Tuesday, April 30, 2013


It's no good trying to place your hand
Where I can't see because I understand
That you're different from me
Yes, I can tell that you can't be what you pretend
And you're
rocking me backwards And you're rocking towards
The red and yellow mane on a stallion horse
no good trying to hold your love
Where I can't see because I understand
That you're different from me 

Yes, I can tell that you can't be what you pretend
The caterpillar hood won't cover the head
And you know you should be home in bed
It's no good holding
a sequined fan
Where I can't see because I understand
That you're different from me
Yes, I can tell that you can't be what you pretend
Yes, you're
spinning around and around in a car
With electric lights flashing very fast 


Monday, April 29, 2013


“A number of rare or newly experienced foods have been claimed to be aphrodisiacs. At one time this quality was even ascribed to the tomato. Reflect on that when you are next preparing the family salad.”
-Jane Grigson

“It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato.”
 -Lewis Grizzard

We purchased some fine and interesting tomato plants yesterday from Pete's Produce in Westtown. This should be a really great tomato summer.  I've only posted photos of these three, the Pink Brandywine, the Striped German and the Green Zebra.  I'm extremely excited about the (previously unknown to me) Brandywine Suddeth, described as the "most delicious tomato of all."  They're all planted now and are cheering this rainy, slightly chilly, gray morning.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Henry Tresham (1750-1814), Messina After The Earthquake, Nave of Ruined Church, 1783.

May 11, 1786

Today we bade farewell to our valiant vetturino and rewarded him for his conscientious services with a liberal gratuity.  We parted in friendship, after he had found us a local factotum who was to take us at once to the best inn and show us the sights of Messina.  Our host of last night was eager to get rid of us as quickly as possible and lent a helping hand with the transport of our baggage to a pleasant lodging nearer the living part of the city, that is to say, outside it.  After the enormous disaster in which twelve thousand people were killed, there were no houses left in Messina for the remaining thirty thousand.  Most of the buildings had collapsed and the cracked walls of the rest made them unsafe.  So a barrack town was hastily created in a large meadow north of the city.  To get a picture of this, imagine yourself walking across the Römerberg in Frankfurt or the market square in Leipzig during the Fair.  All the booths and workshops are open in the street. 

Vue de l'Optique composition (Hand colored copper engraving used in the Laterna magica technique) showing sea ships and boats endangered in the rough waters of the Messina Strait disturbed by the 1783 earthquake.
Only a few of the larger buildings have entrances which can be closed, and even these rarely are, because those who live in them spend most of their time out of doors.  They have been living under these conditions for three years, and this life in shacks, huts and tents, even, has had a definite influence on their characters.  The horror of that tremendous event, the fear of its repetition, drive them to take their delight in the pleasures of the moment.  The dread of a new catastrophe was revived about three weeks ago, on April  the twenty-first, when a noticeable tremor shook the grounds.  We were shown a little church which was crowded with people at the time.  A number of them, it is said, have not yet recovered from the shock. 

An early map of the 1783 Calabria volcano and earthquake-areas plotted in the mid-19th century (from BERGHAUS 1845-1848).

A kindly consul volunteered to take care of us and acted as our guide; and, in a world of ruins, this was something to be grateful for.  When he heard that we wished to sail soon, he introduced us to the captain of a French merchant vessel, who was about to sail for Naples – an opportunity which was doubly desirable because the white flag would be a protection against pirates.

Cy Twombly (1928-2011) , Goethe In Italy, 1978.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey (1786-1788), translated by W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer, New York, Pantheon Press, 1962.

Saturday, April 27, 2013



To serve 4

2 ½ pounds (about 14 large bunches) parsley (See NOTE)
1 large shallot
4 tablespoons butter
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper


Cut or twist the large stems off the parsley and discard or save for bouquet garni.  Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.  Add the parsley, bring back to a boil, and let it boil for 6 minutes.  Drain it well, pressing with the back of a spoon.  When it has cooled enough to handle, squeeze dry by handfuls and spread out on paper towels.  Mince the shallot.


Put the minced shallot and the butter in a frying pan.  Cook over medium heat and when the butter starts to foam add the parsley.  Stir it with a fork to separate.  Add the cream and bring to the boil twice so it thickens slightly and the parsley absorbs some of it.  Season the parsley with salt and pepper and serve as a vegetable.

NOTE :  This is not too much parsley to serve as a vegetable, but if you can’t buy parsley cheaply in quantity, you might want to use half the recipe, which makes a nice small garnish for four.  Ed.

FROM : The Cuisine of Frédy Giradet, The Incomparable Recipes of the Greatest Chef in Europe, Tested and Annotated for American Kitchens, New York, William Morrow & Company, Inc., 1982.  

Friday, April 26, 2013


I think they were about as high
     As haycocks are.  They went running by
Catching bits of shade in the sunny street:
‘I’ve got one,’ cried sister to brother.
     ‘I’ve got two.’ ‘Now I’ve got another.’
But scudding away on their little bare feet,
They left the shade in the sunny street.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


April 25

At sunrise we were at last permitted to walk down the hill, and at every step the scenery became more picturesque.  Convinced that he was only serving our best interests, the little man led us through the lush vegetation without stopping once, though we passed thousands of singular views, any one of which would have made a subject for an idyllic picture. The ground beneath our feet undulated like waves over the hidden ruins.  The shell-tufa of which these were built ensures the fertility of the soil which now covers them.  In due course we came to the eastern limit of the city where, year after year, the ruins of the Temple of Juno fall into greater and greater decay because their porous stone is eroded by wind and weather.  We only meant to make a cursory examination today, but Kniep has already chosen the points from which he will sketch tomorrow.

The temple stands on a foundation of weathered rock.  From this point the city wall ran due east along the edge of a limestone hill which falls in precipices to the shore plain.  The sea which once washed the base of these cliffs must have receded to the present shoreline in a fairly remote age.  The city walls were partly built of quarried stone and partly hewn out of the solid rock. Behind the walls rose the temple.  It is easy to imagine what a stupendous sight the rising tiers of Gigenti must have looked from the sea.

The slender architecture of the Temple of Concord, which has withstood so many centuries, already conforms more nearly to our standard of beauty and harmony than the style which preceded it – compared to Paestum, it is like the image of a god as opposed to the image of a giant.

Since the intention was so laudable, one ought not to complain, I suppose, but what has recently been done to preserve these monuments is in very poor taste.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Italian Journey (1786-1788), translated by W.H. Auden and Elizabeth Mayer, New York, Pantheon Press, 1962.