butterscotchblastoff

Kick start your day with a good breakfast

I did a good deed…

for Independent Bookstore Day: The Boys in the Boat for my brother’s birthday and Bel Canto for me. River Road Books in Fair Haven, NJ is a charmer, right on the main drag of this tidy little town not too far from the shore. Busy with storytime and author visits, it’s just what any community could hope for. Long may it prosper.

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Those azaleas, with a healthy helping of freshly blooming lilacs, make a perfect spring centerpiece for our seafood pasta feast tonight.
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Made It!

The only thing I can say I made today is the train. The much more enjoyable ferry was canceled so I headed to Penn Station…on a Friday night at 5:30–what a mad house! It is heaven for people-watching…God, what a varied lot we are in Manhattan and environs nowadays!

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Semi-homemade–Day 22 of 30 Days of DIY

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Stealing from Sandra Lee! I love to make pie crust and I’m getting better all the time (in a thieving mood tonight; thank you, Lennon-McCartney), but my pizza crust leaves a lot to be desired. So, while I did make the olive watercress tapenade from scratch and roasted the eggplant, I can’t take credit for the crust.  So sue me (last  bit of larceny, I promise. Frank Loesser  could use some love and attention these days).

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Child’s Play

Years ago, I went to a pottery studio with my sister and niece and nephew–one of those activities you do with excitable, energetic little kids to keep them occupied. I painted and the studio fired this cup for me, and I love it.
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I know the checks are uneven and the flowers aren’t perfect, but it brings back such sweet memories of the kids when they were little, my sister as a beautiful young mother, and an afternoon of getting messy and bringing home a special present. Why don’t I go to pottery studios anymore? There are a few right here in Manhattan: Mud Sweat and Tears, for one. Might be a plan!

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Morning Meditation

Hand sewing has to be one of the most positive activities ever invented: a simple action that eases into a steady rhythm, a tactile pleasure, and ultimately a blessing because you actually
mend something that’s “broken.”

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I always think of my mom and her mother, two talented seamstresses who embodied the values of thrift, creativity, and generosity. I miss my mom a lot. Everything from threading the needle to knotting the thread to the satisfaction of sewing a neat seam brings her back to me.

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Good Bones

My brother-in-law, owner of that gorgeous property you saw yesterday, also has a grass-fed beef farm upstate. He’s a terrific, instinctual cook, eager to learn new ways to use his animals. Today, we’re making beef stock.
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With a little help from Alton Brown, we’ve got two big pots simmering on the stovetop. We’ll be able to fill a bathtub with all we’re making. Maybe we’ve found the next big beauty regimen.

I am nothing if not thrifty, so it warms my Scrooge-y heart to see beef broth on-line for $16.99 per 17.6-oz. box. I bet we get 80 ounces out of this batch. What a steal!

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Plein Air Painting

…with embroidery floss, that is.

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With a graduate-school graduation, three birthdays, a 50th wedding anniversary, and Father’s Day coming up, I need to get my cross-stitch cards going. Great day to sew in the sunshine.

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Saturdays Are For Pampering

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I’m not waiting for the spa to open. I’ve got lunch plans, errands, and so much else I want to do to get ready to go to the Jersey shore tomorrow. I’m planning a long beach walk with my family’s dogs, barefoot, digging into the hard-packed sand at the water’s edge, feeling the salt water boiling over my toes (a figure of speech because the water temp can’t be over 45 degrees).

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These feet, babied by wool socks and fuzzy boots all winter, need an exhilarating shock. The red polish is just the beginning.

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Blue Jean Bling

We of the Stones/Grateful Dead/Bruce Springsteen generation all have a jean jacket, don’t we? (I’m really the last person you would imagine in one; it was a gift from my husband who works tirelessly to bring out my inner rock star.) And it’s multi-generational. I work with millenials, mostly, and the coat closet in the office is filled with denim jackets, to the point that I couldn’t tell mine from the rest. A DIY opportunity! I sewed a pretty lace bracelet a friend bought me at Eataly onto the pocket and now it’s mine, all mine.

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Halfway There!

Fifteen days into my 30 days of DIY and I can say it’s  taking! I think I could get used to this.

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Today’s project is creamy carrot soup, a nod to the warm, fuzzy spring we’re enjoying in Manhattan. The herbs and spice in Jean Anderson’s recipe are parsley,  rosemary, and clove. Sweet and satisfying.

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