Things I Love #29: Still Life With Flip-flops

I love how everyday objects can come together, often unintentionally, to become small moments of beauty.

My friend Jane, I think, was born with this kind of aesthetic.  I mean, look:

A bowl of citrus in front of a blue cutting board.

Roses arranged in an empty tomato tin.

Even her clutter does not feel like clutter (says the [...]

A Menagerie of Naps

When I was a kid I used to be jealous of my cat.

He didn’t have to go to school, for one.

He could stay out as late as he wanted to without worrying about being late for dinner.

He could go anywhere in the neighborhood he wanted, including trespassing in the neighbors’ yards and not get in [...]

Salade Nicoise Recipe

Salade Nicoise is not just a dish; it’s a celebration of ingredients.

A celebration of fresh vegetables, lightly dressed.  A feast of the basics, simply prepared, pure and elemental in taste.

The recipe for salade nicoise is not exactly a recipe so much as a list of ingredients.

New potatoes boiled until just-tender; slender green beans, briefly blanched; [...]

Noonie’s Zucchini Recipe

Well, the first thing I have to say about this recipe is that I have no freakin’ idea who or what a Noonie is, so don’t ask.

The cookbook this recipe comes from fails to elaborate on the matter, declining to note whether Noonie was perhaps a beloved grandmother or simply the nickname of the lady [...]

Things I Love #49

I love when petals fall from trees and shrubs like snow, sweetly-scented and soft as cotton.

I love when they land in unexpected places, when the wind blows them into drifts, when they blanket pathways and make what is familiar seem brand-new.

A Wake of Destruction

Doesn't regret a thing.

The Snook, I think, experiences the world through her mouth.

She is a nibbler of fingers, a licker of palms, a chewer of small objects.

She can spend a whole evening mouthing a piece of string or a pebble of gravel, or shredding a piece of paper into spitball-sized wads.

She enjoys tearing apart [...]

Front Porch Iced Tea for One

Technically, it’s not yet summer.

But in North Carolina and other points southward that’s just a calendar quirk, a mere technicality.

The cicadas are out, the daylilies blooming, the zucchinis inching longer by the minute.

And mid-afternoons are a sweat-swooning, heat-blistering, skin-burning event.

There is only one remedy for these types of Southern summer afternoons: iced tea.

Glad for Glads

My brother’s best friend growing up had the misfortune of moving from Wilmington to a small town in rural South Carolina, a state which all North Carolinians know to be vastly inferior culturally, intellectually, and barbecuelly.

And where is a teenager to work when there is no shopping mall, no Dairy Queen, no swimming pool?

My brother’s [...]

Zucchini, Corn and Black Bean Tacos—Or, A Summer’s Feast

Well, it’s happened: the first zucchini harvest of the season, followed shortly by the second and third and the discovery of squash vine borers, the bane of my squash-growing existence.  (Sigh).

Luckily the first zucchini was a doozy, the kind of zucchini that will feed a whole family, or almost.

A giant among zucchinis.

There’s not much else [...]

Things I Love #89

I love Black-eyed Susans, the ones that spring up wild on roadsides and in cemeteries and unmown fields.

I love this field of them that I pass on my way to work, the flowers sweeping through in undulating waves of color like the ocean, like the wide river.