Tuesday, October 01, 2013

early, late and not a whole lot inbetween

In one of those early morning moments, where you want to go back to sleep, but you need a little nudge toward drowsiness (because the race of thoughts in your head started much too early), I pick up the NYTimes on my laptop and notice a story about someone who had just died. It wasn't an unusual death (she was older), but this person was to me, once upon a time, unusually important.

Those of us who cook a big meal pretty much on most days of our lives, for decades and decades -- we usually have someone who got us going in those early years, when we were just starting. Our cooking heroes.

She was mine. Marcella Hazan. I read now that she was feisty. An Italian who reluctantly moved here and was appalled at the food she encountered. "back home, I wash my coffee pot with the water that you call coffee..." -- she was known to say (in Italian; her English was never great).

I loved her cookbooks. I think I have most if not all of them. Oh sure, I still used many many recipes out of the classic food magazines (in the way that people these days rely on epicurious.com and other Internet food sites). But inspiration for cooking, for finding the best, the fresh and honest came, for me, from Marcella Hazan.

I read that she cooked a daily lunch for herself and her husband until the day she died (at 89). I understand that. I cannot imagine not cooking. I cannot imagine relying on foods that are not prepared on my kitchen stove. So a quiet thanks to her here, on Ocean. For getting me addicted to cooking.

The entire rest of the day was spent on work and unfortunately, I did most of it on the couch, which means I now have terrific lower back pain. Stupid me.

I do offer the usual and to me -- utterly delightful moments out in the garden.

Breakfast first. On the porch.


A stroll to see what's hanging in there.

By the sheep shed:

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In the flower beds:

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I stumble upon this guy too. Drilling in holes on the strips of wood for the roof project.

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We pause for the peanut butter and grape jam break on the porch, but I'm preoccupied with thoughts of work and he's preoccupied with thoughts of effectuating his roof design. Isis is not preoccupied with anything.

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In the evening Ed reminds me that we did not play tennis. That I was a total couch potato. That it would be good to get out some. (Did I mention that we had another beautiful, sunny day?)

I didn't have it in me to go out late for a game, but I agreed to work a little outside on shoveling wood chips over the cleared portion of the raspberry patch. Ed loaded the cart repeatedly from the pile of free chips that we get from various companies that trim trees in the area and together we spread them over the cleared dirt. Until the moment when I look up and see him running.

I hit a wasp nest, he tells me.
Together we tiptoe back to the scene of the crime (as if noise is what will set them off again). Yes, there it is -- where all the wasps are flying madly in circles.
Now what?

We'll think about it tomorrow. There are too many small issues on our plate right now. Tomorrow seems like such a good time to review any of them.