"Apparent failure may hold in its rough shell the germs of a success that will blossom in time, and bear fruit throughout eternity" - unknown

Number two in the series...things to do with fruit when you can't face another piece in regular fruit form...and have no intention of dying of heat stroke by turning on the oven. That's right, it's mousse time.

Even better than the actual mousse...not bad...bit too jelly-ish...definitely a "work in progress"...was the fact that it enabled me to use a Victorian jelly mould that I've owned for years, but never actually cooked with.

Summer...strawberries...and sea shells...what more could you ask for? Apart from an end to the heat wave, that is.


"If life is a bowl of cherries, then what am I doing in the pits?" - Erma Bombeck

When life hands you lemons (according to those pesky do-gooders), you make lemonade.  When life hands you temperatures over 100 degrees...and a fridge full of fruit...you spend some time curled up in a ball under a cold shower, rocking back-and-forth.  Once you're done with that...you make cherry granita.


2 pounds sweet cherries (I used Rainier because that's what was in my fridge)
1/4 cup sugar
grated zest and juice of 1/2 large orange
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (actual almond extract if possible, not the fake stuff)
pinch salt
1 cup water


Pit the cherries; if you have a cherry pitter, you're luckier than I am. If you don’t have a pitter, use a paring knife to cut the cherries in half, pull out the pits, and put the cherries in a bowl (all steps to be done while loudly cursing your lack of pitter). Combine the cherries with the sugar, orange zest, orange juice, almond extract, and salt in the large bowl. Stir well, then set aside for 1 hour to macerate (e.g., "stew in their own juices"...that'll teach the pit wielding swine!)

While the cherries stand, clear a place in your freezer to fit the dish you are going to freeze this in, such as a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Put the macerated cherry mixture and water in a blender and puree. Pour into a flat, shallow, freezer-safe container (such as a glass 9x13-inch baking or storage dish) that is large enough so the mixture is not more than one inch deep. Cover with plastic wrap or a lid and place in the freezer. When the mixture begins to get icy (about 1 hour), stir, breaking up the ice crystals with a fork. Return to the freezer. Repeat this step two more times, then let mixture freeze solid for at least 3 hours or up to a day.

Sit in front of air-conditioning and apply spoon to granita. Insert into mouth. Repeat.


"It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right" - Moliere


Well, as long as we've got that sorted out...


"The air was fragrant with a thousand trodden aromatic herbs, with fields of lavender, and with the brightest roses blushing in tufts all over the meadows..." - William Cullen Bryant

You know that you're a city girl...with a country background...when the sight of bunches of lavender for sale in your local grocery store causes you to stand squealing with glee in aisle seven. For, as every CG with a CB knows, fresh lavender means that (after a little prep work) her closet can be showered with fabric sachets of dried lavender (a much more pleasing scent than any man-made variety).

Step one...getting grubby little hands on fresh lavender


Step two...removing lavender from stems and laying out to dry (a much more fiddly, time-consuming task than it sounds)

Step three...finding the fabric (and time) to make the "bags"...


"“Burn the pen, and burn the ink; burn the paper as well. Burn the writer who writes in the love of duality." - Sri Guru Granth Sahib

If...big if...stupendous if...the sort of if that is usually followed by "I was rich/royal/insert something that's never going to happen here. "If", I say...Phoebe Philo were to design a notebook, I could see it looking something like this. Graphic...utilitarian...a chic-er way to keep notes (for those of us who are hopelessly old-fashioned and actually enjoy setting pen to paper).




"The first piece of luggage out of the chute doesn't belong to anyone, ever" - unknown

I realize that there's a certain amount of despair-inducing angst involved with determining which black bag is your black bag on the airport carousel...the later in the day...the more you long for sleep...the greater the feeling that you will never see your bag again.

But...no matter how much you feel that you and your baggage will never be reunited...to skip off into the sunset together in search of a cab...it's impossible to rationalize a $40 luggage tag. Well, for me. Jet-setting heiresses would probably regard it as a bargain. Of course, they'd probably be flying on a private jet...and therefore would avoid the game of "is that my bag?" anyway...


"Nymph, in thy orisons Be all my sins remember'd." - William Shakespeare


After a few weeks of, admittedly rather unscientific study, I think I can claim that the only reason to cough up the sum required to buy US Vogue, Elle, or Bazaar is the question (to bastardize the bard) of...

Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (e.g., risk your iPhone running out of battery mid-air because your flight is delayed and all your fellow travelers are hogging the power outlets)
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles (and, in desperation, buy a copy of one of the aforementioned trio in order to pass the time)

After being trapped in Newark airport with the August issue of Vogue...I'm leaning towards a third option...alternating between blankly staring at a wall and hazarding bizarre guesses as to the lives of my fellow wanderers. An "Age Issue"...again. Sarah Jessica Parker...again. A disturbing number of articles and ads for plastic surgery...alright there was one page celebrating 63 year old Linda Rodin but, apart from that, I found it impossible to walk away from the magazine without the sensation that devoid of laser eyelifts, surgical jawlifts, or earlobe tucks (seriously?) our lives are doomed.

Next trip...despite the additional weight it adds to my (already insanely heavy) bag...I'm packing a book.  Preferably beauty-based...and vintage...from a time when potions and lotions were fine...but you could be beautiful, at any age, without having a "lobelift".


"Too bad you can't buy a voodoo globe so that you could make the earth spin real fast and freak everybody out." - Jack Handy

Life being a tad hectic at the moment, shopping...as a purposeful activity as opposed to a pleasurable pursuit...is limited to rapid-fire online forays...generally at obscure hours of the day. The latest 2am buy...this little number from Barneys own label. With heavy-duty, furnishing fabric-esque cotton...and leather trim...it hits all the buttons ("classic-with-a-twist" and "yet another fabric and leather item in my closet" being the main ones).

The only niggly annoyance is that the industrial strength zipper (after being worn a couple of times and loosened up) shows a marked tendency to respond to the effects of gravity and un-zip...a small hook-and-eye closure at the top would have solved the problem but is lacking (at least until I have enough spare time to sew one on).



"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards." - Benjamin Franklin

I realize that a good portion of the American-based population are at the beach today...laying in the sand...nibbling on mildly inedible (and overly grilled) bits of meat...and anticipating a ballistic barrage of fireworks once the sun goes down. I wish them well (from an air-conditioned apartment)...and hope that none of the female population are greeted by a man wearing these...

Hundreds of nauseatingly bad pick-up lines come to mind..."I have my eye on you"..."I'll be seeing you"...or "Here's looking at you kid"...scratching only the sandy surface...


"Solitude is independence." - Hermann Hesse

Not quite Independence Day...and a not very patriotic outfit (limited stripes and no stars)...but a comfortable option for a (currently rather rare) work-free day...spent, I'm sorry to say, trying to cross some things off my depressingly long  "to do" list.

Day Before Independence Day

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