TRR photos by Jude Waterston

The decor at La Olla is bright and appealing.

Comida Corrida

This February my sister Janet and I hightailed it, as many of our friends do, to a warmer climate. We chose Oaxaca, Mexico, a favorite vacation destination for years.

TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Chicken tajine

February baby

I was born in late February, not by choice, and I’ve never gotten accustomed to the cold as apparently some do when thrust into this world while snow swirls in the streets and the temps hover in the teens.

TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Spinach and grated parmesan


The first time I had a Christmas tree, I was somewhere in the ballpark of my early 40s. My sister, Janet, and I were renting a house (we would later own) in the Beechwoods area of Callicoon. We had never had a tree before because we are Jewish.

TRR photos by Laura Silverman

A few simple ingredients can help you produce a Thanksgiving leftover feast like no other.

The leftovers

Go ahead, eat a second Thanksgiving. Heat everything up and enjoy your plate of desiccated turkey with flabby stuffing and watery Waldorf salad. Or double down on that mile-high sandwich crammed to the gills with mayonnaise and cranberry sauce. There’s no shame in it.

TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Butternut squash, kohlrabi and red cabbage

A Greek in the woods

I answered the phone to hear a man speaking loudly, not in an angry way, more excited with anticipation. I had trouble understanding him, his accent heavy and exotic, then heard the words, “Zenon Taverna” and realized he had first said, “It’s Stelios.” Then I knew who he was.

Tomatoes laid out before baking

Love apples

I sometimes measure the success of my summer by the number of tomato sandwiches I eat. Few things capture the essence of the season better. (Except perhaps a white peach. Or grilled, buttered corn. Or fresh blackberries with cream.) A really good tomato is like a vivid, voluptuous expression of the sun.

TRR photos by Jude Waterston

Raw tomato, basil and mozzarella sauce for pasta

The tomato ceremony

If you are an antsy person, as I am, the wait for the annual planting season can seem interminable. Where we live in Sullivan County, one generally doesn’t put trowel to earth until the first week in June for fear that a stray frost may unexpectedly hit and kill your newly planted herbs and vegetables.

Chicken fricasee with tiny meatballs


My sister-in-law was visiting, and I brought her up to my bedroom to show her some changes I’d made to the décor. After she’d admired my new acquisitions, she looked down at an old wooden child’s chair on which sat a large, gangly stuffed animal, a monkey. She made a disparaging comment. “That’s Bananas,” I said defensively.



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