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I’ve been inspired by many culinary writers throughout my life. As a young girl I was given a little booklet of a cookbook for children from which I learned to make perfect popovers for my family. I read my way through all of The Joy of Cooking l, promising myself that I would make all of the recipes. This lovely, old cookbook is now held together with a large piece of duct tape. It is still one of my “go to” volumes. 

 The writings of Julia Child followed, along with James Beard, MFK Fisher, Craig Claiborne, Molly Katzen,Deborah Madison (my vegetarian phase), Martha Stewart (entertaining phase), Carol Field and innumerable writers of various ethnic cuisines.

This week I received a birthday gift of this book written by one of my favorite authors, Lynne Rosetto Kasper:

I love it. Some days I just don’t want to think about what to make for dinner!

Find it here at 

My greatest source of culinary inspiration, though, has been my mother. She taught me the love of preparing wonderful food for friends and family. For a dinner party that was given in my ninth year, I found her in the kitchen with my dad patiently boning out whole chickens for an elegant dinner in our tiny Berkeley apartment. 

There were many eventful times around our dinner table. Some were laced with family crisis, some with laughter, great conversation, friends, students, clients , family and the food was always special!

She created and continues to create  lovely meals and sweet memories for us to savor. Thanks Mom! (and thanks for the book too!)

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