Last week many things happened that were fun and definitely lifted my general mood. One of the biggest developments is that Steven & I finally caught one of Julius the Cat's best mannerisms on film:
She's going on twenty, and sometimes she forgets little things, like putting her tongue away. I mean, I forget little things all the time, so I understand where she's coming from. Also, we had Steven's grandmother Joyce over for lunch. I don't think I've shown you my dining room before:
So Steven whipped up a fresh little meal of tomato soup with tuna salad sandwiches, made with this incredible Portuguese tuna he's discovered, accompanied by a nice Portuguese white. One of the great things about living in this part of the country is the abundance of inexpensive, fine Portuguese imports. We are, after all, a sailing town, and Portuguese sailors moved here in droves. (How many times can we say Portuguese in one paragraph? I'd also like to point out one of our latest finds, a Nakashima for Knoll dining chair, bought at a local church sale for all of $2. The cushion was a present from the family of weavers Anna and I stayed with in the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco. )
I used a lot of fun junk: multi-colored water glasses from a Grand Manan garage sale, a pair of late 18th cen. brass candle sticks (English? American?) from the local flea, IKEA bowls, Dansk plates from a junk store, 60s Royal Copenhagen from when I studied in Denmark (so cheap there, it killed me. It was the only cheap thing in the whole country), some jade bi-disks from a Chinese tomb (via Porta Portese market, Rome), massive and heavy granite bowl from a follower of Noguchi (garage sale in Chicago), bronze clock counterweight, boxwood from Steven's parent's yard, bronze and water buffalo horn tableware from the 60s, a pretty little clementine for color (can you see it?), etc, etc.
I added some amethyst grapes. I've never been able to do "less is more."
Delicious! With cucumbers and cheese, and sweetened Spanish flatbread after. Yum. The conversation was also excellent -- Joyce is very opinionated and knowledgeable on a wide range of topics, and we talked at length on whether Fanny Bryce was worthy of Keats, culinary practice in 1950s Winnetka (a rather snooty lakeside suburb of Chicago), life as the wife of an ad man (think Mad Men), Thomas Mann, Annie Proulx and whether it is appropriate to command Steven to make me a red velvet birthday cake in our antique lobster-shaped aspic mold (apparently not).