From birth to death, life presents a series of culinary challenges. Burying dear old dad was a snap, compared to finding a place for the wake. The chosen site provoked a row among the survivors, which included vegans, anti-cholesterol freaks, Atkins acolytes, folks keeping kosher or halal, and others who were just plain peevish about eating. In a worst-case scenario, a friend discovered that 50 distant relatives—most of whom he'd never met—were descending on New York to commemorate Great-grandma's arrival at Ellis Island a century ago. And a call from an older sister clued him in that he was responsible for organizing a giant banquet for a crowd of finicky and frugal Midwestern eaters. He turned to me and I helped him. And I can... More >>>