““My mother made three kinds of fudge: a dense, honey-colored, cleave-to-the-mouth peanut butter; a rich chocolate made with syrup and cocoa, which my mother labeled simply “fudge,” and the See’s version made with chocolate chips, a half cup of margarine, walnuts, and an entire jar of marshmallow cream.”—From Tasting Home.
Four years ago, while standing in my kitchen, I had an epiphany about my life. The pantry in my newly purchased home, seeming too small to accommodate my 140 cookbooks, had prompted me to consider pruning my collection. Yet how to begin? I’d moved so many times in my life that each new relocation recalled at least two others. Perhaps that was why I began to dwell upon a book I’d disposed of during a previous change of place—a desk calendar with French recipes and French menus. I hadn’t used the calendar in two decades, and most of its pages had come loose, but, out of nowhere, its absence began to feel like a wound. I‘d been fond of its black-and-white pictures of Paris and the French countryside, had imagined serving one of its chic menus, and at one point had even cooked one or two of its dishes. And now, without knowing why, I longed to see those menus again, yearned to remember what I’d tried to cook, struggled to place the book and its pleasures in my life. Had it been published in the 1970s? I began to ache for the ’70s and for the pantry in Philadelphia I had painted deep orange red.”
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