Yiddish saying —
Only in dreams are carrots as big as bears.
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photos by gluttonforlife

6.7.16 Root to Leaf

I've just come in from the garden. The weather is so glorious, sparkling fresh after Sunday's long, steady downpour. Hummingbirds zipped around me as I weeded the beds. Chipmunks chased each other around the rocky borders. The peony bushes are weighed down with tight buds about to burst open. Late-blooming lilacs perfume the silky air. June is busting out all over! Our farmers market is already offering us many delights: radishes galore, feathery fronds of tarragon, hardy stalks of green garlic, tart sorrel leaves and sweet little carrots with bushy greens still attached. From my own garden, the lovage, rhubarb and mint are faithful first responders, and tender greens—mustard, spinach, kale, lettuce—are ready for picking. I wake early to the complex melodies and syncopations of what sounds like a thousand birds and am filled with energy for the day ahead. Which is good because these days are coming at me fast and furious, requiring all my focus and creativity and determination.

Virginia Wolf —
Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends.
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photos by george billard

5.19.16 Support System

I started writing this blog 7 years ago with no real thought for where it might take me, other than deeper into my passions. Behind all the cooking (and eating), the gardening, the foraging, the entertaining and the traveling there is a lust for life, a desire to live very fully and freely, unencumbered by fear. I have shared openly here about my struggles as well as my joys: the death of one husband and the illness of another; the tyranny of my own perfectionism; what it means to get older. I have never advertised on this blog, never run any paid promotions. This is a sacred space for me and I feel lucky to have attracted a core of loyal readers. You are not "fans" nor "followers," you are kindred spirits who have accompanied me on this journey. As I strive to make a giant leap in a new direction with the opening of Fish & Bicycle, I need your support.

Price Pritchett —
Change always comes bearing gifts.
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photo by george billard

5.4.16 Money Changes Everything

It's not news to you that I have been toiling away these last many months on a project near and dear to my heart. Fish & Bicycle, a bar/cafe and small grocery in the Western Catskills is inching towards its launch date, one pulse-elevating, sweat-inducing, thrill-delivering day at a time. (I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...) We've garnered bank loans and grants, compiled our savings and delivered gallons of sweat equity, and we're still shy of the full amount we need to do a full build-out on the raw 1920s industrial building that will house our business. So we've launched a crowd-sourcing campaign to bring this labor of love on home. 

Robert Frost —
The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day.
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photos by gluttonforlife

4.14.16 Quaff

Is it spring yet? The calendar says so, but only last week there were snow flurries in these parts. Too little, too late, after an abysmally snow-free winter. Despite the cold, the season is making inroads. The red-wing blackbirds have arrived and some little yellow finches, too. More than one bear has ambled through our yard in search of birdseed. And the first hardy greens are up—garlic mustard and watercress in the wild; rhubarb, lovage and angelica in the garden. There will be nothing new from our local farms for some time, so I can't help but eyeball all that California bounty. My palate craves tender greens and bright, sunny flavors and those luscious lemons, artichokes and strawberries prove virtually irresistible. 

St. Francis of Assisi —
Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.
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photos by Steven Randazzo & Bette Blau (@whatbette found); food styling by Eugene Jho

3.24.16 Shooting Stars

More than a year ago, a beautiful and mysterious Frenchwoman asked me to partner with her to open a business in Narrowsburg, NY, a centuries-old hamlet on the Delaware River in Sullivan County. Juliette Hermant had a vision of creating a food destination that would showcase the bounty of our Catskill farms, fields and forests. Together, we dreamed up Fish & Bicycle, a bar, cafe and small grocery meant to serve as a gathering place for the community and a place to learn about our region, not only through the food but through workshops with local artisans, botanists, foragers and gardeners. For months, we have been sweating blood to bring this venture to fruition. My friends, this is a big mountain to climb. We have had to raise the finances to make this happen, and that's still a work in progress. We have had to learn about architectural plans, liquor licenses and LLCs. We had hoped to be open by May, but it's looking more like August...or even September. This is one of the hardest things I've ever done and, trust me, I've done some hard things in my life.