Rao is one of the most gifted stylists and storytellers in food writing today. She prefers to set her sights on others, but sometimes she lets her own life take the spotlight, such as in this piece on making shrikhand, a sweet and sweetly spiced Indian yogurt dessert. Her pleasure in making it reverberates off the page and right into your skull: "So much home cooking turns a little into a lot, stretching bread or bones, using every last bit to serve more food, to more people. Not shrikhand. This is celebration food, and to make it is to indulge in some wastefulness, to end up with less than you started with, to choose pleasure over practicality."