When I was in third grade, I made my mom a cookbook. I was in Mrs. Calderazzo and Mrs. Carnevale’s team and for Mother’s Day 1988, each of us brought in a recipe which we copied onto wide ruled paper and illustrated bizarrely. For the past twenty-two years one of those recipes has stuck with me: haystacks. As a kid I would melt butterscotch and chocolate chips over a double broiler then mix in salted peanuts and crispy chow mein noodles. I would eat most of the mixture before spooning bits onto wax paper. The few that made it were cooled in the fridge until hardened then devoured. In college, my mom would bring them up to New Haven for me and my roomates, who mistakenly called our fine haystacks “wicker baskets”. Whatever the name, these are undoubtedly in my top ten favorite sweets. Here’s a peek at my first, but hopefully not last, cookbook:

This one set the bar pretty high. I definitely have my work cut out for me if I hope to outdo this artistic masterpiece.