Table

Mmm … that’s good coffee

Mmm … that’s good coffee

What we fathomed were tedious hours could not have been more than several minutes, with my mother and father and sometimes their friends doing their best to ignore our pleas while savoring the black depths of a hot cup of, what … Hills Brothers? Folgers? Maxwell House?

An inspired pudding

An inspired pudding

Black cap is a rice pudding, baked and topped with Earl Grey tea-steeped prunes and a couple tablespoons Armagnac. The “black cap” refers to the dark coloring—from the soaked prunes, in this instance—of the otherwise blonde pudding.

Kale, yeah

Kale, yeah

Lacinato kale differs in texture from the curly leaf kales, but still benefits from a long marinade if you’re going to eat it raw. I prefer it raw, in a salad, to cooked in a soup, as it doesn’t wilt and lose its tooth and mineral-rich flavor.

The oyster knows the drill

The oyster knows the drill

The oyster, never having anywhere to run, now has nowhere to hide. If the alternative is getting trapped, it’s better to keep moving. In travel, we dodge the drill that would eat our meat. We ingest the life that rides in the waves.

Brace yourself

Brace yourself

“He’s cute,” said Reta, about to jam her fingers in my son’s mouth. And I began to wonder for how long. Would he still be cute and 7 when the hour was up? I distracted myself by looking out the picture window, where the creek meandered through a stand of golden-leafed oaks. I said something about the scenery, leaving the orthodontics to the pros.