Let Us Now Praise an Old-Fashioned Vegetable

Let’s discuss vegetables … shall we? Specifically, let’s talk about lima beans, which I think of as an old-fashioned vegetable, something granny would’ve eaten, that seems to have fallen out of favor these days.

When I was growing up, lima beans were never in favor. They were one of two foods my mother refused to cook. She, who whipped up amazing meals for a family of seven — homemade dumplings and blintzes! quiche! a lot of meat! once an astounding asparagus rollade! another time astonishing orange french toast! (alas, I think I was the only one who enjoyed this) — looked with disdain upon the lima bean. The other food she refused to cook was lamb. Continue reading “Let Us Now Praise an Old-Fashioned Vegetable”

The Stories We Tell

What do I want from a writer? A good story, of course, but what I want most is a connection. I think of the books I treasure, and looking at them from “the elements of story” point of view, I realize I am always hooked by voice. Someone is telling a story, and if I can hear that voice, I’m immediately pulled in and want to know more. I’m talking about Scout in “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Shirley Jackson in “Life Among the Savages,” Laurie Colwin in “Home Cooking” and “More Home Cooking,” or Nora Ephron in most anything she wrote. Continue reading “The Stories We Tell”

Why I Love Physical Books: Reason 1,367

Last weekend, at a gymnastics meet, I saw a baby playing with a Kindle, swiping, or trying to swipe, the pages of an e-book. She was sitting on her mother’s lap, dragging her chubby fingers across the screen, occasionally having some luck. It was the most adorable thing to watch, and I leaned over to tell her mother so. We exchanged a few sentences about children and how they take to electronic devices, and then the mother uttered words that took me by surprise: Continue reading “Why I Love Physical Books: Reason 1,367”