November 1, 2010

ovember! How exciting! Hope you’re having a wonderful day! I’m getting things done, did laundry this morning, and made a big pot of BEAN SOUP, now simmering on top of the stove (the kitchen smells delicious because it’s made with smoked ham hocks). I opened the porch door to check the weather and leaned on the door jamb, watching the red leaves blow off the maple tree across the yard and skitter through a little quagmire of black crows grazing on the lawn (the gang members of the bird world). You can smell the salt air that permeates island life, like Chanel No5 of the harbor. Fall is lasting a good long time this year…I took that picture (above, on the left, second from the top) yesterday out on our walk– thought you’d like to see. This kind of weather makes a person grateful she has eyes (and a nose, and skin!). After scaring the crows, I walked around the house and picked up Halloween debris: two Butterfinger wrappers, one Skittles, a small sword, and something awful that had the general outline of used waxed lips.

een thinking about what kind of holiday party to have this year…I’ve started dreaming of an old-fashioned country breakfast. I’m thinking I’ll have it as early in the morning as I can get away with; as close to an ungodly hour as possible…I want people to still be sleepy. I will say “bring your slippers” and will give them hot PUMPKIN LATTES with whipped cream and a dusting of nutmeg as they walk in the door as a bribe so they will forgive me.
will be praying for snow, or at least a really cold day. We’ll light a big crackling fire, turn on French music and Dean Martin; I’ll set the table with an old quilt for the tablecloth, baskets lined with tea towels for the breads, teacups with saucers, silver, and ironed linen napkins… I found these huge vintage napkins, they’re like baby tablecloths, I feel like a six-year-old when I spread one on my lap.
just went through my cookbooks, thinking about the possibilities for the
menu: GERMAN PANCAKE and hot maple syrup; ORANGE FRENCH TOAST with CANDIED BACON; creamy scrambled eggs with POTATO PANCAKES; my girlfriend Sarah’s famous GRANOLA with fruit and yogurt; CHEESE BLINTZES with orange marmalade; BANANA FRITTERS with ice cream, BAKED APPLES, a platter of pork chops, HOMEMADE CHUNKY APPLESAUCE, CORNBREAD; and mmmm cinnamon toast! This is going to be a difficult decision. But the most important ingredient is the easy part: Us, all around the dining-room table together because, as they say,<em> it’s not what’s on the table that counts, it’s what’s on the chairs</em>. Anyway I’m going to make the kind of breakfast Scarlett used to have at Tara in Gone with the Wind and render all my guests weak and melted, requiring naps afterwards; the perfect Sunday afternoon.

fter everyone’s gone home, the candles have been blown out, and the dishes are done, we’ll sit down with leftovers (no doubt we will be hungry by then) and watch The Bishop’s Wife with Cary Grant or Bachelor Mother with David Niven… and won’t even have to count our blessings, they’ll be so obvious.

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