Sunday, October 3, 2010
After a cooler-than-usual summer, our small, late tomato crop has finally ripened and become the heart and soul of what, for me, is the perfect salad: cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, salt, a touch of pepper, a generous scattering of dried purple basil, olive oil, and vinegar. Made in the morning and chilled, this is ideal with the evening meal, and what’s left over is even better the next day.
On the first day of the month, I had a few errands to run, one of which required a trip downtown. Since I was near the library and had change for the meter, I stopped there long enough to visit the little Friends bookstore I’m so fond of. I came away with another five volumes. As luck would have it, the books are part of the same set I chanced upon during my last visit — poetry from the English beginning with Chaucer, a volume of Dante, and one of Robert Burns.
Upon returning home, I was greeted by an immense starling celebration underway high up in the neighbors’ fir trees. Not a single bird was visible. The air was cool, the sky was a soft, coastal gray, and there was only a slight breeze. No one else was out. I stood there immersed in the sound, my new stack of hundred-year-old books in hand, feeling like the luckiest person in the world.
In the Forum: suave urbanity, burnt elves, and dogs with diplomas.