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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Down to the Land of Asparagus Farms

We drove way down south today to get Punchy from her grandma Hope' a Jersey place where we heard asparagus grows high, tomatoes ripe and juicy, spaghetti squash fat and golden [we had the latter two for dinner].

Oh, so that's why it's named the Garden State. Right, one of my college friends at Rutgers called a peach orchard home, and Hope's husband told us all about his grandfather, who proudly grew "ground fruits" each year: strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, cantaloupe again and then pumpkins.

Before that, we went to see my good cousin Lin and her mom, my Aunt Edith, who live in another part of South Jersey....Aunt E. is 90 and faced with rougher and rougher times that require more and more assistance. We got to see Lin's nice family, too--seeing all of them was a good thing.

From old to young....Aunt Edith in a new wheelchair, Punchy in new losing the power to communicate what she wants and needs, the other never having really had it in the first place, though we're trying to empower her and understand that.

Good night.

  1. Had salad, unsweetened iced tea and applesauce with Lin [thanks, Lin], and Hope made spaghetti squash and salad.
  2. About to track Weight Watchers Points.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vegan Piccata and a Jug of Goat Milk

Dark, delicious reading.
It's Labor Day Weekend, and Figgy called H. to say she left the Kurt Vonnegut book she was reading here--and wouldn't it be nice to go into NYC to take her and her two roommates out to dinner?

She heard about a great vegan restaurant so we tried it out--Blossom on Carmine Street. It was good except the bill climbed to $218 [counting tip] for the five of us, and that made me nervous. [Only H. had alcohol--a glass of wine.]

Also, some things were excellent and some should be skipped. Get: The warm marinated olives; the buffalo risotto croquettes; and the picatta, served with truffle mashed potato. Skip: The skimpy, unexciting pizza [$16] and definitely the $14 chocolate fondue. I had my eye on the latter from the start. Figured it would be mostly fruit and fine melted dark chocolate, but it was mostly fruit and mediocre chocolate. It came with pretzels [only a few sticks] and little cubes of vegan cake that don't match the cakes I've baked. Still, if your child is check out vegan restaurants. And she went wild over my piccata, and loved her peanut butter and chocolate ganache. The other two young ladies liked the food, too.

The joke at dinner--originating with Figgy's roommate/cousin, Orange--is that I should change my daughter's blog name to Wiggy, or Wig for short, because she bought a mod and beautiful blondish/auburn long wig with bangs and has been wearing it all week. In fact, she ran up behind H. and me on the sidewalk as we were approaching the restaurant, to surprise and shock us.

Hey, whatever it takes to adjust to art school in NYC....:)

Speaking of vegan, I bought a luscious new cookbook, Vegan Chocolate, by Fran Costigan. The photos by Kate Lewis are so inviting, you want to dive right in. I can't wait to try the Moon Pies for Wiggy and her roomies. Only thing is, you have to make your own round vegan graham crackers first.

After dinner, H. went to get the car and we popped into Victory Garden New York City a couple doors up on Carmine Street, which sells fresh goat milk soft serve and even fat plastic jugs of goat milk from a farm upstate. The store says goat milk is better for the lactose-intolerant and the customer in front of us said it's the closest thing to mother's milk, better than cow's milk, though I can't recapture why. But I bought a jug and also a Las Delicias gluten-free [not vegan] brownie, not because I'm gluten-free but because the flavor was salted caramel and rosemary and it looked good and fudgy. It was. The notes of rosemary were intriguing and new-age.

Must go to sleep. Good night.

  1. Weight Watchers.
  2. Support group.
  3. Bought healthy whole grains, fresh vegs and lean proteins to replenish kitchen.
  4. Made a WW recipe: big pan of roasted Brussels sprouts with shallots and a little bacon. Ate for lunch. Hey!!! Pat on the back for that!
  5. Short walk with Sug.
  6. Read, napped. Tomorrow Punchy comes home.
  7. Updating my Weight Watchers online tracker to log in that rosemary brownie and half-cup of goat milk [which was a tad bit lumpy]..

Friday, August 29, 2014

Home Alone: Let It Go [Baby Butter Cookie Binge]

My pink bike, with flowers from the Montclair Farmers Market last Saturday.
Hamptons yesterday, home today......set the alarm, but was too tried to get up for boot camp...slept super late. [To be perfectly honest, thought I looked fat in a video I saw yesterday, and that kind of works against me.]

Plan to make up for it with a long walk with Sug and a ride on my pink bike. H. is working at his perch, holed up in the New York Public Library, Fig in city at school, Punchy still visiting her grandma [till Sunday].

But...also home alone with the fridge. Managed to throw out the last piece of frozen cheesecake from Fig's bday party and the leftover sweet potato I wouldn't eat them. Was not as successful with the pretty peach-tinted tin of dainty butter cookies from the Sant Ambroeus location on Main Street in Southampton. Even Sug wanted one.....she is French, after all, and has impeccable taste.

Did eventually stop myself, put the metal lid back on the tin, rewrap it in the charming signature paper and retie the peach satin bow.

I'm beginning to get--a little bit--to that place where I was before Figgy was a glimmer in our eye. I wanted so much to be a mother, and it wasn't happening. I felt it was me and them, with them being all of the lucky women who were mothers. After a while, the fancy restaurants and even hotels felt like empty H. and I were pedaling in place, not getting anywhere.

What I mean is, all the pampering and glamour, the Silver Tulip cocktail sipping in Southampton last night and the hours to stand alone and feel the glorious breeze without chasing someone small on the sidewalk--I love those luxuries but do think of our two girls a lot. But now I'm on the other side, knowing not just the pink-cheeks/pink-booties joy but also the exhaustion and pure work of it all...

So this gift of being lazy and resting and reading is not to be underestimated, yet does have its own hollowness sometimes, for me.

Must also get some work done today.

Thanks for being there.

Edge of Earth

Didn't go to Sag Harbor today after all. That--and walking over the George Washington Bridge--remain on my bucket list. H. decided to come--to my cautious delight, as we do tend to bicker on long car rides--and he wanted to check out Southampton. Since I knew the ropes [from my trip there alone on Tuesday, July 22], that worked out. And we didn't bicker too much*. I even made him play a silly car game. We left home 11:50 a.m., returned 11 p.m. [2-hour night trip home, vs. longer getting there]. After lunch in the "village" and some time on the bridge at Munn Point, we parked for free at the Road D parking lot at 4:22 p.m. The beach was gorgeous. I do feel as though we traveled to the edge of the earth. Remote, unspoiled. My heart and lungs are full. May we all rock to sleep as if in a cradle by the sea. Let's all save our sunny summer days in a bottle--that we can uncork when days get gray and rocky, as they sometimes do. Nature is healing and rich; the sun is warm and motherly. Good night.

This ties with my beloved bridge on Cape Cod, behind Coast Guard Beach. This is my afternoon shadow. I could stand and lean on that rail for a long time. Today I saw a spry little fox curled up in the marsh grass for a nap. When I lifted my iPhone to take a picture, he proudly pranced away. Nobody's fool.
The water was rough. I went in up to my knees. H. wanted to go in, was considering it, but then got knocked down and dragged in after this photo was taken!

The view from the bridge on the drive back.
*The older I get, the less I'm compelled to bicker with H...most of the time. But we did lock horns on the Southampton estates with their high-high privacy hedges. I noted the gates with security codes as an observation, but H. found them exclusive and even "creepy," the way they throw up such a barrier. And he implied that I worship the wealthy and want what they have. I explained that I like their style but don't covet their wealth per se. I do admire them as style-setters. What can I say?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eye on Sag Harbor

I'm hoping to explore Sag Harbor, Long Island on a day trip tomorrow. While the cat [Punchy] is away, the mouse will play.

Good night.