This March 2, 2015 photo shows fresh and creamy asparagus soup with tarragon in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Speaking of color, it also helps to barely cook the asparagus before pureeing it, and to reheat it only briefly after it is pureed. In general, the longer a green vegetable cooks, the grayer it becomes.

This March 2, 2015 photo shows grilled pear and blue cheese sandwich on cinnamon raisin bread in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

I decided to try something similar with my sandwiches. Instead of a very hot open skillet, I used medium-low heat and covered the pan. This created just the right environment to slowly toast the bread while gently melting the cheese inside. Presto! Grilled cheese perfection!

This Feb. 23, 2015 photo shows Brussels sprouts in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Brussels sprouts are the tiniest member of the cabbage family. And I’ll confess that I used to hate them. In the old days they were not only boiled, but boiled to death, which generated a truly unfortunate aroma. Happily, intrepid chefs in recent years have managed to reinvent (not to say redeem) these little stinkers in any number of ways.


The classic foods of Easter dinner have never done much for me. Sure, a honey-glazed ham is nice. But the rest of the meal tends to go downhill, queuing up mostly springtime vegetable cliches. Now, Easter brunch is another matter entirely. Hot cross buns and hash brown potatoes and muffins and coffee cakes and quiches […]

This Feb.16, 2015 photo shows brown sugar coconut meringue cake in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

We liked the idea of a classic layer cake, but we wanted something a little lighter. So instead of layers of white cake, we baked up airy and crisp meringues. We then stacked the meringues, layering them with a rich coconut cream, fresh berries and toasted shredded coconut. The result is creamy, fresh and the perfect finish to the holiday meal.

This Feb. 9, 2015 photo shows Grandma Odom's fresh ham with cloves and brown sugar in Concord, NH. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

A fresh ham, sometimes called a “green” ham, is pork at its most basic — not cured, not smoked, not cooked. The meat is so sweet and succulent, and the texture is meaty, not compact and slick as a cured ham often is. Also, the meat of a fresh ham remains white when cooked. I promise it will taste like the best pork roast you have ever eaten.


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