daughter Is a Better Cook Than I’ll Ever Be

Ava Clark is more skilled in the kitchen than most people I know. She’s got a repertoire of tried-and-true recipes that only comes with spending years in the kitchen—testing this, experimenting with that. Seared pork chops glazed in a rich, tangy reduction of white wine, Dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar: a house specialty. Charred […]

This Is, Surprisingly, the Most Popular Ice Cream Flavor in America

Now that it’s officially ice cream season, punctuated joyfully by the siren song of neighborhood ice cream trucks in neighborhoods all across America, it’s time to dig in whether you’re a neat eater (with an ice cream cone that never drips) or a dyed-in-the-wool mess maker who needs a cone and a backup cup (like […]

The Radical History of the Rainbow Cake

Stacked and decorated (we ended up going for a “naked” frosted effect), our rainbow layer cake looked like it came straight out of a magazine. For such an innocuous Instagram post, the entire thing was surprisingly elaborate. And I’m not just talking about having to bake so many layers, and ending up with pink-stained fingers […]