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Roz Cummins' Posts

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‘Tis the Season (for parlor games, Shrimp Louis, and watching the world go to hell on TV)

A few weeks ago I sat down to watch No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain's food and travel show. It was a surreal experience to watch him wend his way through Sweden knowing that he and his camera crew had recently been stranded in Beirut. Indeed, his August 21st show will be devoted to that experience. (He and his crew evacuated safely a few weeks ago.) You can read Bourdain's account of what went on there on Salon. Meanwhile, back in Sweden, the show included all the sorts of segments one might expect: checking out a herd of reindeer, spending the night …

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‘Tis the Season (for cold soups and cold showers …)

"It's so hot that the terrorist alert level has been raised to Gazpacho!" -- David Letterman Several years ago one of my male friends came up to me at a party, leaned down, and whispered in my ear: "You know, sometimes, late at night, I lie awake and think about your ... gazpacho." This particular scenario might have been slightly less annoying if it hadn't happened so many times already. There seems to be a very strong soup-sex connection in men's souls. My father had a habit of saying mortifying things at the dinner table whenever a boyfriend of mine …

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‘Tis the Season (for a long, pointless discussion in the dark …)

When I lived in North Cambridge in the early 90s, we lost our electricity with depressing regularity during the summer. Suddenly we would be plunged into inky darkness and, with the silencing of fans and air conditioners, radios and TVs, the neighborhood would become eerily quiet, except for one sound. My neighbor had a battery-operated cassette player and, apparently, only one cassette: Madonna's songs from the soundtrack to the movie Dick Tracy. He played it relentlessly, and the tunes wound their way between the houses and down the street until finally even he couldn't take it any more. Sometimes, in …

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‘Tis the Season (to BLT or not to BLT)

Tomatoes are one of summer's greatest pleasures and, for many people, the ultimate tomato creation is the BLT. Unless, of course, you don't eat meat. There is a strange phenomenon among some vegetarians, however, even strict, long-term, sincere vegetarians: they occasionally lose their resolve when faced with bacon. "It's the smell," a seemingly committed vegetarian friend recently confided to me, "it gets me every time." Indeed, in all the couples I know of where the party of the first part is a vegetarian and the party of the second part is not, it is usually the preparation of bacon by …

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‘Tis the Season (for strawberry shortcake)

Ah, June. Roses are in bloom, weddings and graduation exercises occupy the weekends, and it's time to head to the beach. Summer in full swing! Summer at last! So why am I making Thanksgiving dinner on what is, to date, the hottest day of the year? Welcome, dear reader, to the topsy-turvy world of the food writer. Like fashion models who don heavy mink coats in July and itsy-bitsy bikinis in December in order to accommodate magazine production schedules, foodwriters are always working many months into the future. This leads to a rarefied category of Seasonal Affective Disorder: Seasonal Displacement …

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