There are so many. This is hard. Maybe two? Christmas at home when I was a child, the table set, my family gathering around, everyone talking and jostling, laughing, carols playing in the background. Many of those people are gone now, and I miss them. Second: A trip last year to the Grand Canyon with my husband. It was cold, bitter cold, and the Canyon was breathtaking with a thin coat of new snow. I didn’t want to leave. Something about staring into the depths of the Canyon in the near freezing temperatures felt exhilarating, free.
Please describe a perfect meal—including menu and those present.
Well, I do love to cook, but it would definitely be one I hadn’t labored over. My family would be gathered around the table. It would be June, and we’d be seated outdoors at a small inn in Tuscany, with a view of the hillsides. I was in one earlier this year that looked like the background in the Mona Lisa.
Our menu? We’d start with an antipasto, parmigiana-reggiano, prosciutto, black olives with glistening skin, chunks of melon and grapes. The main course: crusty bread, thin slices of Italian beef with rosemary, and homemade pasta, perhaps an artichoke ravioli I enjoyed in a small beach-side restaurant in the Cinqua Terre five or six years ago, followed by a salad that included fennel and slices of apple, splashed with a light vinegar and oil. I know this doesn’t fit with the theme, but dessert would be my Aunt Elaine’s strawberry-rhubarb pie. If you tasted it, you’d understand.
What are some of your favorite ways to relax?
Reading, playing with our dog, Nelson, taking long walks, especially when I’m trying to figure out a plot twist, going out with friends, cooking for my family and friends. I rarely indulge, but I truly love afternoon naps.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’m happy in Texas. I’ve lived in Houston for thirty years, and I enjoy it. The city is bustling and brawny, just a bit wild. Anything can happen here, and it often does.
If you could only read books by one author, who would it be? *I know, this is an inconceivable thought, lol.
Oh, my goodness. That’s a terrible question to ask. I guess, right now, I’d chose…. I’m sorry, I can’t choose. I would be missing so much.