For the sweetest, smoothest strawberry jam, author Kevin West suggests staying as far away as possible from what he calls "Pamela Anderson fruit": the big strawberries found in regular supermarkets. He prefers picking small, red berries from farm stands, instead.
Credit Kevin West / Knopf
These snappy dill pickles were once Kirby cucumbers. The canning liquid is made with vinegar, fennel and coriander seeds that give them their distinct tart flavor.
Credit Josh Norris / Knopf
Kevin West is a "canning evangelist," and he's the author of Saving the Season, a colorful guide to preserving the bounty from a backyard vegetable harvest — or a compulsive farmers market shopping spree.
Shopping at a farmers market on a weekend morning can turn bittersweet if your eye for just-picked summer fruit is bigger than your refrigerator and appetite.
That's a crisis first-time cookbook author Kevin West found himself in a few years back. After one particular farmers market spree, West's buyer's remorse came from a big package of fresh strawberries.
Richard Russo, the writer who won the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for his book Empire Falls, published a new novel six months ago. If you're wondering how you missed it, it might be because Russo chose not to publish with a traditional publisher. There are no hardcover or paperback copies of Nate in Venice -- it's only available by subscription on Byliner, a digital publishing service, where you can only read it on an e-reader, phone or tablet.
NPR's Kelly McEvers struggled with intense, unexpected emotions during the Arab Spring, when friends were being kidnapped and worse. It made her wonder, why do otherwise intelligent people risk their lives to report on conflicts?
In early 2011, I started seeing things in slow motion. I cried unpredictably. It was the time of the Arab uprisings. Colleagues and friends were getting kidnapped. Some were getting killed.
Longtime Chicago radioman Jim Nayder brought ear-aching music from his Annoying Music Show to Weekend Edition for many years. He died on Friday at the age of 59. Host Scott Simon has this remembrance of his friend.
Jim Nayder was a sweet soul and a cockeyed wit in a world with too little of both. He said annoying music wasn't bad, so much as good songs recorded by big stars who should have known better.
NEARY: Lance Armstrong says it's impossible to win the Tour de France without drugs and today marks the start of the 100th Tour de France race. A murder charge against former New England Patriots' tight end Aaron Hernandez has rattled football fans. But it's not all crime and punishment in sports. There's also the U.S. Women's Open in golf.
The death toll in Syria's ongoing civil war may now be as high as 100,000. As the violence mounts, another emergency is looming: a public health crisis across the region.
That's the conclusion of a new study published by the British medical journal The Lancet. Syria's health care system is near collapse. Outbreaks of disease are on the rise in the country, and refugees sheltered beyond the border are also at great risk.
Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 12:36 pm
Rachel Jeantel. Her hourslong testimony spanned two days of the George Zimmerman trial, and I bet you'll be talking about it with your friends over the weekend. She's the 19-year-old key witness for the prosecution who had a cellphone conversation with Trayvon Martin moments before he was killed.
Originally published on Sat June 29, 2013 12:25 pm
At the time of his death from cancer in June, Iain Banks had written 27 books. He was the rarest of creatures, a writer acclaimed (by critics and fans alike) not just for his literary fiction, but also for the science fiction novels he wrote as Iain M. Banks. It is hard to think of another author who crossed genres and melded audiences with a comparable level of success.
Gay rights activists celebrated two big victories this week before the U.S. Supreme Court, as justices overturned the Defense of Marriage Act and cleared the way for same-sex marriages in California.
Now gay marriage opponents and supporters are turning their attention to individual states, like New Jersey, where polls show most residents support same-sex marriage. So far, one person, Gov. Chris Christie, has stood in the way.
Paula Deen dissolved into tears during her appearance Wednesday on NBC's Today show with Matt Lauer. The celebrity chef told Lauer she was not a racist, but image experts say she'll have to work harder to convince the public.
Right now, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. One of them is 73-year-old Pansy Greene. She's in the early stages of Alzheimer's, and she and her husband, Winston, want people to know that so far, their daily lives have changed little despite the diagnosis.
For many of us, a single cycling event — the Tour de France — defines athleticism on two wheels. The epic race was first organized by a French newspaper editor named Henri Desgrange in 1903. But Desgrange also had a hand in the creation of a very different style of cycling: the randonnée, a long distance-ride that prizes camaraderie and self-sufficiency over flat-out speed.
President Barack Obama plans to visit privately Saturday with relatives of former South African President Nelson Mandela, but doesn't intend to see the critically ill anti-apartheid activist he has called a "personal hero."
The White House did not disclose any details for Obama's plans to meet the family in a brief statement issued upon Obama's first morning in South Africa during a weeklong tour of the continent. The statement simply said that Obama and his wife would offer their thoughts and prayers at the family's difficult time.
The Fourth of July is just around the corner, and on the big day, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture will be heard from coast to coast, complete with fireworks and cannons. But how did a Russian composition, depicting the rout of Napoleon's Army, end up as the unofficial soundtrack for our most quintessentially American holiday?
If you were a track and field fan in the 1980s and '90s, three names rose above all the others — and they all belonged to one woman. Jackie Joyner-Kersee rose from East St. Louis to medal in four Olympic Games and to be named the greatest female athlete of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated.
Now it's time for our final game, Lightning Fill in the Blank. Each of our players will have 60 seconds in which to answer as many fill-in-the-blank questions as he or she can. Each correct answer now worth two points. Bill, can you give us the scores?
BILL KURTIS: Brian as one, Kyrie has two, Mo has five.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals lifted its injunction on gay marriages in California on Friday. They'd been on hold while the challenges to Proposition 8 worked their way through the appeals process.
Attorneys for former Joint Chiefs Vice Chairman Marine Gen. James Cartwright say it is "preposterous" to say he betrayed the United States. Here, Cartwright is seen during an announcement by President Obama, along with, from left, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Vice President Joe Biden, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Retired Marine Gen. James "Hoss" Cartwright, the former vice chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff who has reportedly been named as a target of a federal leak investigation, has issued a statement defending himself, saying that he did not betray the United States.
Miami Public Service Aide Tatayana Harris enters information into her laptop after clearing an accident in Miami's Little Havana community. Harris has been a Miami Police PSA for five years and hopes to become a police officer.
Credit Marsha Halper for NPR
Miami Police Department dispatcher Shekita Johnson and officer Ernest Lawrence staff the boards at Miami's Communications Unit. Call-takers in the unit screen the 911 calls, then send them to dispatchers.
Credit Marsha Halper for NPR
Harris is upbeat as she responds to a fender bender in Little Havana. PSAs drive marked cars but are unarmed.
When the 911 phone system was established, it gave citizens a fast, easy way to reach police in an emergency.
But it also created a logistical challenge for law enforcement: Police departments get so many calls, 911 can be as much a burden as a boon. Many calls are non-emergencies, and responding can take police away from situations where they're really needed.
What does an overhaul of the nation's immigration laws have to do with the Second Amendment right to own guns?
If you're the Gun Owners of America, everything.
The GOA, a smaller cousin of the National Rifle Association that often takes an even more aggressive approach, is branding the just-passed Senate immigration bill, with its path to citizenship for people in the country illegally, as an "anti-gun amnesty."
Opponents of Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi burn the contents of an office of the Freedom and Justice Party, an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Alexandria Friday. Two people were reportedly killed in clashes in the city.
Two people have died in Alexandria, Egypt, where protests against President Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have been building all week. Egyptian security officials say one of the dead is an American citizen. Dozens of people were wounded in the violence.
Update at 8 p.m. ET: Death Of U.S. Citizen Confirmed
"We can confirm that a U.S. citizen was killed in Alexandria, Egypt," State Department Press Office Director Patrick Ventrell said in a news release Friday evening.
A heat wave is broiling America's Southwest, where temperatures are expected to soar past 110 degrees in coming days. Before noon on Friday, temperatures in many parts of southeastern California, Nevada and Arizona had already topped 100 degrees.
An "excessive heat warning" was issued Friday by the National Weather Service, which blames the dangerously high temperatures on "a massive area of high pressure across the Western United States through Monday."
For at least as long as there have been Fall Preview issues of TV Guide, there's been a sense of optimistic excitement about the start of new television series. But more recently, producers of long-running TV shows have injected excitement into the ends of their programs' life spans as well. By announcing, in advance, that a show is going into its final season, no matter what, it ups the emotional ante on what to expect — and, with a finite end in sight, what might happen.