Oct 05

2012

Farm Food: Finding My Way

Food is a really big thing for me here in England. First of all, there is no take out or delivery service nearby so you have to cook. This was a problem for me when I first started coming here age 23 because I hadn’t yet progressed much beyond college cooking. With my future husband unable to prepare anything other than eggs, baked beans and toast I had no choice but to go down to the local bookshop and get inspired. That first summer I cooked my way through The River Cafe cookbook, and then onto Nigella Lawson the second summer, Tamasin Day Lewis the third, Jamie Oliver the 4th, and so on...


Oct 02

2012

Life in England: So Far

It’s been more than three months since we arrived to live in England for our “creative sabbatical” and to be honest I feel like things are just starting to get creative. The summer was filled up with house guests and travel and family time, but now that the kids are settling back into school, I have had some time to find a routine and get a sense of what “real life” will be like for me here. Even though I am really just at the beginning, I already know I am incredibly happy here...


Sep 21

2012

So far the thing I love most about England is how easy it is to clear my head when I need a break. Sure I get caught up in my emailing, or distracted by my kids, or overwhelmed by the prospect of starting from scratch on a new book just like I would in my life in New York. But here it is so easy to clear the decks and start again by walking the dog, going out on a ride, or collecting the chicken eggs. My favorite way, however, is to arrange flowers from our garden. I always get a twinge of anxiety when I start because its never obvious which flowers I am going to pick or how I am going to arrange them. Often one variety is in bloom, but there is not enough to make a whole bouquet with. So I have to figure something else that will look pretty with it. This is a challenge for me. For many years I have been a flower minimalist – I like a handful of all the same flower tightly and tidily arranged in a neat little uptight city-girl bouquet. But the country has made me relax. A little. My arrangements are looser and I have learned to mix and match when necessary. I have also come to like the uneasiness I feel as I figure out what I am going to do. I realize that subtle tension is a natural by-product of creativity. It makes the process more engaging and ultimately more satisfying.



Jun 22

2012

Life on the Farm: Safe and Sound

We made it to England all in one piece! The last 24 hours in New York were never-ending. You know that feeling when every bone in your body is telling you to stop what you are doing and lie down to get some sleep, and you aren’t even close to being finished? That’s how it was. We packed, made lists, copied keys, labeled the dog crate and cleaned out closets right until the very last minute. I think we got everything done...