Mom sent an email with two photo attachments, and a few words. Simple, unexpected emails like this make my day. Sometimes it’s a short, “hope your day is going well” or, “they ran out of Saint Germain strawberry shortcake today.” But the best emails are those which come with photos of Buddy, the family dog.
This is Buddy in the bathtub. My little fellow is composed of 80% plushy golden-brown fur. The other 20% is meat, bones, and fat. He’s a happy dude, and only enjoys being showered by grandma or mom.
This is Buddy post-shower. When he was a tiny munchkin we rubbed him down with a towel and then let him roam around till he was completely dry. A horrible mistake. Buddy would come trampling back into the kitchen with all sorts of weeds, nublins, and sometimes ladybugs, attached to his fur. He would don a sheepish smile and then smoosh himself around your ankle, depositing a trail of tiny black and red ladybugs.
So now we blow-dry Buddy, with the heat set on medium-low. He enjoys the blow dryer, especially on colder days, but the heat makes him rather sleepy.
I’d contemplated taking Buddy with me when I moved from Hawai’i, but I think he fits much better in the land where palm trees sway
Back in NYC, dinner two weeks ago with Don involved a grill, tomatoes, avocados, garlic, steak and a hammock – elements I have quickly learned to associate with summer in the city. Of them all, I must say the hammock is most important (with avocado coming in a close second).
Avocado is creamy blessing in any forms – brushed with olive oil and grilled, whipped into a milkshake, and deep fried in a light batter. Back in Hawai’i, gorgeous ripe ones fall off the neighbor’s tree and roll right into our backyard…a luxury surely taken for granted. We’d pit halved avocados and drizzle a bit of shoyu in the middle – spoon and eat. In the afternoon, or for a morning sweet, replace the shoyu with light sprinkles of sugar and mash and mix in the shell. Indulgence of the best sort.
But when you have a big bag of chips on the picnic bench, what better to do than guacamole? A duo of avocados, tomatoes, fresh lime juice, and salt and pepper to taste. It doesn’t get any more simple.
We made sure to incorporate garlic into the meal, via scapes…
…with olive oil and a touch of salt.
Pictured above is an open bulb picked from the scape ends…baby garlic! Now how adorable is that?
Steak from Ottomanelli and Sons in the West Village….
…on the grill…
…then slipped onto the plate, devoured a minute later.
Baguettes, and pasta with tomatoes round out the meal.
For dessert, we shared a seat on the hammock and a little bowl of Greenmarket raspberries followed by…
…a few treats Don picked up earlier in the day from Amy’s Bread. Don once mentioned of his affection for Amy’s chocolate chip cookies, specifically noting the large chunks of salt embedded into the dough. The cookies were slightly soft upon purchase – perhaps due to summer humidity. But a short trip in the oven to crisp up the cookie and warm the chips down to chocolaty pockets proved wonders.
Of course, while we were at it, we had to give the peanut butter cookie a taste…
…along with a chewy caramel cashew bar! No worries, the sweets were not all polished off in a single night. I was careful to allocate them over two sittings.
Ottomanelli & Sons Prime Meat
285 Bleecker Street
New York, NY 10014
75 Ninth Avenue
New York, NY 10011