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The Poor Man's Feast Shortlist
What are you reading/cooking/watching/listening to today, Wednesday, August 17th?
1- I have been captivated by this short animated film by Katy Wang and Gabriel Greenough and the people at On Being: The Natural World, Joy, and Human Becoming, featuring the work of Robin Wall Kimmerer, Robert Macfarlane, Katy Payne, and J. Drew Lanham.
2- The Tomato Sandwich with Duke’s Mayonnaise. In my kitchen, we are eating a “dish” that originally showed up in my life during my first summer in New England back in 2000, the year that I met Susan, and then went on to appear in my first memoir, Poor Man’s Feast: the tomato sandwich. This year has been a particularly good tomato year for us thanks to Katherine Whiteside’s Blight Buster (see below), and we’ve taken advantage. I had to see for myself exactly what all the noise about Duke’s was about, so I ordered a jar, and let’s just say that my southern friends are right, and I’ll never go back. This is a no-recipe recipe: take two slices of white bread (Susan prefers Pepperidge Farm, I prefer good sourdough), spread both pieces with mayo (as much or as little as you want; I prefer less), top with sliced, preferably just-picked tomato, grind a little pepper over it all, close the sandwich, and have at it. Resist the urge to add things like tarragon and basil and a very good, sharp cheddar. Do this NOW because in two weeks: no more tomatoes.
3- Growing up in 1970s Forest Hills, New York, I was in love with tennis, and often played it for hours every day after school. I lived five long blocks from the West Side Tennis Club, home of the U.S. Open until 1977, when it moved to Flushing Meadow. One of my absolute favorite players to watch was Arthur Ashe, whose game was so pristine —- so utterly balletic and beautiful —- that with every apparently effortless stroke he hit, he seemed to float above the court. The new documentary, Citizen Ashe, takes a deeper look at this great man’s career as the first Black man to win Wimbledon, his pre-tennis life growing up in the Jim Crow South, and his work as a global humanitarian of epic scale. Absolutely stunning.
4- I fell in love with Hannah Read’s music while in the throes of Covid, and via Instagram, of all places. Her version of Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where the Time Goes will leave you riveted. Have a look and then listen to everything she’s ever recorded.
I mentioned Katherine Whiteside’s Blight Buster: this ingenious all-natural concoction saved my garden from blight this year. Give her amazing Facebook feed a follow. (Disclosure: she was my author when I was an editor at Clarkson Potter. Now she’s my friend.)
See you next week —-