Your favorite new appetizer

I spent the day celebrating the birth of our nation by taking a long walk, stopping for an iced coffee while sweating all over the counter of a local food purveyor, and then organizing every square centimeter of my kitchen, which is thankfully very small (this is the first time I've ever said those three words together about my kitchen).

I found a million things to recycle (old cords and random cables, dead batteries, useless flashlights, empty tape dispensers), and finally tossed the billion recipes I printed from the internet or tore out of magazines over the years. These have been sitting mostly untouched in binders and notebooks, except for the lucky few I reach for again and again, which I then scanned with my phone for future ease of use and portability. I know my weak points. Never, ever print anything.

So this is one of those: the recipe for these cheese mushroom canapés was emailed to me on 9/15/00 by a guy I worked with for a couple of months at a prepress vendor in Madison, WI, called Digital Color. He brought them to a baby shower for our coworker Tami, and they have been the most popular hors d'oeuvre at my house at Christmastime ever since. They are delicious both hot out of the oven and cold out of the refrigerator the morning after, although they never last that long. You absolutely should make them if you are entertaining people you like, or your family. I suppose I could go to the trouble of typing it all out for you, but where's the fun in that? Please enjoy this 17-year-old email instead.

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Sadly I have to end this terrific post by admitting that I saved the printout, too. I try to take a hard line when it comes to hoarding objects for purely sentimental reasons, but this is precious to me. Clearly it has seen some things along the way, as have I, and is both battered and better for it (as am I).