I was invited by an artist friend to attend the American Academy of Arts and Letters ceremony in NYC. I had the opportunity to say hello to Natalie Babbitt, author of Tuck Everlasting. Ira Glass and E.L. Doctorow were also there to receive awards, Bob Dylan didn't make it, but Garrison Keller was there on stage with a bright red tie and bright red socks.
If you want to see who won what awards and brush on some great literature reads check out this link.
I've been using this blog for over 5 years, not much of late but still returning. Over the years my mother-in-law was an important force in my life. She encouraged me to write my 3 books Cooking Fun, Crafting Fun and Homemade Fun. These books reflect a common understanding we had about life in American society when she grew up. As a young girl,I was at the the tail end of this generation of Americans who lived life a bit more simply day to day than we do now. We shared recipes, stories, values, and friendship.
She died in March after a long decline with dementia. She is buried in a quiet country cemetery that faces the eastern ridge of a small mountain range that sits behind the family property. That place is to the east of this long winding road in my banner photo (the 1919 image still looks very much the same today). Geologically, these were some of the first mountains ranges in North America which had once been as high as the western rockies. They are small now and weathered by time.
The lilacs and the near perfect beautiful sunny day looked over us as we all remembered her. We had a luncheon at the house for family and friends. Cousins gathered in the yard to play, run through the meadows to the brook as they have for the last 14 years. Friends and family talked and admired the ancient grove of lilacs that surrounds the house. The garden is blooming. The day was good.
I made a stew last night. As I chopped the carrots, celery, onions and garlic; cubed a pound of lean round steak, it felt like I was partaking in an ancient ritutal of my European ancestors. I added herbs, parsely, a little olive oil to brown the meat in our aging cast iron dutch oven. I put it on at 6:00 and it was ready at 9:30 (our Friday night dinner hour these days).
A peasant food so rich in nutrients and simplicity that it seemed a bit absurd that one would buy any packaged food at all for dinner when one could whip up a flavorful meal by using basic ingredients.
Served with garlic smashed potatoes (skin still on the potato), and a salad of green leaf lettuce dressed lightly with olive oil and homemade tarragon vinegar, the meal was complete.
That was dinner.
My question this morning, after I read this article on Macdonald's food is why does this institution of crap thrive? Where did our society go wrong? Really wrong. It's a good question and one that every average first world person should ask themselves each and everytime we step through the giant grocery stores and massive shelves of package food. What have we done to our food?
It's always a fun surprise to come across a photo of a relative on the internet. Thanks to some geneological minded relatives, these people continue to live. I just found these of my grandmother's sister Inez and photos of her husband Edwin. They were from the same small town in Pennsyvlania. I have never seen this photo of Inez. More on her...and the family.
The holidays are still lingering in our home. We haven't had the heart to take the tree down and the boxwood wreath about the mantel still holds a space of green against the white wall. If you touch a leaf it crumbles so for now until end of the month we will leave it on the wall in its elegant shape and let the holdays fade gently.
Our place is old, 100 or so years, and is the parlor floor of one what once a grand townhouse. It's quiet as well, one might forget we are in one of the busiest cities in the world living here. That's what I like about our home.
Well, December 1st. Where did you come from? Just seems like it was summer then fall. Here are some photos from my iphone of where my eyes have been over the past several months. We are joyful for the Christmas holiday season. Joyful.
Can't wait to fill our home with Christmas magic and all the beauty and nostalgic fun that happens once a year. December 1st, welcome. 'Tis the season to be jolly!
Chicken for sale at agway
barefoot and muckboot in kitchen
random graffiti on road east side
Hurricane Sandy day after NYC
treasure recipe found in old family notebook homemade pies for Thanksgiving