Or you could make the great cookies that originated in WWI as a nutritious, nonperishable treat to be mailed off to soldiers serving in the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. I first had them on our trip to Oz, which coincided with the illegal, insane invasion of Iraq. (I remember the protests as much as the food, with Australians in the streets in Sydney and Melbourne alike yelling “Shyme! Shyme!”)

To quote my LAT story: “Anzacs are crisp and chewy, almost like round granola bars but wafer thin. Crunchier than an American oatmeal cookie, they have a mysterious toasty undertone, not quite molasses but well past brown sugar. And the coconut is not the stringy, heavily sweetened kind Americans know.”

My dad’s widow, a New Zealander he had fallen in love with in WWII and hooked up with again after my mom died, emailed me her Anzak recipe, and with a couple of adaptations it worked better than the ones I had found on the Internet. The intriguing flavor comes from golden syrup, which is something like bronzed corn syrup but is made from cane sugar. Most American supermarkets sell a brand called Lyle’s, from England, that works fine.


1 cup flour
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda

Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, coconut, oats, brown sugar and salt in large mixing bowl and blend well. Combine syrup and butter in small saucepan over medium flame and heat until butter melts. Dissolve baking soda in 1/4 cup boiling water and stir in. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and pour liquids in. Stir until well mixed. Drop dough by tablespoons onto lightly buttered baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each. Flatten slightly. Bake on center rack of oven for 15 minutes, until just set. Using spatula, immediately transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Yields 24.



One of Richard Thompson’s most haunting songs is “When the Spell Is Broken,” and it was ricocheting around my cranial sieve after I met one of the few bonuses for a bad break for a late lunch on the Lower East Side. Charbon, where we had planned to rendezvous, turned out to be closed, so I suggested Schiller’s, where I had not been in donkey’s years and had always loved the look. Visually nothing had changed, but I warned my inadvertently acquired friend that the food would not be as great as the bathrooms. Even I was surprised, though, at what arrived sans the French fries I specifically ordered as insurance against dejection. Her “seared tuna salad” looked to be mostly a mess of onions; my “tartine” was a slab of baguette alongside a mound of vapid portobello slices, Parmesan and arugula. Right as our tiny tumblers of wine were running out, Patsy put down her fork and said: “It’s just a diner, isn’t it?” Funny how Balthazar never makes you feel as if “love letters you wrote/are pushed back down your throat.” To paraphrase Richard Thompson, you can’t cook if you don’t know how.


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What was most amazing is that there were actually people here on a day when Central Park South seemed deserted, because the 1% don’t live here anymore.

All of the humans in all of the world, and reporter interviews reporter. And what about Pop-Tarts, anyway?

Cynical friend in Portland pointed out that this little local/artisanal indulgence is $90+ a pound. I guess the only surprise is that it’s not labeled in grams.

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Learning that Jacques Pepin’s latest cooking series will be his last reminded me of this sadness, over on the East Side, which I passed sometime last winter on the way to lunch with a friend that I don’t recall Trailing. I don’t know much about real estate, but you have to wonder why a historic brownstone is just sitting there turning to dust.  Time to start a Soltner Foundation?

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Just noticed the apple my consort picked up when he ran downstairs for coffee one morning at the Palomar in Philadelphia is still sitting, firm and fat, on the kitchen counter. And he picked it up nearly a month ago. Just around the corner, meanwhile, this restaurant claimed to be selling out every day. Nothing builds demand like scarcity . . .

While the war drums are pounded harder, and wingnuts say we can’t afford Ebola research but have a blank check for bombs, this tells you (nearly) everything you need to know about the biggest threat to the “homeland.” H/T @tomcolicchio