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Melissa Davis

Stories by Melissa

Column: Remembrance of Thanksgiving meals past

Thanksgiving is a significant and meaningful day I look forward to every mid-autumn, with the leaves all but fallen and cold nights settling upon us. Since as far back as I can recall, I’ve anticipated the lavish feast to be prepared, as the grocers’ shelves fill with supplies and ads appear for fresh-baked pies at my favorite bakery.

Autumn the season for wholesome whole grains

With autumn upon us, my focus moves from light veggie-based meals to hearty dishes that sustain and satisfy. Soups, stews and casseroles instantly come to mind. Indeed they are satisfying, and a perfect comfort food for these chilly days. But I’m searching for something else.

Bowl your family over with a dinner of quick, fresh soup

Creamy tomato, potato bacon, white bean and sage, posole, mushroom barley, clam chowder. Mmmmmm! Soups!

Fresh summer flavors create meal to savor

Summertime calls people to the open road and brings distant families together. This month, every weekend brings a different visiting relative to our home. Not one for going out for meals, except on the rare occasion, I want to make some fresh, yummy and impressive meals for our visitors, without spending hours in the kitchen and heating up the house.

For versatility in recipes, stalk up on rhubarb

Rhubarb. The name alone inspires me. Rhubarb. Fun to spell and tantalizing on the palate. A tangy, rosy bite, a lovely balance of sweet and sour, when properly sugared in pastries and savory dishes.

Adaptation key to survival in a changing world

After a long inner struggle, I now know the benefit of living with less, and have accepted the fact that our diets and habits must evolve with our changing planet.

Voluntary frugality enhances appreciation of small things

Browsing through an old bookshop in the back streets of Bristol, England, I came across a series of books, reprints of old cookery books by historic and well-known food writers from across the globe. One of the books I picked up intrigued me by title alone: “The Campaign for Domestic Happiness,” written by Isabella Beeton.

Food names illustrate cultural differences

Naturally, my first mistake was made in baking. I assumed that because we speak the same language, the meaning of the words would be the same. How wrong I was has become more and more apparent as our months in England pass by.

Where’s the beef? Vegetarian sojourn requires creative menu-making

I started preparing myself for the move weeks before the actual departure, taking every possible opportunity to experience the Italian life. Waking early before work to walk into town for a cappuccino, cornetto and bit of Italian conversation, picking up an extra can of my favorite tuna in olive oil and a few balls of mozzarella di bufula and hunting down a bottle of local, sweet and tangy dolcetto wine.