Last few days of Summer: a drink to celebrate the last remaining lazy days; a photograph to remind us of the turmoil that still surrounds us and a poem that blends reality and perceptions. Plus a few things I found just lovely.
One. The refugees crisis that has hit the European shores shows no signs of abating. This photo, by Banksy, says it all – although it’s not just Europe that bears the responsibility nor should it be the only one to shoulder the problem. In the face of inept, slow or just disorganized governments, the outpour from regular folks has been heartwarming. Kinder trains of yesteryear, Syrians and Africans today. It could be us tomorrow.
Two. My friend and neighbour Isabel showed up on my doorstep a few weeks ago with an unexpected gift: an old book on Jewish Italian cooking, signed by the author decades ago. And she didn’t even know I collected Jewish Italian cookbooks, as part of my plan to uncover dishes that could slowly supplant the Ashkenazy cooking of our holidays. I love old recipes as they retain a warmth and colloquialism that in the era of cooking apps, cooking shows and magazines has gotten lost. Tamar Adler puts it best in this beautiful piece.
Three. And speaking of recipes, when I came across this Pimm’s Float on Chef Mimi’s blog, the thought I most despise quickly surfaced “How did I not think of this?”. A two decade Pimm’s devotee, I never thought of marrying it with ice-cream. Here is how.
Four. Look at the moon tonight. And then read this. By Cuban poet Carlos Pintado.
In a dream, I touched the faces of the moon: the fire-bringing moon
of Istanbul; the moon of Shakespeare, changeable and old as every
moon; the moon as blind Eastern weavers reach for it in shock; the
moon sung by the Fates; the moon as it appears in old engravings;
the moon of Borges, saved by blindness from silver and dream; the
moon pouring ghostly shapes in mirrors; the primitive moon Rome
and Carthage shared for a night; the moon that was before the sea,
before the sun, before the word moon; the Greek moon they call Ar-
temis; the moon that alchemists pursued, but never caught, in metals;
the tarot Moon that is the deepest arcanum; Galileo’s moon, refut-
ing the crystal-smooth moon of Aristotle; the black moon discov-
ered by a girl in an Aztec temple; the moon that traveled with Verne
and Cyrano de Bergerac; the moon Quevedo clapped within a fine
and bloody epitaph; Lorca’s moon with its bustle of tuberoses, sink-
ing into the forge; the haiku moon, unable to compete with a river
rock’s false gleaming. These moons are dearer and more familiar
than that lone moon hanging, solitary and perfect, like some inven-
tion of the night.
Five. Oliver Sacks died about a week ago. The New York Times published four beautiful essays Dr. Sacks wrote in the last year of his life, fully aware his time was dwindling. In honor of the Jewish holiday of Rosh’ashana that starts tomorrow, I thought it would be lovely to have Dr. Sacks’s last essay, Sabbath, featured herehere: to remind ourselves of the meaning of a full life right when a new year is just beginning.