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Issue 12 Contributors

D.R. Bartlette
Claudia Carlson
Sarah Congress
Michael Czyzniejewski
James Dankert
Ashley David
Robert Epstein
Catherine Freeling
Cynthia Gallaher
Stephen Gibson
Kathie Giorgio
Joanna Clapps Herman
Amanda Hesser
Pamela Hull
Colette Jonopulos
Jennifer Justus
Vivian Liao
Mandy Marksteiner
Margaret K. Menges
Marilyn Murphy
Suzanne Osborne
Christine Poreba
C. R. Resetarits
Lois Rosen
Faye Snider
Phillip Sterling
Elinor Teele
Molly Tenenbaum
Nancy Vienneau
Traci Yavas


Interview with James Beard winner, New York Times Editor, and Food52.com creator Amanda Hesser; Micheal Czyzniejewski’s story of a family wrestling with beef; Jon Irwin explores wine-inspired writing; Joanna Clapps Herman tests an Italian taboo; recipe ingredients bring to life Phillip Sterling’s personal history; D.R. Bartlette stocks up on low-tech kitchen gadgets of yore; Jennifer Justus’ Marriage in Meals; cover art by Marilyn Murphy (“The Jell-O Incident”) spot illustrations by James Dankert; poetry by Stephen Gibson, Catherine Freeling, Nancy Vienneau, Cynthia Gallaher...

Plus: recipes for musicians, rock-solid sponge cake, the repast of Joyce Carol Oates, the Tuscan gelato diet, when eating becomes a problem, savoring black & white cakes, and much more...30 writers, poets, and artists...

Issue Twelve excerpts...

From A Thing of Beauty by D.R. Bartlette

One of the jewels of my kitchen is an Osterizer “Galaxie Ten” blender ($10 at an estate sale). It’s an undeniable product of the nifty fifties with its solid chrome body and thick glass carafe. The design on the faceplate is straight out of the Jetsons: seafoam teal and white with gold stars. Below a gold atomic symbol, the words “solid state” proudly announce its modern, non-vacuum-tube design. It was made in America (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to be exact), when those words stood for craftsmanship, innovation and durability. It’s designed so that if it did break down, it could be taken apart and repaired, unlike the disposable, plastic appliances in stores now. In fact, the only plastic parts on it are the screw-on bottom of the carafe, the lid, and the handle, which is bolted on with a strong metal band.

From Fresh Bread by Catherine Freeling

I smelled this bread in my dream, young again,
a teenager, fighting with my parents. I never did
in life. No, I yell, I won't do what you want. My father
has this look, self-pity, What's the use of having children?
In the middle of the noise, smell of bread baking.
The shouting in my mind wakes me up. I'm surprised by
the quiet dark, only the sound of our breathing. Precious
sits on the windowsill. I love the way you reach out to me
in the night, the feel of your skin, slight layer of sweat
between us. I rest my head in the crook of your shoulder,
my arm over your chest, fall asleep, smell of you and bread.

From Stollen by Phillip Sterling


In the pleasures of childhood before memory, or rather in the pleasures beyond my father’s 16mm home movies, which have come to form the basis of my earliest memories, my mother piloted a group of cub scouts through a tour of a salt company somewhere in Michigan. I can recall the coastal, salt-fogged air of an enclosed warehouse, the size of which I’d never seen before, and a mound of rock salt rising like a dingy ski slope all the way to the ceiling. Was it the Detroit International Salt Mine, a primary supplier at the time? It must have been around 1958, the year that the Morton Company produced a short promotional film, White Wonder, which claimed that there are 14,000 uses for salt. (Now available on the Internet, that “video,” one reviewer notes, is “a marvelous stroll through all sorts of 1950s culture.”) But I can’t be sure. There is no photographic evidence of my visit.

From First Impressions by Vivian Liao

He set about exploring the ship that would serve as home for the next few months. He started from the deep body of the vessel, its belly cooled by the touch of the sea outside its dank walls. As he inhaled the submerged air, the taste of cold metal settled onto his tongue. The crew had stored most of the food there, and Yang wandered the aisles of crates, trying to decipher what each contained. On a pad of paper, he jotted down notes. When he reached an unlabeled box, he ran his hands over the rough wood and put his nose to its cracked surface, as if he might detect its contents by smell. Damp pine mixed with rusty iron told him nothing. Later it would seem to him that all the meals he prepared tasted of cold metal and rotting wood, no matter what spices he used for flavor.