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It’s duck n’ beans for lunch today. One half Moulard duck breast feeds two of us along with big spoonfuls of cannellini beans with green olives. We have been drunk with this wonderful weather—beautiful, golden, and warm. After lunch we’ll take a stroll along the canal. We are living the life.

For lunch today it’s tacos of pork ribs simmered with sugar chiles and garnished with avocados, green onions, cilantro, and a spoonful of sour cream. In such a splendid place, on this beautiful day, with such a delicious lunch, it’s good to be alive.

It was cold and wet this Monday morning, not quite cold enough for our first fire of the season, but what the heck, we’ll open the doors. We are starting off this week with a bang, guinea fowl and polenta with fried sage leaves. Our friend, Lex Alexander, gave us a gift of medium coarse-cut yellow grits from Lindley Mills in Graham, North Carolina. So we cooked them up Italian-style in honor of the birds. Let the games begins.


On this late summer day, our doors are flung open to the great outdoors where big billowing clouds float overhead, the clear green water of the canal slides by down below us, and a beautiful breeze blows into the studio. Grilled bangers and big fat tomatoes for lunch today. Henry, the studio dog, watches us intently as we eat. He barks every now and then, as if he needs to remind us that he is there, hoping that something falls on the floor. It brings to mind a cartoon in this week’s  New Yorker that shows a genie out of his bottle talking to a dog. The caption reads, “After you wished once for food, you can stop using your other wishes on food.” But this simple lunch is so good, we might squander our wishes, too.


September is the very best time of the year for eating vegetables. At the Trenton farmers’ market this morning, there were yellow wax beans and green string beans, bursting at the “seams” with their swollen little beans inside; heroic lima beans encased in their sturdy flat pods; long, wide Romano beans (we’ve been waiting for these all summer); bi-color (our favorite) corn on the cob; and just-dug (’cause we dig ’em) potatoes. We made a succotash, adding about a quarter of a  pound of salted Irish butter (is it wrong?). Eating like this takes the sting out of saying the long, slow goodbye to summer.


There were a couple of plump zucchini in the garden this morning, and one little ribeye steak in the fridge leftover from the holiday weekend. We seared the steak in a cast-iron skillet to a nice pink medium-rare, then piled on sautéed zucchini tossed with really good olive oil, and chopped fresh tarragon and parsley. Welcome back to the rest of our lives!


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