From Gulag to Goulash

02.17.13 2:38 PM ET

From a Polish Country House Kitchen

Today's New York Times "T" magazine has a wonderful profile of Anne Applebaum and the cookbook she co-wrote with my wife, Danielle Crittenden:

The cookbook idea came several years ago, when Crittenden, the international blog editor for the Huffington Post, and her husband, the conservative writer David Frum, were visiting Dwor Chobielin for a weekend filled with lots of people and lots of food. “I made them several meals,” Applebaum recalled. “And Danielle stood here in the kitchen and said, ‘No one’s done it. No one’s done anything since the Polish food revolution arrived!’ ”

“I completely bullied her into it,” Crittenden said, speaking by phone from Washington, D.C. The two got a contract and started working on the recipes — testing and tweaking, sending notes back and forth, feeding the results to their children — and then Crittenden was hit by a pang of conscience. “I thought, ‘Oh my God, is this interfering with her very important work on the history of Eastern Europe?’ ”

But Applebaum has always managed to balance serious scholarship with a lighter side. “She’s got a close group of friends in Washington, and when she comes we hang out and drink and yak and gossip,” Crittenden said. “When ‘Gulag’ came out” — Applebaum’s previous book, which won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction in 2004 — “I remember turning to one of my friends and saying, ‘Solzhenitsyn is our girlfriend!’ She has this amazing brain, but can be deeply girlish and fun.”