Can I Do It? A half-ass guide to canning
Jul28

Can I Do It? A half-ass guide to canning

I always feel bad when the tomatoes from my garden rot on the counter waiting in vain for me to chop them up into salsa or boil them into a marinara. I have the best of intentions in May when I ask my husband to plant boccu tomatoes in our garden, but come the sticky hot months of July and August and the appeal of sweating it in the kitchen has lost its luster. And the rotting tomatoes are attracting flies. So this year I vowed to...

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Book Review: Between Me and the World, by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Jul28

Book Review: Between Me and the World, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

On the night of Nov. 24, 2014, Ta-Nehisi Coates found his teenage son Samori glued to the television, eager to see whether white police officer Darren Wilson would be indicted for fatally shooting black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. No indictment came down. Samori said, “I’ve got to go,” went to his room and cried. “It was not my expectation that anyone would ever be punished,” Coates writes in his rough-hewn,...

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The Pour Man: The Mystery of Cotes du Rhone
Jul28

The Pour Man: The Mystery of Cotes du Rhone

During a sunny early June gathering, I ran into a friend, who suggested that I try a Cotes du Rhone that I hadn’t come across before. He said the wine, which he buys by the case, is his go-to wine for dinner parties and gatherings. I tried to dissuade him, suggesting others that he might like better, but he would have none of my label-dropping and stuck to his guns about this wine from France’s Rhone River Valley, noting that he...

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The V-Spot: Hey baby, what’s  your number?
Jul28

The V-Spot: Hey baby, what’s your number?

Hi Yana, What are your thoughts on how much/what of your sexual history you should divulge to your current partner(s)? I always ask about most recent STD/STI tests, but is your current partners’ number of present (and past) sex partners important to know? I recently watched Dan Savage’s “Savage U” (because I saw Tristan Taormino on your website and started listening to her podcast and he was on it) and the gender stereotypes and...

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Scene Here: Let’s go tag-saling!
Jul28

Scene Here: Let’s go tag-saling!

Old garden hoses and porcelain chickens … Oxidized metals and outfits for Wiccans … Doodads and knickknacks that spring cleaning brings … These are a few of my favorite things. I step across a cluttered driveway in Florence, eager to help kick off the beginning of tag sale season. Objects large and small sit in piles outside, disgorged from the nooks and crannies of garages and basements. From one table I lift a large wooden...

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Plotting Out a Harvest: Northampton Community gardeners dish on what they’re doing with the harvest
Jul22

Plotting Out a Harvest: Northampton Community gardeners dish on what they’re doing with the harvest

The green-thumbed spend hours in the summer sun growing delicious food that all seems to be ready to harvest at the same time, in abundance. So, what happens to the over-abundance of bounty once it’s pulled from the ground? We stopped by the Northampton Community Garden — a 420-plot cooperative located on Burts Pit Road, on the former grounds of the State Hospital’s kitchen garden — to ask a few locals what they plan to do with the...

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