Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 15

Our lives have taken on the relative asceticism of January. We’re keeping our heads down; working hard and long and making do. Walnuts in a bowl with a cracker have taken the place of the holidays’ never-ending supply of confections purchased and gifted and made. The light increases every day.

I placed a plate full of steamed artichokes on the table between the boys after school as they did homework, Abbott Spanish – “mi abuelo es el hijo de mi bisabuelo” – Cal multiplying combinations of numbers and decimals. Without looking up from their work they tugged the leaves off one by one, dipping them in the bowl of melted butter I’d placed next to them and then scraping off the flesh with their teeth. They paused when they got to the heart, eating in concentrated pleasure.

I asked Abbott about a presentation he’d had to give on Brown v. Board of Education for a civil rights unit at school, and then told the boys what I knew, second-hand, about the 'colored' and 'white' water fountains and restrooms and churches in the town where my parents grew up, and about their school becoming integrated in the mid-1960s, when they were in high school.

After making myself a bourbon tonic I collected and chopped a handful of parsley from the yard, miraculously robust after months of winter. I boiled fingerling potatoes and then slathered them with butter, Maldon salt and the parsley. I roasted the buttery flesh of king salmon to this side of raw and steamed a pot of broccoli to Crayola brightness. We cleared the table of the work and the artichoke leaves and ate, discussing our own civil rights concerns and racism at this point in history.

Bourbon Tonic
Adapted from Not Without Salt

After Ashley posted this recipe last fall, it has been in regular rotation here. I highly recommend getting a tray to make large cubes, if you don’t already have one. I’ve been known to bring one of my mine on vacation with me. I love how slowly the large cubes melt and, of course, the look of them.

1.5 ounces Bourbon
3 ounces tonic (I prefer Fever Tree)
Wedge of lemon
1-2 Maraschino Cherries (preferably Luxardo)

In a rocks glass with ice add the bourbon. Squeeze the wedge of lemon and then add it to the glass, along with a cherry or two and a tiny bit of the cherry juice, and the tonic. Stir gently a time or two.

Yield: 1 serving


betsy said...

Lecia, I love how you see and write about your days. Bourbon + artichokes + wintered-over parsley + homework at the table = a perfect January day. xx

Lecia Phinney said...

Thank you, Betsy! xoxo

likeschocolate said...

What a nice discription of your day.

Lecia Phinney said...

likeschocolate: xo!

emily said...

i'm quite certain that my weekend will not be complete without an artichoke, now that you've mentioned it! xo.

Jen Marie said...

I've been reading your musings for about a year, I think, and I thoroughly enjoy each one. You have a keen eye for detail, and there's a refreshing quiet...and a stillness, underlying your writing. I have a tendency to overwrite everything (see intended brief comments, herein); your writing inspires me to work on shearing the superfluous. ;)

Lecia Phinney said...

Emily: I hear one calling your name!

Jen Marie: Thank you for taking the time to say so - you've made my day. xo

Ivy Lane said...

as always...wonderful photography and a beautiful story....


Katharine said...

I admire the light ,pleasure and quiet of your pictures and your words. I am grateful that you share your world . Your affirmation and appreciation of life is like a smooth stone in one's pocket. Thank you.
Okay enough and on to the important message. I finally made these after ordering the requisite cube tray and cherries for my twin son's 33 birthday celebration. (the other twin is in Seattle struggling to be an architect). The cocktail needed a name and because of the 33 has become the 'Larry Bird'. Hope this gives you and yours a laugh.

Lecia Phinney said...

Katharine: Oh, I love that! xo