Beth Hensperger's Sweet Potato Muffins
Tasting Rome's Picchiapò

Checking In

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Dearest readers, forgive me for my long radio silence. I was working on the first and second pass of Classic German Baking and was felled by a hideous case of the flu (the real thing, against which I was not inoculated and which swiftly infected everyone else in my household, so once I got better, after TWO FULL WEEKS in bed because the flu, that no-good jerk, then morphed into bronchitis, for the love of Pete, I had to play nurse to first my son and then my husband, leaving precious time for anything else). But we are all better now and the book is almost finished, with just a little time left before it wings its way to the printer. And over here, I find myself staring into the entirely predictable and yet no less jarring void that accompanies the end of any all-consuming creative project. It's a welcome void, one I've longed for, no doubt, and yet it's still a little...unnerving. But no matter. Life calls, as does the gym, not to mention all the recipes I have to tell you about and I can't wait to get back into writing here.

In gratitude for your patience, please accept this photo of a weeks-old baby Hugo posing alongside an absolutely epic yeasted bread that my beloved Joanie made for us as a celebration of his birth almost four years ago and that I recently dug up because I mention it in the book and I needed to jog my memory. If you look closely, you see that the loaf is in the shape of a swaddled baby and is studded not only with raisins, almonds and walnuts, but also has little balls of marzipan tucked in here and there. Isn't it insane? It was as delicious as it looks, though part of me would have gladly embalmed it to save it for the rest of my life. Who needs cute onesies and baby books when you can have this kind of baby gift? Sigh.

See you back here very soon.

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