August 2012

Henry James —
Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.
Beach 790 xxx
photo by ray metzker

8.6.12 The Living Is Easy

I almost forgot: Every August I take a vacation from the blog. So the time has come. I hate to leave you, but rules is rules. It's a good opportunity for me to regroup and recharge, and perhaps for you to dig into the archive and discover lots of new things (like posts from the past three summers!). I'll be back right after Labor Day with the faintest of tan lines and renewed vigor for all manner of projects, in and out of the kitchen. But before I go, here are a few ideas to inspire you to make the most of these last sun-drenched and carefree days of the season.
Back path 790 xxx
photos by george billard

8.2.12 No Place Like Home

As much as I love to travel the world, the journey home will always be my favorite. I spent several long hours in the Atlanta airport yesterday, waiting for my delayed flight back to Newark, surrounded by squalling babies, lurid fluorescent lighting, enormously fat people talking much too loudly on their cell phones and a general air of fetid unhealthiness. When it became clear that a real dinner was not in my future, I sidled hopefully up to the nearest Wolfgang Puck Express where I was met with the world's saddest array. Dessicated "baby" carrots, the desperate orange of Guantánamo jumpsuits, huddled in fogged plastic containers alongside clammy cubes of cheese and a few shriveled grapes. Spago it was not. I ultimately gnashed my way through a heap of watery romaine with a lumpy feta vinaigrette and longed for the green, green grass of home. Once aboard the plane, there was a moment of glory: as lightning shot repeatedly through a layer of meringue clouds, we soared high above into a crystalline night sky illuminated by an enormous silver moon. And then the pregnant lady in front of me farted. 

When I arrived home past two in the morning and emerged from the frigid yet stale air of the town car, I inhaled the cool country sweetness and was instantly restored. The wild honeysuckle brushed lovingly against me as I made my way up the front path. Moths slam-danced into the yellow porch light. I crawled into my bed between two biscuit-warm bodies and fell asleep to the rhythmic buzz of the night creatures.
Logan Pearsall Smith —
“What is more mortifying than to feel that you have missed the plum for want of courage to shake the tree?”