Sunday Almanac: We Need Lowcountry Tabby Concrete

Tabby is a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, then mixing it with water, sand, ash and broken oyster shells. —Wikipedia “Maybe we ought to build a wall instead of a fence.” The words spilled out of me suddenly as they’re wont to do, even though the thought had been knocking around in my head for a while. Chef David … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: We Need Lowcountry Tabby Concrete

Lies, Damn Lies, and Fake Christmas Trees

We finally did it, gentle reader, bought our first (and last?) artificial Christmas tree. There she stands at an impressive nine-point-five feet, all aglow with baked-in lights, and strewn with garland and all our favorite ornaments. Right off the bat, let me just say we miss that fragrance, you know the one. Thus far we’ve tried burning a scented candle to compensate, but because we … Continue reading Lies, Damn Lies, and Fake Christmas Trees

Sunday Almanac: We Have No Snow But We Do Have Eleanor

It’s almost like a luge track,” The Chef observed during the winter of 2014. I had been in Vermont for only about a year and a half but was already in my second place there. My first place had been an idyllic cottage on picturesque Lake Morey, where I damn near ran out of cash owing to an errant ex who failed to honor the … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: We Have No Snow But We Do Have Eleanor

Sunday Almanac: An Exquisite Day at Fort Fisher State Park

I swear, I don’t know how we got this lucky, lucky enough to live a paltry 15 minutes from this local natural resource. Yesterday was perfect for an outside romp: nary a cloud in the sky, the temps didn’t warm above the 70s, and there was a gentle breeze in the air. Chef David and I earlier had made a plan to go wander around … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: An Exquisite Day at Fort Fisher State Park

Sunday Almanac: We Tie the Knot…Finally

A gown of Cupioni silk, in princess style, was worn by the bride. Panels of Chantilly lace were fashioned in the front and in the back. The back of the skirt extended into a short train. A Sabrina neckline and long sleeves were also featured. The bride carried white orchids attached to a mother of pearl prayer book. The prayer book was given to her … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: We Tie the Knot…Finally

Almanac: Labor Day 2022

Well, the sun’s not so hot in the sky today and you know I can see summertime slipping on away. James Taylor, September Grass Another birthday week has come and gone with relatively little fanfare (although it was a significant year for one of us), but it included plenty of inspired cuisine as always. The Chef has returned to pastry, not professionally yet in this … Continue reading Almanac: Labor Day 2022

Sunday Almanac: Distractions for Weeks

Art has something to do with the arrest of attention in the midst of distraction. —George Plimpton And what is writing after all, but art. Betcha Mr. Plimpton’s right. It’s as plausible an explanation as any for my utter unwillingness to sit down on a Sunday and put pen to paper, as I’m wont to do most Sundays: distractions. Just ask any self-respecting dog about … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: Distractions for Weeks

Sunday Almanac: Moving Is Brutal

I’m still here. —Elaine Stritch, et al. Which is to say, I’ve had a tough time carving out a minute to sit down and write. Chef David has done the lion’s share of work, haltingly, painstakingly, one box at a time, and one carload at a time (with one rental truckload for the stuff that wouldn’t squeeze), until now all that’s left to do is … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: Moving Is Brutal

Sunday Almanac: The Myth of the Perfect House

Here is the list, I explained less than one month ago to our patient realtor. 1. It must be a pure architectural style—preferably Arts & Crafts, but we’ll keep an open mind. As long as the style represents an authentic design movement, we won’t rule it out. And naturally, the home’s interior should possess character in keeping with its style. 2. The finishes and building … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: The Myth of the Perfect House

Sunday Almanac: House Shopping Begins

Here is the truth about buying a home in this here economy. First, forget about anything represented in the glossy home-flipping/buying/renovating shows on HGTV, et al. I’m just about convinced the couples on them are made-up people. Avatars. Meet Mr/s. and Mr/s. Dewy-Faced & Well Dressed. S/he sharpens pencils for a living and s/he catches butterflies. The reno specialist smiles into the camera on a … Continue reading Sunday Almanac: House Shopping Begins