Last Sunday I was finishing up a 2-day, 40-mile bike ride to celebrate my 40th birthday, and it took me past a house where I knew there were dogs. They’d barked at me before but never left the yard; I didn’t even see any there this time. Nevertheless I geared up and pedaled harder, just […]Read more
Afoot in the world.
Back on the bike for a big day of riding today, the first in too long a time, under a sky so blue it hurt to look at it. This was the kind of sunny, windy April day that has you taking your fleece jacket off, then putting it on again, over and over. On […]Read more
Seven little gifts of November.
1) Seven Meyer lemons from my own little tree, now two years old. (The seventh one is still a little green at the tip, so I’m leaving it on there till the last minute. I think I’m going to use them to make the preserved lemons in Tart and Sweet.) Few things feel better than […]Read more
Buon giorno, Signor Bianchi:, or, enchanting the world.
“If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later […]Read more
Early fall, in fragrance and light.
Last night it became impossible to ignore. Clipping a stem from my backdoor rosemary pot and stripping its leaves into a pork, tomato, onion, and garlic stuffing for peppers (thank you, dear Nigel Slater), I smelled the green cedary tang as it hit the hot oil, and knew, in my senses before my brain, that […]Read more
A dozen lessons from a bike.
Inspired by today’s ride through a perfect Northeast Iowa summer evening, things I learn and relearn from my simple old machine: 1) If I just get started, it will get easier from there. This applies to everything. 2) From a bike, the world wakes up my senses: flowering vetch, wild lilies, Queen Anne’s lace, black-eyed […]Read more