LA Times has done a great article about the charming Jack English. He embodies Mimi’s spirit and independence and you cannot help but applaud a life well lived and a legendary love.
“The wilder it was the better we liked it. Everyone is thinking about the future I’d like to go back. She was the prettiest girl I’d ever seen. I was sure lucky there. Gosh.”
Jack English speaking of his wife Mary.
It’s simple. Fundamental. And heartwarming. Thank you to the LA Times for sharing this. Great story.
The article is “At 94 Mountain man must gradually let go of his piece of paradise. I apologize for not being able to get the link to work.
I think the trick to a Christmas morning brunch is throw open your front doors to the warm California sunshine first. Not sure Mimi would have felt that way. As I recall she was a big fan of the New England White Christmas. So, if opening your doors to warm sun isn’t an option for you, the second and third most important tricks are to keep the food good and simple, and to keep it super casual. Such was the case at Shelley and Kelly’s Christmas morning. Spirits were high, everyone was smiling and you can’t ask for anything better than a beautiful green vintage stove, some red Le Creuset pans and a cook that is about as darling as they come. Eggs Benedict, Bloody Mary’s and good chatter filled the morning as kids ran in and out and adults regaled one another with stories. It was a perfect start to the day and reminded me of why I call this special place home.
Creme Brûlée for SW (Courtesy of Martha Stewart)
My friend PC considers tablescaping an art and I have to agree with him. One of the best parts of a weekly dinner is figuring out how you can make each evening a unique experience outside of the food and environment. Afterall, it is your house.
Over the course of the last year, I have found that I think as much about the way the meal is being presented, as I do about the food and company. For each of our PMs I think about color and texture of the food and the presentation. If simple fare, I go for a bit more ornate or daring table. If a complicated meal, a simpler presentation seems best. And each dinner involves a color story. Conversely – it is great fun to plan a meal around new dishes or linens. Last year I was charmed by some bistro dishes that reminded me of trips to Paris. I have had great fun with these – serving menus on them that are simple one dish classics. Seasonal flowers are good too. Nothing says spring like fresh tulips on a table – or sunflowers in the summer.
I have to confess, I am not generally inspired by home magazines or cooking shows but I do love to look at vintage and antique shops for color and pattern direction. A unique salt and pepper shaker, a table of white porcelain, cut glass… Featured here are a few shots from a recent visit to a favorite collectibles store mixed with a few of my own pieces. I aspire to be as good as my friend PC and as they say…. practice makes perfect. Looking forward to more dinners in 2013.
It never ceases to amaze me how much I love a handwritten note. Not the kind a store sends. You know the ones… its not really a note so much as an acknowledgement. To me, a “real note” implies a beautiful sentiment that springs from an authentic inspiration. Fortunately, in the last few weeks I have received a couple. All treasured … and not just for the sentiment. To craft a “real note” takes time. Time has become today’s greatest luxury. Imagine purposefully sitting down at a desk and thoughtfully crafting a message without care for the time it takes. To really honor the recipient I choose a beautiful stationary – heavy card stock with a lined envelope. The message sincere and heartfelt – deeply personal. I feel the same way about selecting gifts although my feelings are generally not aligned with my actions. That takes us back to the luxury of time and is a post for another day.
The note featured in the photograph is from the daughter of friends of mine. We don’t even remember when we first met, although I know it to be measured in at least a decade. She was a soulful girl who has grown into a charming woman more worldly than her years. I am envious of her calm exterior and the ease with which she approaches life. There is a nice happiness that surrounds her and rubs off on anyone in her company.
And so it was that I found myself hosting her for a few days during a recent visit to our fair city. What a lovely memory and the card made me believe it to be of equal value to her. A new life is awaiting her and I, luckily, get to be a close observer. I can’t wait to see how she grows and makes her choices. I am blessed to be a part of her journey and for all we have shared, I feel the scales unbalanced in my favor. She has brought me great joy.
While The Prisoner was the perfect addition to the meal, I had originally thought about a nice hearty beer. My hopes dashed when I remembered that on Sundays in Texas alcohol isn’t sold until the afternoon. Disheartening as I found myself in Wholefoods early that morning.
PD and I have begun many a night after work with a beer, at this very spot , as we steel ourselves for the task of grocery shopping. Hence the moniker “grocery beer”. It is a part of a ritual on Monday evenings that speaks of needing to fill the larder and have a laugh while doing so. Grocery Beer… the only way to shop!