"Texas Forever"

We have all been brought up on stories from the "Panhandle," the northern part of Texas that is truly the shape and just as flat as the handle of an old pot iron skillet. Perhaps the most famous tale is the myth that in winter there is nothing between Amarillo and the North Pole but…

Five Years

"How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself." -Virginia Woolf (The Waves) Five years…

Thai Delight

It's suddenly that time of year again, the season when life starts to vibrate with various possibilities. Everything seems to be in flux: the days suddenly stretch before you, inviting a certain leisure, and, at the market and in CSA boxes, you get a strange, but not unwelcome mixture of things like cabbage, asparagus and…

Ice Cream a là Berlin

 If it is your nature to be happyyou will swim away along the soft trailsfor hours, your imagination alighting everywhere. And if you spiritcarries within itthe thorn that is heavier than lead-if it's all you can do to keep on trudging...-Mary Oliver ("Morning Poem")Spring break came and went like the blink of an eye. I had all of these…

A Little Birthday Treat

"But then there was a star danced, and under that was I born." -William Shakespeare (Much Ado about Nothing) Today, dear readers, is my birthday; I am officially 29 years old. Most surprising of all is that, contrary to my expectations, I am not in the least disappointed at being--finally, officially-- on the brink of 30.…

Seattle, Sweet and Spicy

Every day she got up, tucked her three cookbooks under her arm, shut herself up in the kitchen and cooked, listening to Vivaldi. The books were Elizabethan Cuisine, Plato's Symposia, and Renaissance Spices and Sauces. At night they all traveled together with their sense of taste: as they chewed they would become ancient Greeks eating…

Peaches and Cream with a Honeyed Kick

As a man without a care in the world, seeking somehow to justify his constant idleness, I have always found such festive mornings in a country house universally attractive. When the green garden, still moist with dew, shines in the sun and seems happy, and when the terrace smells of mignonette and oleander, and the…