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Food / Dining

CAROL LOLLIS
Easter candy at Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium.

Easter and chocolate: Hand in hand

Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking back at the traditional agriculture year shows us the origins of most Easter foods, but tells us nothing about one vital treat: chocolate. It’s a newcomer to the festivities because until the 19th century it was impossible to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, so chocolate was only palatable as a drink. In the early 19th century …

Easter feast: Holiday sweets and luscious leftovers

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wouldn’t it be terrific if our local asparagus were with us for Easter? It tastes wonderful with both ham and lamb, which are Easter dinner favorites, but, of course, we can’t expect it to pop through the ground until early May. And that will be too late for Easter dinner. But no vegetable …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley

Friday, March 27, 2015

Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Chile, $9.99-11.99 Natura Chardonnay 2013, Chile, $9.99-11.99 About a decade ago, I tried an organic wine. It was expensive and bad. I didn’t spit it out or even pour it down the drain, probably because of my Scots heritage, but I didn’t like it. So, when friends recently suggested …

Great American Meals
  • MICKY BEDELL
Joan O'Brien, 56, walks her dog Sally down East Street in Northampton on Wednesday, March 25.

    MICKY BEDELL
Joan O'Brien, 56, walks her dog Sally down East Street in Northampton on Wednesday, March 25. Purchase photo reprints »

  • KEVIN GUTTING
Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water.

    KEVIN GUTTING Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
Peter Rogers, left, and Michael Matis, both of Amherst, talk during a weekly luncheon for veterans at the World War II Club in Northampton.

    CAROL LOLLIS Peter Rogers, left, and Michael Matis, both of Amherst, talk during a weekly luncheon for veterans at the World War II Club in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »

Potent, healthy condiments deliver big flavor, few calories in this Passover dish

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wouldn’t it be terrific if our local asparagus were with us for Easter? It tastes wonderful with both ham and lamb, which are Easter dinner favorites, but, of course, we can’t expect it to pop through the ground …

Valley Bounty: Parsnip Latkes

Friday, March 27, 2015

Parsnip Latkes Parsnips are a tapered root vegetable that withstand long winters in a cold cellar, in your vegetable drawer, or over-wintered in the garden. Spring-dug parsnips are my favorite — and they’re coming soon! — but I’ve …

Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Lucy encounters too much of a good thing

Friday, March 27, 2015

I tend to eat foods that are good for me. I like them, they make me feel better. If I go out to dinner and have fried fish and a huge pile of fries, I am probably not going to feel so great the next day. Or the …

Eat Up

Friday, March 27, 2015

Charming critters Expect a few smiles at Easter breakfast when these tiny stoneware egg cups show up holding soft-boiled or brightly colored hard-cooked eggs. A set of four Animal Egg Cups from West Elm features abstract images of …

Toast the end of ‘Mad Men’ with the era’s classic cocktails

Thursday, March 26, 2015

From Don Draper’s old fashioneds to Roger Sterling’s smuggled-in Stoli, cocktails have played a deliciously major role on AMC’s “Mad Men.” But was it really that great an era to drink? Because though the show celebrates — and …

Starbucks CEO defends new ‘Race Together’ campaign after criticism

Sunday, March 22, 2015

NEW YORK — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz last week defended the company’s new “Race Together” campaign that has been criticized for being naive and even using racial tensions to boost its bottom line. The chain, best known for …

Ten ideas for dressing up a basic bowl of oatmeal

Friday, March 20, 2015

Oatmeal is the vanilla ice cream of the breakfast world. Some of us like it plain and straight up, appreciating its clean, oaty flavor, its firm yet giving texture, the way it cloyingly stays in your mouth just …

Dinner by the bowlful: From salads to stir-fry

Friday, March 20, 2015

I’ve collected bowls for years. Big ones, little ones, and bowls shallow and deep. I use bowls not just for eating out of but for collecting keys and glasses, keeping bedside-table necessities wrangled, for storing rolls of twine …

Valley Bounty: Cabbage

Friday, March 20, 2015

Cabbage Cabbage is an underrated vegetable. Even the attention it gets in March is often unflattering. But don’t be fooled! Cabbage stores beautifully and is a great local winter vegetable choice. More importantly, it’s delicious, supplemented with just …

A wine to try: 2013 Bedrock Wine Co. ‘Old Vine’ Zinfandel

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Wine to Try 2013 Bedrock “Old Vine” Zinfandel Region: California Price: About $25 Style: Gorgeous fruit with a dark undertone Full of craggy character, the 2013 Bedrock “Old Vine” Zinfandel carries the taste of dark, wizened berries, …