Of all my Particular Palate Books for Harmony/Crown Publishers this received the most national press coverage. The book is packed with literary quotes - When I am in trouble, eating is the only thing that comforts me - Oscar Wilde, - A good meal in troubled times is always that much salvage from disaster - A.J. Liebling; and so on, outrageous recipes: Peanut Butter Mousse, Brownie Pie with White Chocolate Chunks, Triple Chocolate Bread Pudding, Custardy Corn Bread, The Ultimate Meatloaf - the best meatloaf quote is from Craig Claiborne; - If meatloaf is not food of the Gods then pity the poor Gods. - Wild Rice Strudel, Hot Dog Ragout, and bizarre secret feasts gleaned from listeners of my then - mid eighties - late night call-in radio show. Anyone for crunchy peanut butter-stuffed dill pickles? No? Then how about a grilled cheese sandwich smothered with maple syrup, or sliced raw onion on cold biscuits - scones - with a side of buttermilk? I am happy to say that this deeply loopy, yet compelling and delicious book has recently been reprinted by Random House so you have a good chance of finding a copy should you be suffering from collywobbles, mubblefubbles and general doldrums.



Italian-style cheesecakes made with ricotta cheese have great delicacy. This one is particularly easy to make because everything is mixed together in one bowl. As it bakes, it forms its own crust. See the lower fat (but dare I say just as delicious) version if you are cutting down on fat.

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese

1 pound ricotta cheese

1 pint (16 fl oz.) sour cream

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 eggs

5 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 teaspoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 Preheat the oven to 350F.

2 Beat together the cream cheese, ricotta cheese, and sour cream. Beat in the sugar. Beat in the remaining ingredients, one at a time. Everything must be very well combined.

3 Pour the mixture into a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven (do not open the oven door) and leave the cake in the oven for 1 hour longer.

4 Let the cake cool on a rack, then refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the sides of the springform pan, cut the cake, and serve.


Occasionally this cake will emerge from the oven with a crack on top. Don't worry, it will still be delicious.