The Dear Enemy Effect involves clear boundaries and mayhap leads to something called Interspecies Feeding (helping): I feed the bears; Orioles feed baby titmice; House Finches feed baby Cowbirds; (all this done WITHOUT the help of John Kerry), so WITHin the same species, hey there, Israel and Palestine? How about it?

Why not concede that a Hamas-Israel joint attack on Isis

might build momentum for a 2-state solution.

Plus “The Dear Enemy Effect” of other species

shows that clear boundaries make for a better life.

Check out the Baltimore Oriole in Chatham MA  who feeds the Titmouse babies,

the House Finch parents who nurture the Cowbird

whose mom laid him deliberately in their nesT.

(& they’re doing it WITHOUT John Kerry.)

Why not.





Heavenly peas, devotion-worthy lettuce, let-it-be-praised asparagus

Stop and smell the garlic! That’s all you have to do.

– William Shatner

welcome, garlic scapes!

In season and delicious, these little wispies are swellegant.

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The scape is the stalk, the thin green curlicue, produced by hard-neck garlic. It’s just the sweetest breath of yumness ~ not garlicky, but merely a subtle hint of what’s to come, a super-fresh cross between bulb garlic and scallions.

So, now what? Here are a few ideas~

Oil the whole scapes lightly, then cook them quickly on the grill or roast them at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet with olive oil and salt until crispy.


I learned that garlic scapes make great pickles, too.  Who knew?

Or just cut the scapes into inch-long pieces, steam or saute in olive oil, then toss with pasta, veggies, or rice.  Add some grated cheese or, if you like it pyrotechnically spiced, a dash of red-pepper flakes.


I love to make pesto, and scapes are a swashbuckling addition to the usual basil, parsley, and herb pesto crew. Stir into hummus or butter and spread on your favorite veggies or sandwich.

So hit the farmer’s market or stop by my garden.  And put scapes on your menu with help from those Fabulous Beekman Boys.

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Well we bought our farm in 2007. And we call ourselves accidental farmers because we were Manhattanites, obnoxious Manhattanites, who would drive up to upstate New York and bother all the locals and buy their apples on the weekends. And we found this farm and we fell in love with it and purchased it thinking it would be a nice weekend place. And then we got a letter in our mailbox from a man named Farmer John who was losing his farm and he said, “I’ve got 80 goats and can I come put them on your farm?” And we thought, still obnoxious Manhattanites at that time, we thought “Oh great! We’ve got a petting zoo.” So he came in with his goats. So that was 2007. In 2008 us obnoxious Manhattanites lost our fancy-pants Manhattan jobs; both within 30 days of each other. And when life hands you lemons you make lemonade. Life gives you goats you make goat milk soap, goat milk cheese and goat milk whatever you can make. That’s how we became accidental farmers”


Shrimp and garlic Scapes Scampi

Adapted from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook


Serves 4
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
5 garlic scapes, thinly sliced (½ cup)
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
½ teaspoon coarse (kosher) salt
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut up

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic scapes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender.
Add the shrimp, sugar snaps, salt, and lemon zest and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just cooked through. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, remove the pan from the heat, and swirl in the butter until creamy.


Got a summer bucket list? Pencil in a trip to the Beekman 1802 Mercantile store in upstate NY.

1811a878520fe48e09c38d65ebd3c7f7The Immutable law of gardeners 🙂

Are you drowning in lolla rossa?  orgies of kale? bushels of beans?

Are you a gardener too? do share.


Toni 6/28/15



“I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue,” Elmore Leonard wrote

when elaborating on his Rule No. 10.

Not if it was his, I didn’t.


Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA --- Hollywood Sign --- Image by © Robert Landau/CORBISHollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA — Hollywood Sign — Image by © Robert Landau/CORBIS

Wilson Mizner described Tinsel Town as “a trip through a sewer in a glass-bottomed boat”, a dream factory where crass commercialism regularly trumps art. Even so, literary heavyweights like F. Scott Fitzgerald and Evelyn Waugh labored in the lucrative Hollywood trenches as screenwriters. Beneath the glitz and glamour, grim reality served up plenty of juicy material. Swimming with the showbiz sharks paid off.


There was no one better at it than Elmore Leonard. His books-into-movies were blockbuster films. Early in his career, he worked for Chevrolet and smoked packs of Virginia Slims.  Leonard wrote ad copy (“Wait’ll you feel what torsion springs have done for truck handling”) but, in the wee hours of morning, met his personal goal of two pages every day.  One prolific guy.


For years he wrote short stories and stored them in a box in the basement. Recently, his son Peter and daughter Jane, brushed them off, typed them up, and published them as a collection, Charlie Martz and Other Stories: The Unpublished Stories.  It’s pure “Elmore unfiltered, warts and all.”  Expect gunfights, bloody ends, and furtively planned attacks delivered with Elmore Leonardesque snappy dialogue and wry humor.


I loved the movie Get Shorty. So did Elmore Leonard, my pick for the éminence gris of crime fiction. If I want to read a good story about bad guys, well, Leonard is ’nuff-said brilliant.

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Hollywood is full of Leonard fans. Studios have been making movies out of his western stories and crime novels since the 1950s. He might be called a genre writer but he’s taken seriously, very seriously, by the literary crowd. So, how does he do it?

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.


Well, I started this post intending to write about Hollywood novels like The Last Tycoon (Fitzgerald) and The Loved One (Waugh). But I’m both chronically distracted and thoroughly smitten by Elmore.


Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

Nobody writes openings like Elmore Leonard.

There’s bad blood between Chili Palmer and Ray Bones, the guy who stole Chili’s coat and is now his boss. Bones has ordered him to collect $4,200 from a dead guy. Except the guy didn’t die; he went to Las Vegas with $300,000. So Chili goes to Las Vegas, one thing leads to another, and pretty soon he’s in Los Angeles, hanging out with a movie producer named Harry Zimm and learning what it takes to be a player in Hollywood.

Leonard hits the comic bulls-eye with this laugh-out-loud page-turner full of zingy one-liners about a small-time loan shark chin-deep in colorful lowlifes.


Be Cool by Elmore Leonard

In the sequel to Get Shorty, Leonard pokes fun at the Hollywood scene and the task of a sequel writer. He takes readers on a back-side tour of Tinseltown’s other big business—the music industry.

If an adverb became a character in one of my books, I’d have it shot. Immediately.

The Hot Kid by Elmore Leonard
Slick cars, speakeasies, bank robbers, and shoot-outs in Oklahoma during the 20s and 30s ~ another joy ride with crackling dialogue and characters that jump off the page. “I like ’em all, but if one doesn’t work, I’ll have him shot.”

And then there’s Swag, where you root for the crooks.


Killshot has Leonard’s best-ever opening chapter. Freaky Deaky is full of articulate profane dudes involved in a slippery scheme.


Raylan is about a drily witty cop who shoots villains without blinking an eye.

In Elmore Leonard capers, you always know very soon who killed whom, who is in charge of the scam, what the criminal’s plan is. What fills the novels – joyously, incomparably – is talk. And it’s brilliant.

Disreputable characters. Colorful lowlifes. Such entertaining company.elmoreleonard10rules


All his literary life, Elmore Leonard was writing and rewriting, making his pages sing.  And, yes, sometimes he even broke his own rules.

When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years ago they were having one of their off-and-on cold winters: thirty-four degrees the day he met Tommy Carlo for lunch at Vesuvio’s on South Collins and had his leather jacket ripped off.



Toni 6/26/15