Food & Cooking / Home & Garden

A Roost Day with Rhubarb

Last night, while making pesto, I started listening to the audiobook of 40 Years at Chez Panisse. I love the way the books we read (or listen to) color our world. Under the spell of Alice Waters I took extra special care in the morning as I grated tender young carrots for my son’s oatmeal and built his train tracks with the patterns and lines in mind.

On occasion we, the Roost Books team, find an excuse to gather outside our office to enjoy each other’s company and to engage together in the kinds of activities our books so beautifully explore. Today we met at an editor’s house outside of the city with the excuse of putting her rhubarb patch to good use. We snacked on the first pale cherries of the season, rosemary almonds, and rosé, catching up on our summer plans, our dogs, children, and this and that. We lunched on a frittata of greens and new potatoes from the previous day’s CSA box; farro with feta, mint, and peas; and the brightest green spring lettuce salad. Post lunch we set to work slicing, dicing, rolling, and stewing. We made strawberry rhubarb hand pies and an Earl Grey vanilla bean rhubarb jam. The heavy rainclouds of the morning cleared and we feasted on our rhubarb treats under the sun.


I couldn’t resist the call of the ocean nearby before heading back to the city. Out on Plum Island the sky was blue as can be. I ignored my full belly and tied on my running shoes. The Parker River National Wild Refuge is an electric place, wild with birds, marshlands, and seashore. Running the road through the Refuge it feels as though you might just be running to the end of the earth. And the sharp cold of the Atlantic Ocean on hot, post-run skin is pure bliss.

Driving home, hand pies and jam nestled on the seat beside me, listening to 40 Years at Chez Panisse, Ovid was quoted in reference to the 30th anniversary celebration of the restaurant: “May all my afternoons turn out this well.” And I think to myself, “May they indeed.”


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