Welcoming, reading, watching, cooking

Summer is flying by, as it always seems to. Here in the US Mid-Atlantic, in the last few weeks we’ve had many hot, steamy days and extended periods of heavy rain, a weather pattern that seems more typical of South Florida. The upside is that everything in the garden is lush and colorful, especially the […]

Read More…

Modest little treasures

I’ve been a fan of those spiral-bound “community” cookbooks since I first started cooking. My interest, which admittedly has very little to do with cooking, dates to Mollie’s Cookbook, a mid-1970s fund-raiser for the Voluntary Action Center, an organization in Scranton PA that matched volunteers with charitable groups and institutions in need of help. The […]

Read More…

Apple season redux

If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you know that fall is my favorite time of year, and October my very favorite month. Nothing beats the splendor of autumn leaves against a not-just-blue-but-BLUE October sky. The air is crisp enough for a sweater and maybe a scarf, but the bone chill is weeks away. […]

Read More…

Beans and macaroni

Not long ago, one of my high school friends hosted a retro luncheon. The assignment was to bring something that was “always on the table” when we were growing up. I struggled with this request. In our Italian-American household, there were no Jello salads or tuna noodle casseroles. Lasagne was way too heavy and rich […]

Read More…

The peach, with apologies to E. E. Cummings…

…given its perfectly splendid nature, perhaps the line should have read, “Do I dare NOT to eat a peach?” All bad J. Alfred Prufrock jokes aside, the peach is surely the most splendid of summer fruits… not only for its singular taste and texture, but also for its range of luscious color, from the fairest […]

Read More…

The family farm… an appreciation

Summer, like each of the seasons, has its own enchantments… “abundant sunshine,” lots of evening light. We can be outside morning, noon, and night without the burden of outerwear. We have the pleasure of flowers, shrubs, and trees that give us shade. If we’re lucky enough, we can read on the beach, take a boat […]

Read More…

James Beard on almost everything

I received James Beard’s Love and Kisses and a Halo of Truffles as a gift about a decade ago, when I was deep into Julia Child and M. F. K. Fisher. All this time, it had sat there patiently on the shelf. About two weeks ago, in search of a change, I picked it up, […]

Read More…

Start-of-March miscellany

Apart from wishing away what is hopefully the last of the cold weather, I can’t say that I’ve been full of ambition in the last few weeks. I can say with reasonable reliability, however, that I have hit this same slump every year of my adult life. I expect I’m not alone. On the bookshelf… […]

Read More…

The birthday brunch

It isn’t easy to be a Christmas baby. It’s a lifetime of competition with much of the world’s very favorite holiday when your birthday falls on December 23 or thereabouts. When my daughter was tiny, we had half-birthday parties for her in June, after school was out. In adulthood, she’s mostly enjoyed her own celebrations […]

Read More…