Thursday, May 27, 2010


I've just returned from a week in Amagansett, Long Island, a family reunion with cousins and siblings. It was a week of general hilarity, often-told remeniscenses and soul-soothing companionship. We ate often and generously and talked non-stop about food. Although we went out for a few meals, the best were at home - all the men did one meal - we were the princesses, and the next night was out turn. We poured wine for ourselves, chopped, pared,roasted and boogied to great old blues songs my cousin had downloaded. And, the last night was a feast = large, succulent lobsters steamed for us by the fishmonger, crisp cole slaw, roasted rosemary potaoes and a rich coconut cake for my cousin, her favorite way to celebrate her birthday. All washed down with a light, Sancerre-like sauvignon blanc - heaven on earth.
Now, at home, the weather is hot and sultry and for a friend who's coming for dinner I'm preparing a salade nicoise, crisp sourdough bread and, for dessert, grilled pound cake topped by a melange of berries with creme fraiche on the side. Simple and about all I can manage in this heat.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

informal dinner with friends

My best friend,Jean, came from New York to spend a long weekend with me, and we talked every waking hour, and cooked. I'd invited our dear friends Dick and Richard to dinner, and my daughter, Rachel.Jean broke off the ends of bunches of fat asparagus and peeled them, then shaved the raw stalks into ribbons, to be combined with a lemon vinaigrette and a generous showering of freshly grated parmesan. This was our first course,served on old green glass plates - the essence of spring. Next, barbecued chicken. Early in the day I'd rubbed the thighs with a spice mixture that included lemonade powder - no salt. It had a nice, flavorful kick to it. While I prepared the sauce, Jean boiled potatoes for a particularly good old-fashioned potato salad. We filled an antique pitcher with spring flowers from the garden - columbine, iris, babtisia, both yellow and blue, and little branches of pink azalea. Lots of white wine, laughs, and,for dessert, strawberry and rhubarb pie with streusel topping, Richard's favorite. A perfect evening.