primacy of the dinner table

Since returning to West Virginia in early April, our best table, a round, four foot diameter blond oak central pedestal antique, typical of my family (my mother, her parents, and myself, at least), has been living in a corner of a difficult room, in an attempt to make that room useful to us. Since April, we’d used it exactly twice (or maybe three times), over the course of one weekend. In its stead, in the kitchen, by a bank of east facing windows, and under a purpose-hung conical glass shaded bulb, we have been eating at a coffee table with a sideboard to keep things out of reach of the baby. I don’t know how this course of affairs continued for so long. It was miserable. Awful. I righted it after seeing the pleasure my young daughter took at her cousin’s highchair—indeed, she is more tractable in her highchair than with her legs on the floor. But having the table in the place of honor, where it belongs—there is a kind of deep rightness to it, like we have righted some perversity which has been quietly poisoning our lives. Perhaps, as I am doing now, set up on that table by these east facing windows, I’ll even write more often. Hell. Who knows.

a house with fermentation projects is a happy house


Here are two homely jugs of happily fermenting homely home-squeezed plum wine. It’s been far too long since I engaged in fermentation projects, and I feel a tear coming on.

This particular project was a medley of expedients. I am bullish on plums, though. One day, perhaps next week, I’ll go land fifty pounds of Damsons and do it right.