Attention —
As of 10/16/17, this blog is no longer active. Please visit me at The Outside Institute ( xo
Marsh 790 xxx
photos by george billard

10.16.17 To All Things a Season

To everything there is a season...whether you know these words from Ecclesiastes or from Pete Seeger's song recorded by The Byrds, I'm sure you understand the underlying meaning. Everything happens in its own time. Change is the one constant and we ride it like a wave, knowing that it's taking us somewhere—always forward, though sometimes it doesn't feel that way. As we evolve, parts of us die and fall away; new parts unfurl and bloom. This is the cycle, the journey of life. And so it has come to pass that this is my last post on Glutton for Life. Even as I write that, I feel resistance, reluctance, sadness...but I know it's the right thing for me at this time. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Emma Goldman —
I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.
Cocktail 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.11.17 Rose-Colored Glass

Hello, it's me. Remember me? I think this is the longest I've ever gone without writing here since I started this blog in 2010. I'm pulled in a different direction these days, as I have founded The Outside Institute, a new venture that is keeping me extremely busy. I encourage you to visit the site and read about our mission to help people connect to the healing and transformative powers of nature. Consider signing up for one of our Events—hikes, workshops, forest bathing—including a limited series of six-course dinners for twelve I am serving in my screened-in porch. The first two sold out and were, quite frankly, a blast. The next one is on July 29th (see details here) and there are still a few seats left. Maybe you'd like to come up for the weekend? Sullivan County has some lovely new inns and restaurants, which I've listed here. As passionate as I am about this project, Glutton for Life still has a firm grip on my heart, if not my schedule. So, here I am with a recipe for a summer cocktail featuring rose petal syrup, fresh strawberries and gin that I'm hoping will allow me to slip back into your good graces. 

John Muir —
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home.
Trout lily 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

4.13.17 Born Again

Since the last time I wrote, just a few weeks ago, spring has arrived. Even now, a plague of iridescent grackles is strutting about the yard, two robins are colliding mid-air in a mating dance and the forsythia at the end of the drive is about to burst forth in a cloud of screaming yellow flowers. At night the racket made by the frogs is barely audible above the whoosh of rushing water, as every creek, brook and stream overflows from the snow melt and recent rains. Like the fiddleheads in their papery skins, I, too, am beginning to unfold and turn my face toward the sun. From the searching introspection of my darkest winter days has come a bright vision of the future. I have renewed optimism and my energies are focused on a new idea: The Outside Institute. I'm excited to share with you this fledgling venture that seems to be taking on momentum as the weather warms and the days grow longer.

Join me this Saturday 3/18, 1-4pm, for a tasting at The Alchemist's Kitchen in NYC, 21 East 1st St!
Taytea 790 xxx
photo by gluttonforlife

3.16.17 Tea Time

Just a quick note to let you know that I'll be joining my friend Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea at The Alchemist's Kitchen in New York City this Saturday for a free tasting of her marvelous green teas. She's invited me to use them to create a couple of special non-alcoholic elixirs, so I'll be bringing some of my homemade ingredients, like wild rose petal syrup, pickled cherries and foraged chaga tincture. I would so love to see you there!


Stop by on Saturday, 3/18, from 1 to 4pm, at The Alchemist's Kitchen, 21 East 1st Street. 

Susan Orlean —
A snow day literally and figuratively falls from the sky—unbidden—and seems like a thing of wonder.
Basket 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

3.14.17 Spring to Mind

As I write this, I can hear the steady thud of logs being stacked in our screened-in porch. We're expecting a major snowstorm in these parts and that requires preparation. With a fire in the hearth and soup on the stove, coziness is assured. G does firewood; I do soup. Between us, we get it done. A few warmer days last week and, despite an ensuing freeze, the butterburs emerged from beneath their blanket of pine needles. These common plants, known as petasites, belong to a genus of the sunflower family that also includes coltsfoots. Perennials with thick, creeping underground rhizomes, they spread over the years and their large, rhubarb-like leaves are fodder for slugs in the summer. But their beautiful, cold-hardy buds are a late-winter/early-spring delicacy in Japan, where Petasites japonicus, also known as fuki, grows like a weed. I was lucky enough to receive some of these plants a few years ago from my Japanese friend Tomo and they have adapted well to my garden (lots of shade and pine).