Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

Yesterday was a beautiful almost-spring day, so Brian, Megan and I took a road trip to Philadelphia. I’m a huge fan of the city, having spent my freshman year of college there, and I try to get back at least once a year. (It’s an easy drive from where I am now…)

The focus of the trip was a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art to see the Van Gogh exhibit, which was beautiful. But the real find of the trip was the Perelman Building, a newly renovated and expanded annex to the museum that focuses on modern art and design. Keep reading…


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This Farming Man celebrated his birthday this week.

Megan made an amazing triple-chocolate cake, which we ate after our annual pilgrimage to my favorite Indian restaurant. And Brian got me two loaf pans, so that I can start baking my own bread. (Yes, maybe this will be the year that I finally stop talking about it and actually do it…)

He also got me these great dishtowels from Martha Stewart with chickens on them. This Farming Man likes chickens…


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Last night, I went to a potluck dinner with Brian and some of his friends from Tennessee. My contribution to the meal was a chess pie, which is a quintessentially Southern dessert, although apparently there are some variations from New England. It’s basically pure sugar, so some recipes include a teaspoon of vinegar to tone down the sweetness a bit.

I started with a recipe from Martha Stewart and added some unsweetened chocolate instead of the vinegar, so the finished pie tasted like brownies. It puffed up in the oven when it was baking and then settled as it cooled, so I covered the cracked top with some whipped cream when I served it…

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Saturday was brisk and cold, the first day in a while where it really felt like January. But the sun was shining, so Brian and I drove out of town to enjoy the day.

We ended up in Petersburg, which is located just south of Richmond in Virginia. Keep reading…

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I walked by my old garden this morning on the way back from the gym. There’s nothing much there now except some dried up plants and an empty tool shed.

The garden closed down last fall after the owner of the land decided to use it for construction staging this year. I had inherited a plot from my good friend Pam when she left town, but unfortunately I only had it for about five months.

On tap for 2012? The search for a new patch of dirt to call my own…

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Well, I blew it. I met my idol, the one and only Martha Stewart, and I gave her a bad restaurant recommendation.

The other night, Brian and I went with Eric’s wife Francine to a special discussion and book signing for Martha’s new book Martha’s Entertaining, sponsored by the Smithsonian Resident Associates program. When Martha was signing my books (one for me, one for Megan and one for Pam), her assistant approached with restaurant options for dinner after the event.

Seeing an opening to engage in a meaningful conversation with Martha, I told her my thoughts about the restaurants. She gave me a look of scrutiny and asked some quick questions about the food and crowd at each place, and I wholeheartedly suggested restaurant number one. She told her assistant to go with it and then turned her attention to the next person in line (without a word of thanks for my help, I might add).

It was only after I breathlessly relayed the conversation to Brian and Francine that I realized I had directed Martha to the wrong place. I won’t tell you where I told her to go, but the place I didn’t recommend was Blue Duck Tavern. Take a look at their website and tell me if that wouldn’t have been the most perfect place for Martha Stewart to eat in this whole city.

Why I chose restaurant number one, I can’t really tell you. But for the rest of the night, I imagined Martha at dinner there, thinking to herself “Why did I listen to that guy?!”

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Well, Connecticut and New York, actually. Brian and I went there this weekend to see fall colors and visit some architectural sites (Brian’s an architect). The trip started off with Brian finding out that someone stole $500 from his bank account. And the next morning, our rental car was rear-ended. But other than that, the weekend was great!

We flew into Hartford, then drove to New Haven and New Canaan in Connecticut, then Armonk, Rhinebeck and Red Hook in New York, before heading back to the airport via Litchfield. We saw a bunch of cool buildings and had a ton of great food, including dinners at Restaurant North in Armonk and Mercato in Red Hook, both James Beard Award winners. And we ate delicious fresh ice cream on Sunday morning, because we were driving past the Arethusa Farm Dairy, which is owned by the president and vice president of Manolo Blahnik (yes, the shoes). We also bought some yogurt there to eat later in the day before catching our flight.

One of the highlights of the trip was touring Philip Johnson’s Glass House. Johnson was a contemporary and friend of Andy Warhol, and he once hosted a party on the property featuring a performance by Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. We thought this was a fun coincidence, because Brian is dressing as Andy Warhol for Halloween, and I’m going as Lou Reed. (Megan is completing our Factory triumvirate as Edie Sedgwick).

Anyway, here are a bunch of shots from the weekend. Hopefully, they get you into the fall spirit, too…

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