Sunday, June 10, 2012

of summer kitchens & graves

if you lead, I will follow, anywhere that you tell me to... (Carole King)
Remember that song from her album Tapestry? It's been on my mind in relation to my small camera(s). I always have one with me (and my iPhone, new, novel, fun). Most ordinary days I never quite know where I'll be or what I will encounter so my pictures tend to be minimalistic journal entries grabbed quickly. If I were an artist they would be sketches, but alas, I have no talent in that area. In the last 3 days I've been to Santa Fe twice and around the park a couple of times. In SF one afternoon we stopped into Clafoutis, French cafe and bakery. ooh la la! Yummy salads of grilled shrimp and chicken, beets, almonds, pineapple, tomatoes, greens...a baguette...
The desserts are to die for (see above: raspberry cream "baskets"). We bought a bag of fresh-baked Madeleines, all puffy and light, but I wasn't fast enough with the camera and we ate them before they could be immortalized.

And still on the food thing: the SOMOS Storied Recipes cookbook is shaping up nicely. We have more entries than we thought we'd receive and the stories and recipes are being vetted, edited, categorized by our chief/chef editor. Here's what I find interesting. For those writer/cooks who also happen to have Italian names (and many who do not), Italian food is high on their lists of favorites. Phil Roberts, the man who inspired the chain of Buca de Beppo restaurants (southern Italian-immigrant cooking) said:

being Italian is not the blood in your veins,
but the spirit in your heart

I like that thought and apparently many others agree. The cookbook will have a delicious assortment of non-Italian recipes from many places and experiences. It will be available in October, stay tuned.

when he grills shrimp,
he threads them on rosemary sticks
                    (Frances Mayes)

she's receiving guests...
still following the camera, I was perplexed and amused when I saw the latest adornment on Mabel Dodge Luhan's headstone in Kit Carson Cemetery. As noted before, visitors leave gifts. Her writings and life were and are an inspiration to many people who come to Taos. Her house, now a B&B inn/workshop/performance center (preserved in her style), is a short walk from the cemetery. Old cottonwood trees still sigh and provide shade, people still sit under them, hear pigeons cooing nearby, write, knit, dream, hear gurgling water in the acequia in spring. Guests, writers and artists who have been in intensive retreats leave notes, crocheted doilies, poems, silk flowers, special stones. A fur-trimmed sweater.

I do wonder what provoked the gift-giver to leave that nice sweater on the grave of someone long dead? I suppose it's about her words and the compelling images they evoked, the interesting life she lived: New York socialite, world traveler, writer, hostess, wife of Taos Pueblo Indian. The people she knew and "collected" - D.H. Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frieda and Dorothy and even Carl Jung. No one is dead who has left their writing behind to inspire future others they couldn't even imagine they were writing for.
...when I remembered the clamor and movement out here beside this river, listening to the inner sound of these mountains and this flow, the rumble of new York came back to me like the impotent and despairing protest of a race that has gone wrong and is caught in a trap.
                     Mabel Doge Luhan (Edge of Taos Desert)