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What Do I Do with...

Once fall is in full swing, we start scouting markets for this apple variety: beloved for its crisp bite and earthy, molasses-like sweetness and citrusy notes. Here's how to use pippins in your holiday baking (recipes included!).

It’s rhubarb season! Many people love to eat rhubarb but are completely confused about how to prepare it themselves. I remember the first time I saw a dense display of those long pinkish stalks at the Copley Square farmers' market in Boston. Rhubarb is indeed the stalk of a plant, much like chard or celery, cultivated for thousands of years. The leaves are toxic, but the edible stalk is scrumptious and versatile.

If they weren’t so darn tasty, artichokes almost wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Prepping, cooking, then the actual eating part—which requires working past spiny leaves and fuzzy inedible bits to get to the prized heart—demands dedication and perseverance.

A friend came back from a Tahitian vacation bearing some unexpected travel souvenirs: vanilla beans. The spindly, black pods are actually the fruit of the vanilla orchid, which grows in tropical climates around the world.

Matzo (sometimes spelled “matzoh” or “matzah”) is a thin, cracker-like “bread” made simply from flour and water. It’s a key Passover component because it represents the Jews’ hasty retreat from Egypt, which left no time for bread to rise.

There’s something so visually appealing about kumquats: Their diminutive size and bright orange color are at once mysterious and enticing. Do you peel them, or pop them into your mouth whole? Cook them, or consume them in their natural state?

Take a look inside my refrigerator and one thing becomes immediately clear: I’m a condiment fanatic. Lined up in not-too-tidy rows are mustards, ketchups, barbecue sauces, chutneys, pickles, tapenades, Tabasco-like sauces galore, and probably my most-used condiment, harissa.

If you avoid dairy for health or ethical reasons, you’re probably familiar with soymilk, rice milk, and almond milk. Then there's oat milk, coconut milk, hemp milk ... it can be a bit overwhelming!

The inevitable has visited our home this week: the winter cold. Instead of reaching for over-the-counter remedies to combat the symptoms and jump-start the healing process, I head straight for the kitchen, pull out the juicer, and make an elixir that never fails to kick those twice-a-year colds.

Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me. Lemons, at the height of ripeness during the darkness of mid-winter—how wonderful is that? Just when we are most in need of a revitalizing blast of summery color and flavor, the earth provides it.

I was first introduced to jackfruit in southern India, where the edible orbs dangle from trees like prickly green footballs. In hot and steamy South Asia, they’re eaten fresh, cooked, and dried, in both sweet and savory preparations.

Cornstarch has an unwarranted bad reputation, founded primarily on those ubiquitous gloopy sauces served at mediocre Chinese restaurants around the world. But the fluffy white powder does have its virtues!

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