Time for Shell Collecting

Dearest Melipone,

Would we call my emoji messages passive aggressive? Or just gentle, sweet nudges? I prefer the latter. In any case, I was happy to read your letter. I didn’t realize you were still in the master’s program! What are you writing about?

What I wouldn’t give for a cardamom cortado. How divine! Though I can’t complain on the food and drink front, as the last few weeks have been filled with various delights. From a Seder dinner at a family friend’s, complete with the best eye-watering, nose piercing horseradish around, to Easter lunch at my parents’ house (poor little lamb) and my own homemade matzo ball soup, I’m not longing for much these days. I will say that your photos from in and around Barcelona tugged at my heartstrings a bit (I recognized the maletas blancas), but the sun is finally shining in Maine, the snow is almost gone in Portland and the crocuses are blooming. Finally.

I’ll work backwards, starting with yesterday when I returned from a quick trip to NYC (grandma beat me at Scrabble by 60 points), parked my car and walked down to the prom. It was like a scene out of a movie with people appearing seemingly out of the ground. Those who share my complexion showed their near-translucent skin after months of leggings and wool socks. Everyone was smiling and basking in the 64-degree day. The wind was chilly off the bay, but no one was complaining. Or if they were, their complaints were drowned out by the joyous shrieks of a packed park. I sat and read from Anthony Doerr’s The Shell Collector, one of the best books I’ve read in ages, that includes a beautiful story set in Harpswell, Maine, next to a heartbreaking story set in Liberia and Washington. Five stars.

So that’s backwards. But let’s go forwards in photos.


Copenhagen planning (I made lemon yogurt cake and raspberry sorbet for dessert)


You know I love a “streetwise” map!


The sweetest of books, the blackest of coffee, the yummiest oatmeal raisin cookie

Biddeford Pool, snowing

Biddeford Pool, snowing

An experiment in making chocolate caramel matzoh aka the Delicious Matzos


Melt sugar and butter


Boil, but not too much


Spread (I couldn’t bring myself to use all the allotted butter and sugar, so you can see the matzos aren’t completely covered.)


Bake matzos for 15 minutes, then add melted chocolate.


Sprinkle with toasted almonds and sea salt. Break apart. Eat.


Pre-boiled matzo balls for soup.


My broken toe, healing.


Cooking for GG, always an adventure.


Harlem Spring.


Portland Spring.

I want to go to the breakfast spot with you. And you know that if there’s anyone who appreciates a post-breakfast dessert more than you, it’s me. I made my first jug of iced tea and had my first iced coffee of the season. Things are looking up.

I have so many things to do before leaving for Denmark on Thursday, but most of them involve laundry and household chores, and why do that when I can start reading a new book? Oh, and next time you visit, Otto now has happy hour. $5 for a glass of wine and a slice of their finest.

Love and miss,