The last survivors

  • [wp_caption id="attachment_8" align="alignleft" width="225" caption="Heirloom tomatoes"]Heirloom tomatoes[/wp_caption]

  • Happy Anniversary!

    We went about our day in a normal fashion, and had just gotten home with dinner (pizza with eggplant and goat cheese and Caesar salad) when Matt’s mom called. From my end of the conversation, I gathered that Matt was thanking her for a card we hadn’t yet received. I suddenly realized that it was our anniversary! Four years, which isn’t much in the grand scheme, but not too shabby. We both felt terrible that we hadn’t remembered on our own what day it was…and we would’ve been much nicer to each other if we had. Unconditional love is a nice thought, but sometimes dirty dishes get in the way…….

    I weeded in the garden for a bit today. Every day I venture out, vulture-like, to see what’s ready to pick. We’ve had some strawberries so far, and the blueberries are getting very close. The raspberries have started to turn, and I picked what I could from the edge of the patch. It always turns into a brambly mess as the weather gets nice, as hard as I try to keep paths clear so I can pick. Instead, I have to put on pants, sneakers, and long sleeves so I don’t get too scraped up.

    Tomorrow we’re going to New Hampshire for the fourth. We’ll be at the Manfre’s lake house, close quarters and hopefully fun times. I’ve always loved the fourth, since it’s right around the corner from my birthday. When I was little, we would go to Pennsylvania to visit with my Mom’s family. They would have a cake and present for me, and I would swim until my lips turned blue. There are pictures of me when I was six in my pink tiger bathing suit with the little skirt, eating cake.

  • I'm a blogger, too!

    [wp_caption id="attachment_17" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Sausage and peppers with fresh local squash"]Sausage and peppers with fresh local squash[/wp_caption]

    Well, those of you who have known me for awhile probably never would have thought they would see ME blogging. Since I am rather adverse to computers and technology in general, it is rather a stretch. I thought it may be a good project for someone nearing an important age (it's not 20). Maybe it's the fear, or just the novelty, but I hope to keep it going---at least for a few months.

    I am beginning my much-anticipated four day vacation. I plan to do lazy things that I don't normally have time for, like lying in the hammock (a new addition to the estate--check it out when you visit) and creating a brand new gelato flavor (I've been wanting to use fresh herbs in everything). Also, I am determined to make fun popsicles--all the rage now, but there's something very appealing about them. Like the Jell-O pudding pops that I loved as a kid--creamy and comforting, vanilla, chocolate, and swirl. My brother and I had them when we went swimming at my grandparents' pool.

    I also plan to get in the studio and try to remember what I do there. It's unfortunately been awhile...The good news is that 500 Handmade Books just came out (published by Lark Books), and my books are two of the 500! Not a very good percentage, I know, but good enough for me.

    Stay tuned to this space. I promise pictures and more.....

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The last survivors

The garden is in a sad state. Spring is a hopeful time, full of anticipation, colorful seed packets, and sprightly young seedlings. Summer continues along optimistically, with endless sunny days and lush green foliage leading to ruffled heads of lettuce, jewel-like Sungolds, and ruby red peppers. Fall is the decline, with only a few choice survivors thriving in the midst of weeds and neglect. My last survivors are brussel sprouts and lacinato kale (and some stray lettuce and carrots). A few of you may have cringed at the mention of b. sprout, but oddly enough, it’s a vegetable that Matt really likes. Maybe because it reminds him of tiny cabbages, and he is a fan of those. Since he can be a little….selective when it comes to green veggies, if I find one he likes I’ll cook it as often as I can get away with. The sprouts are definitely taking their sweet time to be ready to pick—we’ll see if they make the cut for next year.

This past week, I attended my first official wine tasting. I’ve been to other wine and food events, but this was the first that I was only there to try wine…and lots of it. The event I attended was hosted by a company whose portfolio is strong in Italian wines. We started with sparkling and whites from the Alto Adige area. The Pinot Grigios are pure and pristine, full of crisp fresh fruit. They certainly redeemed their Californian cousins, which didn’t prove near as interesting. I had a beautiful Italian Gewürztraminer  from the producer Tramin, the 2007 Nussbaumer, from the same region, so pure and exotic with rose petals and spice. (Side note—this very wine is featured as a pairing partner in the current issue of Food and Wine! Who knew I could be that trendy?) The other very pleasant surprise was a grappa made from straight grape varietals from the producer Jacopo Poli. Incredibly refined and distinctive, the muscato had beautiful bright floral notes on the finish. And an aged grappa, rich with caramel and vanilla, full and round and elegant. Two and a half hours and nearly 40 wines later, time flew by with me feeling like we had just gotten started.