Cookies Galore

I had such high hopes for December. It was the month when I was going to sit down and compose blog post upon blog post. I was going to write about the Grand Canyon and New Mexico and finally share my favorite pizza recipe (it's got a Berkeley flair to it), as well as all…

A Sunday Picnic

"And it seemed that, just a little more--and the solution would be found, and then a new, beautiful life would begin; and it was clear to both of them that the end was still far, far off, and hat the most complicated and difficult part was just beginning." -Anton Chekhov (The Lady with the Little…

The Great Escape

The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. -John Muir (John of the…

A Soup Fit for the Spring Table

Deep in her soul, however, she was waiting for something to happen. Like a sailor in distress, she would gaze out over the solitude of her life with desperate eyes, seeking some white sail in the mists of the far-off horizon. She did not know what this chance event would be, what wind would drive…

To Bohemia and Back

"Each of us narrates our life as it suits us." -Elena Ferrante (Those who Leave and Those who Stay)A little more than two months ago, for Labor Day weekend, the Greek, Elektra and I took a weekend trip to Carmel and Big Sur. Although it will sound incredibly hyperbolic, the trip was ten shades of…

Decidedly Californian

It seems that February somehow managed to slip away from me. One minute I was in the kitchen, making ice cream, broiling grapefruit and blanching endless amounts of greens from our CSA box (aphid season is upon us) for gratins, all while fantasizing about the many blog posts I would and should write about these…

A Breath of Fresh Air

 The past few weeks have been several shades of brutal. No matter what I've been doing, whether speed reading a book with a looming library due date or keeping up with the piles of dishes that always manage to accumulate when I'm looking the other way, I've felt more than a little pressed for time.…

My Own "Hotel du Lac"

'Homesick,' said Edith finally. 'Yes.' But she thought of her little house as if it had existed in another life, another dimension. She thought of it as something to which she might never return. The seasons had changed since she last saw it; she was no longer the person who could sit up in bed…

Oysters by the Bay

In the garden strains of music, Full of inexpressible sadness.Scent of the sea, pungent, fresh, On an ice bed, a dish of oysters...-Anna Akhmatova ("Evening")For me, there was no music, there was certainly no sadness and, instead of an elegant dish of oysters on an ice bed, we had a big old paper bag full of oysters.…

Two Days in Tahoe

Closer at hand, it was the trees that ruled. To south and east the wood went on as far as Jon could see, a vast tangle of root and limb painted in a thousand shades of green, with here and there a patch of red where a weirwood shouldered through the pines and sentinels, or…