Mohamed —
Don't tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have travelled.
Peony bud 790 xxx
iPhotos by gluttonforlife

6.5.15 Greece Is the Word (& June Hot Links)

Farewell is such sweet sorrow. I'm leaving on a jet plane, just as the garden kicks into its full glory. While I'm away, the peonies are going to bloom in a burst of pink and white fireworks. The jasmine will waft its sweet fragrance all over the yard and into the open windows of our tiny cottage, but I'll be in Greece. Which will certainly be no small consolation for missing one of the prime moments of the season in our little corner of the Catskills. I've never been to Greece before but my suitcase is packed with all things blue and white in anticipation. Last night, only half joking, I made a Greek salad for dinner. Priming the pump. New sights, new sounds, new tastes, new friends: here I come.


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Rodgers & Hammerstein —
June is bustin' out all over
Redbud 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife and friends

5.28.15 Spring Things

Do you want the good news or the bad news? Let's get the bad news over with. The beautiful little eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis) outside our kitchen window gave up the ghost. Its vivid pink blossoms, one of the earliest harbingers of spring, failed to appear last year. We chalked it up to the same late frost that destroyed many apple blossoms, since the tree eventually leafed out, its broad, heart-shaped greenery a welcome source of summer shade, But this year, there were again no blossoms and no leaves either. Further investigation revealed deep vertical cracks running up both sides of the trunk. Apparently, it's not entirely unusual for strong winds to cause this, though it certainly feels deeply unjust. The skeletal branches are a sad reminder of how much I will miss our dear tree, a friend to birds and butterflies, and a bosom companion to this solitary writer. Now, on to the good...


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Diana Vreeland —
Lettuce is divine, although I'm not sure it's really a food.
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photos by gluttonforlife

5.13.15 Take Heart

There's something deeply incongruous about lying in bed under the thick pall of a terribly scratchy throat, throbbing head and low-grade fever, while outside spring breezes tickle the chins of freshly bloomed yellow poppies and robins flit about the lawn, thrusting their red breasts before them. Flu, you are not my fair-weather friend. And apparently, neither are the great wafts of green pollen drifting through our screens. After swallowing a few tablespoons of last year's elderberry syrup and spritzing my cracked gullet with Portland Apothecary's Redroot & Licorice remedy, I am drinking vats of beet-ginger juice and throwing garlic into whatever I eat. In like a lion, out like a cranky bitch. Ah well.

 

On the bright side, I am back to posting after more than two weeks away, during which time I have indulged in spring things like wild watercress, ramp salt, green garlic and fistfuls of fresh asparagus, which I enjoyed for breakfast and lunch yesterday. We are moving into the season of crisp greens and lovely lettuces, and soon there will be peas and rhubarb and baby radishes and all manner of perky morsels to tempt our weary, winter-worn appetites.


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Moorish proverb —
Every beetle is a gazelle in the eyes of its mother.
Quiche 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.28.15 Mother's Little Helper

There are now so many established days of commemoration that between Siblings Day (April 10th), World Mosquito Day (August 20th) and National Cat Day (October 29th) it can be difficult to rouse sufficient enthusiasm for all these notable occasions. But few among us would dare to dismiss the second Sunday in May as just another manufactured celebration. For on that date every year, we pay tribute to the sainted creature who ushered us into this world. Why not honor her with a day off from cooking? Though in this world of working moms and takeout it may seem anachronistic to imagine her being tied to the stove, there’s no one of either sex who doesn’t enjoy sitting down to a delicious meal—especially when it's been lovingly prepared by someone else. And what better dish to offer on Mother’s Day than one that has been accused of being overly effeminate? I’m referring, of course, to quiche and I've got the perfect recipe you can whip up for dear old Mom on May 10th.


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Seneca —
It is part of the cure to want to be cured.
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just out from viking

4.21.15 Live Long & Prosper

Dis-moi ce que tu manges, je te dirai ce que tu es. [Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.] That famous quote is from legendary epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin's 1826 tome, Physiologie du Gout, ou Méditations de Gastronomie Transcendante. In the nearly two centuries since its publication, what we have learned only confirms this seemingly reductive statement. The rise of industrialized and fast foods—and the attendant increase in cardiovascular illness, obesity and diabetes—has brought renewed focus to the pervasive impact of nutrition on health. This is not news to anyone who reads this blog. Three of the basic tenets that are the backbone of my work here are directly related: Eat adventurously, for health and pleasure. Stay close to nature and explore its ability to nourish and heal. Expand your mind and your palate, not your waistline. So it was with great interest that I read Dr. Mitchell Gaynor's just-released book, The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle. Christiane Northrup describes it as "a godsend that could save your life." 


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