The lilac bushes outside my office window are huge. I wait for this week all year when the perfume of those gorgeous white, pale purple, and burgundy blossoms floods the house. They are the scent of promise, of making it through another long winter, of green, green grass and all the good things that come with this warm spring air.
This past weekend I went on a kitchen tour, part of a fund raiser for a local theater. Eight families opened their kitchens and ground floor living spaces to a long line of strangers. The crowd, primarily middle-aged women and young couples (looking for inspiration, hoping to renovate, or simply searching for new ideas) made their way through these spectacular houses - from a simple Cape to a 1800's Federal-style mansion to an ultra-modern, three-story waterside architectural jewel.
I get grumpy around this time of year. Everywhere else in the country people are celebrating the beginning of spring. My friend from northern California calls me with reports of "gorgeous, aromatic" flowering trees and fields of yellow and white jonquils. She describes the weather as "perfect." I threaten to hang up on her. Even in New York City, where I spent the weekend recently, the bulbs are inches high, peeking their heads out of that concrete jungle earth and announcing the end of winter.
If I were a top New
Iceland in late January - the sun doesn't rise until 11 a.m. and its pitch black by five p.m. There's snow and lots of dark, stormy weather. And while the air temperature tends to be a bit warmer than Maine, it can be brutally cold due to winds that swirl around this island in the middle of the North Atlantic. So why would anyone leave one cold, dark place for another?
January is as good a time to "slow it all down" as you can find. I recently came down with the stomach bug
It's mid-December and we've made it through Chanukah and still have the solstice and Christmas to go. So far my most memorable holiday moment involves a teenage girl, several pounds of butter and sugar, huge blocks of chocolate, and a bunch of walnuts.
A large box arrived last week from Sonoma, California. I wasn't expecting anything so I was curious to read the note from my old friend: "Here's a little project we can do together when I come visit next week. Can't wait to see you. Love, Elisa."
Here's the thing about fall: it's nearly perfect. We still have lots of bright, intense sun, punctuated by all those brilliantly-colored leaves. The nights are cold and crisp, "good sleeping weather," as they say around here. And while the light grows shorter each day, I still feel energetic this time of year. Certainly the kitchen calls to me. I've starting simmering all kinds of soups - the last of the garden tomatoes with the last of the basil; butternut squash and