Author: pat willard

Grew up in Philadelphia. Live in Brooklyn. Written four books best described as about memory and cultural history, food and some pretty good recipes. Works in progress may be viewed at www.patwillard.org

Recipe Monday! Memorial Day Crab Cakes

I think Dad would like these crab cakes and appreciate that they’re a good way to celebrate this truncated holiday and his World War II army service.

The Eyes Have It

Masks that hide the lower portion of our faces make us uneasy because they deny a full picture of what our character and state of mind might be. If you can’t fully identify someone then you don’t know how to react to them. If you don’t know how to react, your fear mechanism ramps up.

Recipe Monday! Celebrating in the Time of the Virus

The son said he imaged a surprise party, something that we both agreed was completely uncharacteristic of him. But the occasion was momentous–four years comprised of 19 hour days and working two jobs–a cum laude college degree from a rigorous university. But how to do this in this plague time seemed daunting.

Community Garden Miracles

I went out yesterday searching for community gardens in Brooklyn. My idea was to see how, during this particular planting season, a community is managing to work together in narrow plots coached from the rubble of vacant lots.

Recipe Monday! Son Saves Mom from Recipe Stupor

Since taking possession of a smoker, the son has been experimenting with an array of meats. I’m very supportive of his efforts because he passes leftovers onto his parents.

3 puddings

Recipe Monday’s Pudding Recipes for a Tough Week

I wanted pudding. I don’t know why. I’m not a big pudding girl. Perhaps it’s because you can’t gobble your way through a bowl. You’ll give you a stomach ache. And that’s the point–spoonful by spoonful, life has to pause.

Dehydrated Peeps

Peeps are one of my top favorite creations in the food world, an opinion I’ve been told many times is not universally shared.

Recipe Monday! The Pleasure of Community Cooking

I inherited a bunch of community cookbooks from Mom and bought a couple more in thrift stores. The recipes in them are anchored in the character of the region where they were collected, the products of local PTAs, church groups and ethnic societies. They’re also a fine guide to food fads.

Points of Light

Maybe it’s that we’ve learned how to accept life now. Maybe, in some manner, we’re figuring out how to patch together a shade of what was once our daily routines. Or maybe it’s this, from the philosopher Jeff Goldblum. Whatever has happened, small moments of grace have surfaced–some of wonder and others of blessed normalcy.

19th century Parisian flower girl

Recipe Monday! Spring Tonics

Spring is here and it’s time to rejuvenate our bodies and spirits in the form of historical tonic recipes.