Sunday, November 15, 2015

Return of the Near-Native: Back in Rhode Island


As I’ve had food-related reason to mention over the eight and half years (!) of this on-again, off-again blog, I was born and spent my childhood in New Jersey, but almost all my adult life in New England, dividing my time between Massachusetts and Rhode Island, where I went to college, had a second home, and have spent every summer for many decades.  I consider myself a Rhode Islander.

As you also know, for the past 7 years I have ranged South and Southwest, but that long absence (like the long first sentence of this post) has finally come to an end. My itinerant days are over. I am back in Rhode Island. For good.

The bad year I mentioned in my last post got worse—really, and there is no point in discussing it except to mention that it involved, as a small but somewhat painful part, disposing of a lot of vintage port from some of the very best 20th century vintage years (alas! the 1963s and 1970s!), and every other ingestible thing in my kitchen. Considering that I normally am in a position to cook most any cuisine in the world for a small army at the drop of a hat, that is a lot of trash. With the cupboard (and the house) bare, the only conclusion I could come to was that it was time to come home. Forgive what might seem a logical leap, but to me it made perfect sense.

So I returned to Rhode Island at the end of September to a spectacular welcome: the most beautiful, balmy, bounteous Fall in memory. Seriously, the hydrangeas are still blooming, and “the last rose of summer” turned out to more aptly be the last rose of Fall—it was last week.  The ocean is available every day. It is good to be back.

I can’t say for sure whether having returned means I will also return to writing the blog on the consistent basis of the years before I left (2007-2008), when I hear tell it was actually pretty good. We’ll see. For now, here are a few pics of things I’ve made since coming home (and a pic of the kind of fresh roast turkey and ham club that childhood memories are made of). It’s been the year of the giant mutant apple, as big as grapefruits or melons. Something about the dry, sunny summer, it seems. So lots of apple desserts, like this pie and pandowdy. And pumpkin pie, of course. Like coming home, it was time.


Droll Yankee said...

Welcome back
We met ages ago at the opening of Narr. Creamy, love your blog, hoping i get to read more of it now that your back on
your native turf!
You must try north (when not cooking at home) Gordon Ramsy just gave it a great review on instragram!
Keep up the good work and can't wait to read your next post!

Mike Richmond said...

So glad you are back both blogging and just able to get around. So sorry you have had a bad, painful year. I hope the healing continues apace.
The scones are perfect for a boat so thanks for them.
See you next year in NJ?

Jane said...

Hi Paul: So nice to hear from you, and thank you so much for your loyal interest! Of course I remember you--are you still raising pigs? I remember visiting you and our discussion of my favorite fat, lard. I have North on my list, thanks. Will post again soon... Jane

Jane said...

Thank you so much, Ivy, and glad to know you are still reading. Yes, definitely will be in NJ for the reunion--already made my reservation. Look forward to seeing you. Jane