"In Rural Tennessee, a Food Business Could Boost an Old Railroad Town"
100 Days in Appalachia, September 5
"Nathaniel Mary Quinn Transforms His Fractured Past Into Arresting Art"
Chicago magazine, September 2017
"The Freewheelin' Mark Bittman"
Epicurious, June 14
"How to Cook a Muskrat (You Have to Skin It First)"
Epicurious, May 22
"Melissa Clark's New Dinner Deal"
Epicurious, March 7
"Trump Won't Need to Silence Journalists if Media Orgs Beat Him to It"
Medium, January 31
—Admittedly a bit personal, as it's about my boyfriend being fired from his reporting job, but largely about how diverse newsrooms and viewpoints are crucial to honest journalism now more than ever.
"Bread and Roses, and Determination, on a Dark January Weekend"
Epicurious, January 19
—Revisiting the old labor song ahead of Donald Trump's Inauguration.
Selected Epicurious, 2016
"The Soup That Symbolizes Haitian Freedom," December 29
—On soup joumou, a dish celebrating Haiti's independence.
"More Than What Is on the Plate," November 11
—A few thoughts on food and justice in the age of Trump.
"VH1 Looks for High Ratings—Get It?—With Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg," November 7
—A review of their weird new TV show.
"How to Make a Real Upper Michigan Meat Pie," October 20
—Meet the pasty, an important food from my childhood.
"Everybody Should Get to Love Something Like Martha Stewart Loves Meringue," October 13
—Martha + meringue: a close reading.
"Huckleberry Muffins and 'Male Gaze Macarons' in an Arty New Cookbook," October 11
—A review of The Artists' and Writers' Cookbook.
"Transform Your Vegetable Garden With This One Simple Quack," September 14
—A love letter to the ducks we raised in Ohio.
"The Antarctic Ice Sheet Is on the Verge of Collapse and We Evaluated This Season's Freshest Pumpkin Spice Products," September 12
—It's, uh, a listicle.
"A Loving Portrait of Appalachian Food, Past and Future," September 9
—An interview with the wonderful southern food writer Ronni Lundy about her new book, Victuals.
"How Cookbooks Write (and Rewrite) History," July 8
—An interview with Carrie Helms Tippen, a scholar who examined how cookbooks address racism and slavery (or not).
"Cherry Pie: A Tart Appreciation," July 7
—Only sour cherries, though.
"We Discovered the New Kale, and It's Literally Everything," June 20
"Meet the GoSun Oven, the Solar-Powered Oven of the Future," March 2
—A profile of the Ohio inventor of a solar-powered oven.
"This Modern Master Spent His Life Bringing Black Faces to Classic Art"
Chicago magazine, April 2016
—A profile of the tremendous Chicago artist Kerry James Marshall on the occasion of a well-deserved retrospective.
"For Natalie Y. Moore, south-side Chicago isn't a headline—it's home"
Chicago Reader, March 24
"Can the MacArthur Foundation Find Its Mojo?"
Chicago magazine, September 2015
—A long profile of the foundation and its new president, Julia Stasch.
"The Secret History of Southern Tomato Pie"
Epicurious, July 29
"How to Build a Better Buttercream"
Epicurious, May 4
"Aleksandar Hemon’s New Novel Tackles Zombies"
Chicago magazine, May 2015
—An interview with the author about his new book, The Making of Zombie Wars.
"Making the Cookbook: The Cake Bible"
"Making the Cookbook: A Book of Middle Eastern Food"
"Making the Cookbook: The Silver Palate Cookbook"
"Making the Cookbook: An Invitation to Indian Cooking"
Epicurious, April 13
—A suite of as-told-to interviews with four culinary legends: respectively, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Claudia Roden, Julee Rosso, and Madhur Jaffrey.
"The Secret to Better Brownies: You Must Whip It"
Epicurious, March 20
"Country Enough: From Conway and George to Maddie & Tae"
Los Angeles Review of Books, March 19
"Court Theatre's 'The Good Book' Tackles the Bible"
Chicago magazine, March 2015
"Use the Orange. The Whole Orange."
Epicurious, February 27
The Awl, December 19
"Milwaukee Suburb's Water Request Is a Test for the Great Lakes Compact"
Earth Island Journal, December 17
"A 30-Second Review of 'Men: Notes From an Ongoing Investigation'"
Chicago magazine, November 2014
"Review: 'The Bone Clocks' by David Mitchell
Chicago Tribune, September 12
"Richard Wright's Native Son returns to Chicago"
Chicago magazine, September 2014
"Review: 'The Magician's Land' by Lev Grossman"
—The last in Grossman's astounding Magicians trilogy.
Chicago Tribune, August 8
"30-Second Review: 'The Mockingbird Next Door: Life With Harper Lee'"
Chicago magazine, August 2014
"Review: 'California' by Edan Lepucki"
Chicago Tribune, July 11
"Beauty and Ruin in Pigeon Forge"
—About Dolly Parton and the lost geography of eastern Tennessee.
The Awl, July 10
"Can a Poor Chicago Neighborhood Be Reborn as a National Park?"
—Pullman, the former factory town, might become a national park. I examined the implications.
Next City, July 7
"Review: 'Your Fathers, Where Are They? [etc]' by Dave Eggers
Chicago Tribune, July 4
"Review: 'Song of the Shank' by Jeffery Renard Allen"
Chicago Tribune, June 20
"The Natural Selection of Jenny Kendler"
—A profile of a fascinating artist and environmental activist who's the Natural Resources Defense Council's first-ever artist in resident.
Chicago Reader, June 3
"Review: 'Carsick' by John Waters"
Chicago Tribune, May 30
"Review: 'Lost for Words' by Edward St. Aubyn"
Chicago Tribune, May 18
"The Deserts Bloom"
—On David Grand's novel Mount Terminus.
Los Angeles Review of Books, March 11
"Joel Greenberg's 'A Feathered River Across the Sky' Tracks the Terminal Flight of the Passenger Pigeon"
—Great book, sort of a bummer.
Chicago Reader, January 7
Selected earlier work
"The Art of Collecting"
—A profile of a group of Chicago collectors of art from the African diaspora.
Chicago Reader, October 9, 2013
"Dillman's Is Brendan Sodikoff's Blintz-krieg"
Chicago Reader, September 20, 2013
"Henry Darger, in the Realms of the Possibly Real"
—Really kind of a long rant.
Chicago Reader, September 18, 2013
"Where Things Stand With Honey Boo Boo"
—An appraisal in preparation for the second season.
Chicago Reader, July 17, 2013
"Susan Nussbaum's Next Act"
—Profile of a wonderful writer (Good Kings Bad Kings) and longtime disability rights activist.
Chicago Reader, May 30, 2013
"Dough (And Some Batters Too): A Listicle"
—A little memoir.
Chicago Reader, April 18, 2013
"Ay Chiwowa? Oy Vey"
—A review of an epically terrible restaurant.
Chicago Reader, April 1, 2013
"The Puzzler and the Puzzled"
—I created a crossword puzzle and wrote about it.
Chicago Reader, March 28, 2012
"Will the 80s Ever End?"
Chicago Reader, February 16, 2012
"The Last Big Bang"
—A visit to Fermilab as it shut down its particle supercollider, and a visit with the farmers who were displaced to make way for the facility.
Chicago Reader, September 29, 2011