Discover more from Poor Man's Feast
a contented weekend
Cooking, reading, gardening, walking, listening, for two days in June.
If you’re able to be outside — meaning: if smoke from the Quebec fires doesn’t keep you from outdoor activities — go for a walk or a hike or, if it’s your jam, a run. I’ve recently disconnected myself from my Apple watch during weekend walks unless I’m at the gym and trying to monitor my heart rate. My phone knows where I am, and I do carry it with me all the time in the event of emergencies (mine or someone else’s) but also because I use a great phone app called All Trails that I’ve depended on for years not only to monitor my hiking (it pings a designated person when I get on and off the trail to let them know I’m safe) but to introduce me to new places to walk. This weekend, if the skies are clear, Susan and I will take Petey for a long walk, maybe up in Washington Depot, Connecticut, at the Steep Rock Preserve. If you have a dog, and I hope you do, go to Bring Fido to find local walks and hikes that are perfect for you.
We’ll also be gardening this weekend: I’ll be working on our climbing roses, pruning back the hydrangeas to finally allow them to grow, pruning the last of the lilacs, and probably planting more native perennials, because I love native perennials.
In our kitchen
I’m making a shift to more plant-forward Mediterranean cooking — it’s delicious but it’s also a health thing, and also there is so much that’s filling our farmer’s markets right now (go to my friend Susie’s amazing substack,for great writing about farming or small-holding, cooking, life on an island, recovery, hope, contentment, and all the good things) — so we’ll probably spend some time cleaning piles of fresh chard, watching Heidi Swanson’s amazing kitchen videos, going through back issues of Emily Nunn’s The Department of Salad, and re-considering what it means to cook well and sustain ourselves and those we love, including our aching, beleaguered planet.
In the reading spot
I’ve recently made the discovery that I can only read fiction at night in bed, otherwise my brain switches into a heavy spin cycle of Monkey Mind, and it gets impossible for me to quiet it down for sleep. Caveats: poetry (WS Merwin at the moment), and some non-fiction from my friend, and Wendell Berry, Gail Caldwell, Katrina Kenison, bell hooks, Pico Iyer, Terry Tempest Williams, Ross Gay. Right now, I’m doing a second read of ‘s gorgeous Fellowship Point, which is recently out in paperback, and my annual read of Wallace Stegner’s Crossing to Safety. And because it is Pride Month, this: I do not recall a Pride Month as stunningly important as this one since I came out in the 1990s amidst my friends dying left and right of AIDS, Matthew Shepard being murdered in Wyoming, and a violent anti-LGBTQ hysteria. Still, one can argue, and I do, that every Pride Month is important, and every day is Pride Day when you are a member of this population as I am, and your every basic right is at risk. I will be reading Ani Kayode Somtochukwu And Then He Sang A Lullaby, the debut title from Roxane Gay’s new imprint, Roxane Gay Books, Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer, and dipping back into Mark Doty’s Heaven’s Coast. And as always, I will read, as I do every Pride Month, Marie Howe’s What the Living Do.
From my speakers
There is so much great music coming out right now that our usual Saturday-night-listening-while-cooking is going to be overwhelming. Coming through my speakers this weekend: Jason Isbell’s Weathervanes, Rufus Wainright’s Folkocracy, The Wildwoods’ Foxfield Saint John, Kara Jackson’s Why Does the Earth Give Us People to Love.
Whatever you do, wherever you are, please: be safe, keep good sentences in your ears, avoid too much noise (said Jane Kenyon), and remember to breathe.