When God Gives You Plums

Or rather, when your neighbor Glennis — who is godlike in her own ways — gives you plums…

About this time every year, we get the call from next door. “The plums are ready!” The kids and I head over and wind our way down into the Watermans’ terraced backyard, where sure enough the plum tree is overloaded with beautiful purple plums. And we gather and gather and gather.

Plums as far as the eye can see.

Plums as far as the eye can see.

Unlike, say, a tomato plant which may continue giving you tomatoes throughout the season, a plum tree comes full and ready all at once. If you get a week, you’re lucky — especially with the incursion of various lean and hungry summer critters. More

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New Year’s Eve Dinner 2012

Another year come and gone. And with it, another of my New Year’s Eve dinners — a tradition that’s been going on for as long as I can remember.

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Each year I push myself a little further, and this may have been the best meal yet. Even the strange inspiration to accent vodka-cured ivory salmon and caviar with a black licorice reduction was delicious. More

New Year’s Eve Dinner 2011

With the end of the year comes our annual New Year’s Eve dinner party. The guest list is small — the same handful of friends each year, going on a decade or so, with the occasional inclusion of new faces if anyone gets sick, moves or goes through a divorce.

Menu and mise en place.

We set the table with proper linens, light candles, print out menus and put out the champagne flutes. The kids get to stay up late. More