Linda Wertheimer

Hanif Kureishi has written plays and movies — notably the screenplay for My Beautiful Laundrette, which was nominated for an Oscar. But he's also won awards for his short stories and novels.

The British author's new book is a slender volume called The Nothing. Considering that there is very little sex in the book, it is a dirty book, about a nasty, dirty old man. The protagonist Waldo is in his 80s — he's "very withered" and "barely mobile," Kureishi says — when he suspects his younger wife Zee may be having an affair with one of his best friends.

We've all been listening to what we in the broadcast biz call "year-enders": the most popular books, music and movies of the year; and of course the always-moving lists of people who died this year, mostly famous people.

But we also have our lists of people in our private lives. Our close friends' Christmas dinner always includes toasts to people who are no longer at the table — it's a moment of memory we welcome and dread at the same time. We all have our own ways of remembering our dead. And I want to share mine with you.

A new biography of famed chef and cookbook author Paula Wolfert was recently published, featuring — you guessed it — some of her delicious recipes.

Wolfert has been called the Julia Child of Mediterranean food in America. She once spoke eight languages and could tell how a piece of bread was leavened with one bite. Thanks to her detailed writing, top chefs in the U.S. say she taught them to treasure flavors from the Mediterranean.

But a few years ago, Wolfert was diagnosed with dementia.

Since we've been paying a lot of attention to turnarounds by President Trump this week, I'd like to propose that one of the president's men would benefit from a reevaluation of his position on at least one thing: the news media.

My memories of Christmas growing up in New Mexico have grown rosier over the years: lots of lights on all our houses, a neighborhood across the Pecos River from us — which lined all the sidewalks and porches with Luminarias, candles in paper sack lanterns — we would drive over to look. Church services — including midnight mass at the Episcopal church — not our church but we went anyway. And of course food, starting with Christmas baking. My mother's bourbon-soaked fruitcake was famous.

Food was also the reason for most of the Christmas fights we had.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Here we are in an election year — once again asking the great see-into-the-future question in politics — who will be the next president?

Now that we've all had a wonderful time over the holidays, we can begin thinking about the election. Let me begin by saying that there are few things more exciting to me than an election year. Back in the day, I'd be headed for Iowa or maybe New Hampshire about now. Because coming right up are the first real judgments by real people. Over several months, we get to hear what ought to happen from our fellow Americans in states in all parts of the country — in places very different from Iowa and New Hampshire.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This at Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: We learn an unusual technique for cooking eggs to give you a silky, yolky sauce for huevos racheros.

Americans love competitors — in business, in politics, and in sports. And for some of us from the bad old days when only the guys got to play team sports, it's a very special thing to see women blowing through doors that not so long ago were closed to them.

We are moving into the election season — feels like we're moving faster and faster, candidates are already in the early states — notably the newly announced Hillary Clinton. She headed right to Iowa for some close encounters with voters. Republicans, reportedly a score or so, are in New Hampshire this weekend, taking turns shaking hands with voters,

Pages