Thursday, January 23, 2014


I stumbled out of The Cave (the Frenchman's new name for our wintery apartment), my head still filled with thoughts of spring foraging,  to shop at The Wild Olive. New Yorkers, obsessed with snow-clearing, had salted the sidewalks and it was a snow-free trudge. 

I found good-looking chard, and when I asked whether they might have any organic ground beef lurking, they said, Why yes, we do, and opened a just-delivered box. Beef from boxes... So I got that, too. 

Back at home this was all turned into a vaguely Middle Eastern style pizza. No tomato sauce, the chard wilted with lemon and some salt, the beef seasoned with cumin, sumac and pomegranate molasses. The crust was especially good (I knew that because the Frenchman started putting butter on his), which is frustrating, as I just tossed, without measuring. Interestingly, I barely kneaded it. There's a head scratcher.

I work in the bedroom today. It's a beautiful, big, white room - I am so tired of the Darkness on the northern side. The birds on the terrace, which is beside the bedroom, delight me, and I can see them through the window. They actually sing! The snow is still deep out there.  I waded through it in bare feet to replenish this morning's feeder. That was interesting.

There are drills and hammer-bangings in the walls. The landlord's never-ending yet intermittent construction project. Wasn't water torture intermittent? There is a new leak under the sink, the heaters come on in the wrong room, even if they are turned off, and I am fending off mental collapse. But we have a working buzzer after three months and tomorrow the awful bath will be reglazed. The cat will go upstairs to Wolfgang while they work - to escape The Men. Now if only we could persuade the shower to become more than a mere warm trickle. These things are sent to test us.

Then again, the forced narcissus bulbs on my desk are beginning to bloom.

So there is that.

* Wait, there's more good news. Our friend Frank has found a pig us to share. Locally raised and slaughtered. It will probably be from this farm. Conventionally raised pigs lead terrible lives. Don't eat 'em.


  1. It sounds like you need a sunny vacation....................let me know if you are up for it, because I am ready too.

  2. After days of overcast and depressing weather the sun is out today and shining brightly. It is a bit brisk out, but we can't complain...48 degrees and sunny...the scout crocus have just started to poke their tops out. Vancouver BC, 4 hours away, is about the same :-) Hope it brightens up for you soon!

  3. I have friends who just moved to an area called Mohegan Lake from Astoria. It. Sounds. Peaceful. And closer to the pig.

  4. I, too, have a north side which is dark. I painted the walls a sunny Tuscan yellow. It helps a great deal.

  5. I'm in the choir and hear the preachin'! Luckily I have a son-in-law that raises a few pigs a year.
    So have you had scrapple?
    " pomegranate molasses.".........that certainly sounds interesting!

  6. Good morning (a late night at the opera: Renee Fleming in Rusalka)…. I wonder if you can share the 'reglazing' craftsman's contact info., if you're happy with the result that is. I hear that the process is not aways successful and that one has to leave the premises for a 24 hour period? Thank you. GH


      I'll let you now how it is, after.

      Our landlord also said leave for 24 hours. But then when I asked if he'd contribute $150 to a hotel room he back peddled and said it was unnecessary. The door between rooms is closed right now but it is getting pretty stinky.

    2. I would really appreciate it. Ours is a 'soaking' cast-iron tub, but built in. Keep warm, thinking of cranking up the remaining three radiators, but then we'll have to live with uncontrolled heat and open at all times windows, with the Hudson River (60% frozen as I write) wind howling through the apartment. Ah…. the joys of NYC apartment living….GH


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