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Over My Head in Gadgetland

I’ve finally decided to spring for a new camera, after months of complaining with increasing bitterness about the one I have now. I’m using the camera so much more these days for the blog, and I’m continually bumping up against the many limitations of the point-and-shoot model I’m using. . . . → Read More: Over My Head in Gadgetland

Toenail Polish

I may have given the impression in these pages that I’m a devotee of naturalism in all things. That is far from the whole truth. In fact, under certain circumstances, I am a big believer in artifice and surface decoration. . . . → Read More: Toenail Polish

Beef Carbonnade with Victory Old Horizontal

I went to the store last week in search of beef short ribs to make a Belgian beef carbonnade. I was picturing a fork-tender, slow-braised dish, some egg noodles and a goblet of Belgian-style ale for one of these long January nights. This dish came out so well I wondered why I haven’t made it more often. I have a feeling I will be in the future. . . . → Read More: Beef Carbonnade with Victory Old Horizontal

Framing a New Look

It amazes me that a little bit of plastic balanced across the nose can enhance or suppress aspects of one’s personality. It strikes me that eyeglass frames are aptly named—they frame not just the lenses but the whole face. . . . → Read More: Framing a New Look

Seductions of the Seed Catalogues

Just when I thought it was safe to go back to my mailbox after the deluge of Christmas catalogues, a new season is now overstuffing my little box. Now is the time of the seed catalogues. Each afternoon I bring in at least one or two, with their bright, optimistic, and oh-so-tempting covers. Brilliantly colored tomatoes, exotic greens and lettuces, abundant flowers. All can be yours for the price of a simple packet of tiny seeds. . . . → Read More: Seductions of the Seed Catalogues

Why I Love My Cast-Iron Pan

During the early years of my marriage, as my husband and I adapted to cooking and living together, we learned to share a tight kitchen space and limited list of equipment. The one item he would never touch, however, was my beloved cast iron frying pan, purchased at a hardware store in my days as a poor student. “You have a relationship with that pan, and I don’t want to come between you,” was his comment. Since then I’ve added many fine pots and pans to my batterie de cuisine, some of them fairly expensive. Yet all of them remain mere equipment, without the emotional aura of that beat-up, homely, black skillet. . . . → Read More: Why I Love My Cast-Iron Pan

Taking Down the Tree

Last weekend we took down the Christmas tree. That’s always a bit sad. I know each year we say the same thing: that this is our best tree ever, but this year it really was. I got attached. I couldn’t help it. . . . → Read More: Taking Down the Tree

Happy New Year Haircut

A drastic haircut is almost never just about the hair. Nowadays, women still tend to cut long hair short at major milestones like breakups, graduations and job terminations. I’m facing none of those, but I wanted the energy goose that a change can bring. . . . → Read More: Happy New Year Haircut