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  • Writer's pictureSusan Welsh


These days my aperitifs are less potent potables and more quotes and quotables. That is to say, the 7 o’clock broadcast of Jeopardy whets my appetite with clues like “In Wally’s own words, his was ‘the face that launched a thousand chips’” (Famous Amos).

You know, the kind of words that draw me into the kitchen to bake. Chocolate Chip cookies have been baked almost weekly in this household and one of my newest favorite recipes is David Lebovitz’s buckwheat chocolate chip cookies.

They’ve got all the satisfaction of your standard cookie but with added nuttiness and depth from buckwheat, one of my favorite pseudo cereals which are actually seeds consumed as cereal grains and are in the rhubard family.

Then there’s the Blues Clues team, showing up in places like the See’s Candy Factory, home of my favorite chocolate lollypop

and one of the most iconic episodes of I Love Lucy ever aired--the one where Lucy and Ethel are trying to wrap chocolate candy as it goes through a conveyor belt that’s progressively speeding up and they are forced to stuff the candies into their hats and blouses.

Just two weeks ago this clue: “ In legend the village of St. Calais France was once saved from hunger by these pastries basically flour & fruit.” Answer: Apple turnover. But perhaps one of my favorite Jeopardy clues is this one, for $400 under the category of quotable women that aired on December 11, 2020: “This French chef humorously said, ‘the only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.’”

The answer to that question, is, of course, Julia Child. So to celebrate National Eat Whatever You Want day today, and honor her, I endeavor to make the first French cake Julia ever ate, Reine de Saba—the chocolate and almond cake named for the Queen of Sheba (also, coincidentally, the nickname my mother gave me). Julia devoted her 100th show in December of 1965 to this decadent delight. Here’s the adaptation I’ll be using:

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