China bowls and glass vases held small collections of flowers from the garden: hyacinths, lily of the valley and narcissi. The smell of them, miraculous, with wax furniture polish and blue wood-smoke, went all through the rooms and in the air of the halls and stairs, too. A person might walk from a cool corridor full of the scent of lit fires into a bedroom to find the smell of damp flowers from a pot of wild violets and hot starch from the fresh sheets and flat-creased pillow cases. -Sadie Jones (The Uninvited Guests)
Thanksgiving brought many flavors and tastes my way–leek bread pudding; carrots covered by a thick forest of dill; feuerzangenbowle!–but none was so sweet as the taste of freedom. It was the first time I had enjoyed a five-day weekend in what felt like forever and I savored every minute of it. With the rain pouring down outside (could this be the end of the drought?), I spent most of the weekend indoors; there were books to be read, sleep debt to be paid and even a foray into the sheep and rock-trading world of Catan. It was one of the most relaxing weekends I had enjoyed in a long time, so three cheers for the holidays!
Since I’m still in the process of planning and executing posts for December–besides a few desserts that may require a little effort, I think the theme of the month is going to be elegant and effortless simplicity–I thought it would be a good idea to share some “food for thought.” If nothing else, this helps me to organize and record the many interesting things that I read and come across online; I hope there’s something inspiring for you too.
Before there was so much turkey that I thought we’d never stop eating turkey (I am happy to report that, thanks to tonight’s delicious Turkey Curry Soup, a true leftovers game changer, the end is nigh!), there was a wish to eat nothing but vegetables to prep our stomachs for the cream and butter overload awaiting us. Given my Roman/Italian obsession, we went with a recipe from Emiko Davies’ Regional Italian Food column on Food52 for Braised Endive with mint. There may be no better way to usher in the holiday season.
Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Rome and there’s no better blog for peering into a Roman kitchen than Rachel Eats. Her latest post on how to make cacio e pepe, a classic Roman dish, is a pleasure to read and a tutorial that I can’t wait to use come the weekend. That is, if I don’t make her recipe for meatballs first.
A story about a Stone Woman that blurs the boundary between reality and myth.
I’m still waiting for the New York Times to tell us its list of favorite books for 2014, but for now the Washington Post‘s will have to do.
Buzzfeed is not always my favorite news site, but I concur wholeheartedly with its assertion that, “There is no need to be delicate here: If you’re not watching The Good Wife, you are missing out on the best show on television.”
I’m intrigued by this beautiful kitchen art.
On the tragedy of holiday travel.
I saw The Homesman this weekend and not only was the story haunting, but the cinematography was gorgeous and stark as well. Although it continues my Thanksgiving trend of choosing to see violent films about America, it nevertheless felt like the right kind of movie to see on a weekend that both celebrates and mythologizes our nation’s past.
The protests that raged across the country in the days leading up Thanksgiving show us that America’s criminal justice system is truly damaged. In The New York Review of Books, this problem is explored in depth in an essay that not only reviews a story of the triumphs and failings that occur in our justice system, but that also attempts to offer a tentative and hopeful solution.