Reading a Lydia Davis story collection is like reaching into what you think is a bag of potato chips and pulling out something else entirely: a gherkin, a pepper corn, a truffle, a piece of beef jerky.
I don't feel that I've had a life of abuse or that I am a victim in any way. My life is pretty typical of a lot of Americans of my generation who grew up in the sixties in families like mine that were sort of unconventional.
I regretted the solitary nature of the writer's life - other people, normal working people, spent their days with co-workers, rode the subway home with a crowd, walked through thronged streets. I worked at home, all by myself.
Even after he was gone, I still loved my father. I looked Norwegian, like him, with a long face, strong jaw, thin mouth, and flashing eyes. And, like him, I was verbal, easygoing, and low-key on the surface, and, deep down, proud, socially paranoid, full of self-loathing, and prone to rage at injustice.
My father's grandparents came from Norway and settled in the Scandinavian bastion of Minnesota. As a little girl in Tempe, Arizona, I daydreamed about picking cloudberries by a fjord in a fresh Nordic wind.
'American Music' is an inventive, passionate, pithy novel whose major theme is love itself and whose minor theme, music, is an emotional, meaningful counterpoint. Like Count Basie and His Orchestra, this book swings.
In the case of the cashew, someone, somewhere, a long time ago determined that it had to be roasted. The cashew was once nicknamed the blister nut, because if you try to eat it raw from the tree, your mouth pays the price. The cashew is not a nut, however; it's a seed.
The New Nordic diet originated in 2004, when the visionary chefs Rene Redzepi and Claus Meyer called a symposium of regional chefs to address the public's increasing consumption of processed foods, additives, highly refined grains, and mass-produced poultry and meat.
There's a certain time of day after sunset when people naturally seem to feel the urge to gather by a fire or a stove or a hibachi or another common source of heat and food, and hunker down together to eat and drink. Call it the blue hour.
Each pineapple plant produces only one fruit per year. It can take up to two years for the pineapple to ripen, and it's important to wait, because once it's picked, it can't ripen any further. The unripe pineapple is not only horrible tasting but poisonous.
I love the perspective afforded by having lived five decades, a degree of bemused and muted calm, a relief from the insistent demands of a turbulent ego and rampant ambition. I'd love to stay here forever. But something tells me that 50 is a sunny idyll, a temporary state of grace, a golden afternoon.
My youngest sister belonged to a group called the Twelve Tribes for many years. She recently left, with her husband and four children. Talking to her about her experiences in the group is fascinating, moving, and enlightening.
After a day of writing, I love nothing more than to go into my kitchen and start chopping onions and garlic on the way to cooking an improvised meal with whatever ingredients are on hand. Cooking is the perfect counterpoint to writing. I find it more relaxing than anything else, even naps, walks, or hot baths.
Of course, eating broccoli raw, nutritionally and aesthetically speaking, is no doubt the best way of all. Raw broccoli makes a delectable salad when sliced into thin strips on a mandolin, marinated in lemon-mustard vinaigrette, then tossed with toasted pecans or hazelnuts, halved cherry tomatoes, and fresh minced basil.
Even more than dying itself, I'm scared of the horror-movie changes that happen to the human body as it ages. I think of it as a sort of haunted-house effect, living inside a crumbling, creaking structure that is full of ghosts and will, some day, fall down.