I was born in late February, not by choice, and I’ve never gotten accustomed to the cold as apparently some do when thrust into this world while snow swirls in the streets and the temps hover in the teens.
(BPT) — Weekday schedules get crazy, which is why the first casualty of all that chaos is the family dinner.
The first time I had a Christmas tree, I was somewhere in the ballpark of my early 40s. My sister, Janet, and I were renting a house (we would later own) in the Beechwoods area of Callicoon. We had never had a tree before because we are Jewish.
Go ahead, eat a second Thanksgiving. Heat everything up and enjoy your plate of desiccated turkey with flabby stuffing and watery Waldorf salad. Or double down on that mile-high sandwich crammed to the gills with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. There’s no shame in it.
I answered the phone to hear a man speaking loudly, not in an angry way, more excited with anticipation. I had trouble understanding him, his accent heavy and exotic, then heard the words, “Zenon Taverna” and realized he had first said, “It’s Stelios.” Then I knew who he was.
I sometimes measure the success of my summer by the number of tomato sandwiches I eat. Few things capture the essence of the season better. (Except perhaps a white peach. Or grilled, buttered corn. Or fresh blackberries with cream.) A really good tomato is like a vivid, voluptuous expression of the sun.
If you are an antsy person, as I am, the wait for the annual planting season can seem interminable. Where we live in Sullivan County, one generally doesn’t put trowel to earth until the first week in June for fear that a stray frost may unexpectedly hit and kill your newly planted herbs and vegetables.
My sister-in-law was visiting, and I brought her up to my bedroom to show her some changes I’d made to the décor. After she’d admired my new acquisitions, she looked down at an old wooden child’s chair on which sat a large, gangly stuffed animal, a monkey. She made a disparaging comment. “That’s Bananas,” I said defensively.
For dinner tonight, I am making baked chicken fingers and savory potatoes.
Among the first plants to flourish in my garden come spring is lovage (Levisticum officinale). Known to the French as céleri bâtarde, “fake celery,” this stalk-less leafy herb does have a very similar green, slightly salty flavor with a pleasant hint of bitter.