Archive for the ‘guest contributor’ Category
Last night, while we waited for our dinner to finish cooking, Brandon and I shared a beer and played cards. We like to play cards, but we only ever play one game: Double Solitaire. Brandon learned it from his grandfather, and he taught it to me on our honeymoon. Anyway, last night, while we were playing, I was complaining about how tired I was, and Brandon was complaining about how tired he was, and it went on like this for a while, with both of us complaining. We’re very fun people to be around. But then he looked kind of dreamily out the window and said, “But I do love how, when you’re really tired, getting into bed feels so good.”
Then he completely thrashed me at cards. Which is okay, really, because I thrashed him even worse after dinner. And then we went to bed.
It’s been such fun to be here. Thank you, thank you, for having me.
Last night I had my first Polaroid dream. In it, I went to the Parker in Palm Springs. I’ve never been there, but I’ve heard about it from Jen. My version had some sort of big, lush amphitheater out front, and a lot of people. When I walked behind the main building, there was a broad horizon with water in the distance and bright, glaring sunlight, and then a thundering pack of wild horses ran by. It was very romantic, in a Marlboro Man sort of way. Actually, now that I think about it, I might have been confusing the Parker with the Gorge Amphitheater in central Washington. Anyway, I took out my camera and tried to take a bunch of Polaroids, but what came out in the photograph was never the same as what I was pointing the camera at. For example, if I was aiming at the horses, the shot would be of the amphitheater. It was very disconcerting. I am trying not to read too much into this.
The rhubarb wanted to sit on the stoop one last time before it went into the pot.
Adapted from Dana Cree
If you don’t have any Grand Marnier, just substitute water, and consider adding some grated orange zest – just a bit, to taste – at the end of the cooking time.
1 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
In a medium bowl, toss the rhubarb with the sugar. Put the butter in a heavy medium saucepan, and melt it over medium heat. Add the rhubarb and its sugar and a splash of Grand Marnier, and cook, undisturbed, for about two minutes, or until the rhubarb begins to release its juices. Then give it a good stir, reduce the heat to medium-low, and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until all the juices are released and the compote begins to thicken, about 15 minutes. When the compote is ready, it will be thick and saucy, with a few tender, juicy lumps of rhubarb remaining. Taste for sweetness; I sometimes like to add a bit more sugar.
The compote will keep for about a week in the refrigerator. Serve warm, cold, or at room temperature, with plain yogurt, ice cream, whipped cream, or nothing at all.
Most Sunday mornings, we go to the farmers’ market in our neighborhood. There are always a lot of puppies, and the Tallboys play on the sidewalk, and as far as the eye can see is a patchwork of Polarfleece jackets and stove pipe jeans. It’s very Seattle. I love the market. But lately it’s been sort of depressing, to tell you the truth. I like kale very much, but if I see any more of it, I am going to sit down on the curb and sob. All I want is a strawberry. Brandon has taken to giving me pep talks on the way there, just so I won’t make a scene. The winter isn’t so bad here, really; it’s May and early June. That’s when Seattle and Summer play their annual game of Hide and Seek. A single round takes something like six weeks, and it’s never clear who will win. Today it is 52 degrees and raining.
Anyway. I don’t mean to be a downer. This past Sunday, we did come home with two heads of new baby lettuce and a bag of sugar snap peas, which was a great improvement. I hesitate to say that things are looking up – it is 52 degrees and raining – but I am going to have some sugar snaps for lunch, and maybe I’ll feel more confident after that. In the meantime, I had to show you this bunch of green garlic. When we get home from the market, I always take charge and put away our loot – organizing the fridge is among my cheapest pleasures – and while I was unpacking our bags this Sunday, I set the green garlic on one of the chairs at our kitchen table. I just plunked it down, la di da. But when I saw it there, it seemed so happy and relaxed, like a lady in an old movie, letting her hair down at the end of the day. I had to take a picture.
Happy Tuesday, all.
I’m so happy to be here this week. Ever since it launched, I’ve loved the concept of this site, and the way the words “everyday” and “polaroid” look together at the top of the page. Last night, when I was thinking about what to write here today, I realized that I had never really paid much attention to my everyday until I started taking photographs. There is something about framing a scene in the viewfinder – even a very, very ordinary scene – that helps me to see it a little differently. It helps me to see the potential for beauty, rather than just my boring dinner, say, or my crooked stove, or my overflowing trash bag. Now that I think about it, really, I think that’s the reason why I take pictures: to see my everyday life from another angle, as something more graceful and intentional than it often feels. Because let me tell you, it ain’t so graceful. Or so intentional. You should see my hair right now.
This week, I am pounding away at a writing deadline and spending a lot of time at home, in the kitchen and at my desk, where I do most of my work. I’d like to share with you some of the scenes that cross my everyday path. Most of them will probably be in the kitchen, since that’s where all the fun happens, but we’ll see. The photo above is from a few nights ago, when my husband was out at work – he sometimes works for a caterer – and I poured myself a glass of wine and made eggs and a mixing bowl of salad. You can never go wrong with eggs and salad, I find. Even straight from the bowl.
Thank you so much for being here.