Saturday, June 6, 2015

D.Lebovitz's Jam..Anna Quindlen.. .Rosie,Radishes.. ...Blooms~

Something about David Lebovitz's Strawberry jam made me want to make it immediately..
It was..the option of adding cassis.
I love that..we have a bottle because I love it..but never drink it;)
because I would feel vrey under the weather the next day.
I can handle wine..but not liqueurs..or strong drinks. is really really good..
and a touch of cassis in jam does not give a bad morning after:)
I had to cook mine a bit longer..but it turned out perfect.
Runny..and right .
SOOO good!
I will make another batch I am certain..
It made 4 of the jars you see..
not too can make jar..was finished before I knew it..
Jacues kept saying: "Elle est vraiment bonne cette confiture:)"

I was overjoyed to see my first big plump Hèlène radish pierce the soils and plump the area with red under the lush green leaves.
I had bought some the day before..going to an appointment..French radishes they had..and beautiful multicolor ones..
I needed a quick lunch one day..and took my Ricardo bread..made little/big crostinis..and added mashed avocado..salt ,..garlic,olive oil,pepper..and topped w/ thinly ..ever so thinly sliced radishes..
then a few chopped chives and longer good!

My first roses are always Harrisson's grows by the front white pretty framing everything it makes the Korean Lilacs pop~
The yellow single peonies are in bloom as well as some beautiful all yellow and yellow and white irises..peach too!
Some blues and purples..
The clematis are reaching to make their journey up our many buds already on Betty Corning at the front~and back!
A Proven.. ambitious..floriferous..sturdy clematis.

Anna Quindlen..

I love her her writing..
took me a while to discover her..
It was years after I lost my mom  at age 19..that  my childhood friend said she found an article that was written just for me..
She made a photocopy and gave it to me..

On Losing Your Mom~

The article..I think is from Good Housekeeping..1998..I had lost my mom in 1973.
I promise I won't get maudlin here..especially since I did not drink the cassis..merely flavored my jam with it..;)
but that is the article that made me love Anna Quindlen..

Have you read it?

So many truths..
when I recently took it out..because I still have it..cannot part w/ it..
I was amazed that I had forgotten she mentioned Rosie O'Donnell..

more on that later..
Anna Quindlen lost her mom when she was 19.
I lost my mom when I was 19..
She is about my age..or I am her age..

The article is poignant and true and touching..and in looking at the photo at the beginning of the struck me again how much she looked like her mom..

Last week I read her book  Lots Of Candles Plenty Of Cake..
I have read many of her books if not all..
One of my all time favorite movies..One True based on one of her books if I am not mistaken. Lots of Candles Plenty Of Cake..I cried twice..

She writes so beautifully.. her words so rich..full of meaning ..

it is a memoir her book ..
in one chapter she mentions she never felt about aging the way her friends did..
I never did either..40 never bothered me 50 not in the least..60 either..the only thing I find disheartening..deplorable ,is that many suffer as they age.. and many times through no fault of their own..
still ,age does not bother me..

all these years I have felt .as she (Anna Quindlen)does:

"I'm living for two,for all the years,the decades,my mother never got.I am storing up memories,not for me but for my kids,so that they will have a cache greater than my own~"

my cache is so limited.

Yesterday we met Max at his school and took him out for lunch..and some birthday gifts..
My mom never had this privilege,my daughetrs thank us..the children thank us..
but until they have grandchildren of their own..they will never know the joy it gives us to do that with them..

Oli asked his mom..:"How many days until my birthday again?"..
All 4 Littles are this summer and every summer..

and this line..

"I am the mother of my mother's grandchildren"

and of course now I am the grandmother of my mother's honor..and a gift.
That is the saddest part I think of losing a mum young..she never got to know my daughters:(
All my friends had moms.I was the oddball.
My children..had no bestest nana.

with Anna Quindlen..

"the anvil weight of January"..

mine was always December.

She writes so poignantly as if she put in words what I have thought..
A gift I find..she has..and given to me and anyone else who feels this way.

Even if one has not lost a mom..  on aging she is spot on..

"Aging,particularly in later decades,is a drawing in" Carolyn Heilbrun wrote,when she herself was in her seventies..
"And I like drawing in okay.I like sitting in a big chair with a long book.I like spending an hour pulling ingredients together for a stew and then staying in all day while it's aroma seeps into every corner of the house..etc"

She's talking about me..I should tell her:)

Well I won't,but all this to say..this all her books..was special for me.

I won't write her a fan letter  as I think I must posivitely be awful at it..

Back to Rosie..

she too lost her mom young..and from the moment I heard her talk about her mom years ago I was daughters and I loved her show so many years back..Mylène was a teacher..and Rosie was giving away jean jackets w/ her show's logo on it..
I wrote in to the show telling her how much my daughters loved her..and moi aussi and that I bet my daughter would love wearing that jean jacket to school..
No answer.
But that's stardom..being busy..
I recognized that.

Then this many many years later..I was sitting on the beach..Thanksgiving Day..Jacques had gone to get something..I forget what..and I saw someone w/ a few people..and a small child..and to me she looked familiar down by the shore..and some surfers had gone in..and it was brisk and windy..and then I heard HER voice..being so pleasant to the surfers.. so nice..friendly..just like I had imagined her..
then Jacques and I went for our long walk..and she was just sitting there in the sand with her group and that darling little girl..and I..didn't say a word:(
I just felt like I should leave her alone and give her her privacy..

Poeple we know did stop and talk to her..:)
I was green that I had not..just like when I met Trisha Romance and never asked for a photo of us together.
Back then I didn't mind having my photo taken..:(

Anyways..when I came back home  here in QC..I wanted to write her a letter..and tell her that I had always liked her..about our nice I thought she had been in real life w/ the surfers etc..I added small photos to the letter..

and ..sent it off..

I was so sure she would write back.

But again..I read she has been so busy..
My timing was off again..
What is it about me that always thinks I have to tell someone how nice they are and often in writing?

Not always a good idea;)

I hope you have a nice weekend..the weather could not be more perfect here..I've been to the brocante..the tag sale..and they were buzzing with activity..too pretty out..It's also Grand Prix weekend here in it's busy on the island too~


  1. Mon I'm watching a series Drop Dead Diva and Rosie plays a judge in it and I love her sense of humour and big heart...also Jane main character reminds me of M she has beautiful long black hair and beautiful too!

    Now for your blog a especially like it this week because of all the Red!

    1. Thanks for the recommendation..I will ask J to look into it;)

  2. You do share so much in common with Anna! Such beautiful words. It is nice to know that there are people out there who share feelings, share the same loss and how to deal with it while appreciating the given years. I know I would like her too. I also love Cassis. In the summer I add a few drops to my Chardonnay with a twist of lemon. Refreshing, light and no 'morning after' unless, of course it's more than one :) I know I would love this jam! I will try it! I too have high hopes for my radishes. I pulled one the other day - still not ready. Hopefully by the middle of June? I am keeping my fingers crossed. Look at that beautiful, plumb radish! The sandwich sounds delicious. Oh-la-la, that yellow rose! So beautiful. I have peony buds and the first flowers. That scent is heaven! Maybe you will still hear from Rosie :)

    1. What a difference not even a day I gardened till I was filfthy..
      most of the afternoon..and my single hot pink peonies bloomed..well one..and the other big buds are starting..
      another Iris bloomed.. it just felt like heaven today.
      Sometimes I could pinch myself to have a garden.
      My neighbor also.
      Just the looking at everything coming up.
      I wish my mom would have had a garden earlier in her married life..
      She must have a great one up there w/ your mom..and many other moms:)
      Chardonnay and cassis and lemon;)
      Sounds like a summer plan for moi!

  3. Your gift is "encouragement" and that you do well, I know, you've been so sweet to me for several years, me!? a total stranger!! Just keep writing nice notes, no matter to who, not expecting anything in return because it's what you do. 19 is too young to lose your mom, I'm so sorry about that, I lost mine at 41, 15 years ago and I still miss her so. But God blessed you to be the best Nana around, it shows that you love your little people very, very much :) My Peonies are still "round balls" but I'm assuming they'll be opening and blooming any time soon? I wish I had a clematis plant, maybe someday. Your garden is so big and beautiful!! Never heard of Cassis but then I've never been a drinker but I do love to cook with wine. You're the best Monique! Have a great weekend. -Bev

    1. They will burst open! Take pics Bev:)

      If you buy a clematis..and don't mind me suggesting.. a very easy one is a Jackmanii..

      it is a group you cut it March;) End of March when you can get to it..

      when you buy it and come home w/ it.. dig a hole twice as deep and wide as your new clematis..add compost..enrich the soil.. place your clematis in the soil so that it is may even want a few leaves in that hole..cover..and wait..
      the first year clematis.. sleep.. then they creep in the second year....then the 3rd.. ..they LEAP.. have a nice tall support..mine grow over fences..and up the back of our garage.. my daughter had 2 on an arbor..and you could not see the arbor in leap year..
      YOU have a great weekend!

  4. Your jam looks fantastic! My father lost his mother at a young age also. She had 5 boys! And to this day, it is hard to get any information from them... She remains a mystery and a fond memory. She was beautiful, like a young Liz Taylor. Passing down family history is one of the best gifts you can give your children and grandchildren.

    1. 5 boys..
      how did everyone manage?

      how sad...
      I can just picture her Jes..National Velvet!!

      The so good..I am certain you make so many..

      this one is worth a try!

  5. Look delicieux Monique!! I love David Lebovitz' recipes!!
    And the flowers look absolutely beautiful!!

  6. All beautiful and perfect Monique. Each and every day a treasure for you. I'm so proud to know you, even if it's from afar.

  7. The jam looks wonderful and what a great post - thank you so much.
    Have a wonderful Sunday dear friend.

  8. What a lovely post. And to think that you can make radishes look amazing? You are a magician, Monique.

  9. Tu vas avoir de belles pivoines, dis donc ! Et de beaux radis, aussi ... Le premier qui sort, c'est toujours très excitant ! ;o) Voilà aussi une belle tartine vraiment appétissante. C'est joli, un radis coupé en tranches fines ...
    Sinon, ce que tu écris est émouvant, comme souvent. Je trouve important de dire aux gens qu'on les apprécie et que ce qu'ils font est beau ... Et tant pis si on ne te répond pas. Ça fait du bien de le dire et ce n'est jamais ridicule ... Des bises en te souhaitant un bon dimanche

    1. Je sais que nous le disons..toi et moi..
      oui en vie est beaucoup trop courte pour ne pas démontrer not appréciation..notre amour..
      Hier soir nous avons regardé une émission 2013 de Josée..dommage qu'une copie ne se fasse pas..elle était dans le Vieux-Montré VOULAIS que tu vois!!:)
      C'est vrai..Jacques est mon témoin!

  10. J'oubliais de parler de la belle carte. J'ai piqué la photo et en ai fait mon nouveau fond d'écran, je te préviens ! ;o))

  11. Clever idea to add cassis to your jam. Definitely will try that. I do use it here and there....some recipes, some drinks.
    Lovely bright photos and such a pleasure to look at your garden. I do miss my old one, but doubt I would make the same effort now I did back then. Oh well, life's pleasures change as one ages.

    1. I know for a fact..I won't be able to keep this up forever..On my knees..bent in so many the end of the day..Jacques..13 years older..said :"I could not do that"..I know my days are numbered;)
      A friends ' mom kept a contained garden on her appartment's balcony when she moved..she had been an acid gardener..
      she had the prettiest balcony..
      one day..

      add more than a drop or two of Cassis;)
      I love small batches..yet ..this one..I wish I had made more..I just easy.

  12. I think yr cache is full to the brim and overflowing.
    We never know why others dont respond back. Mostly has nothing to do with you like a protective wall around her.You can write me instead ;)
    I'd be delighted.
    Or to Bear!

    1. You my dear are a wonderful person to write to.
      You are famous..approchable..and respond..:)

      I know Rosie is approchable..she was so genuine and nice..lots happening..

      way busier than me.

  13. MOnique, you and I are so much alike. I am a letter writer too . . . and so is our Eileen, and she gets answers most of the time, which has really kind of spoilt her because she think now that everyone will answer and I dread the day someone doesn't!

    I lost my grandmother's when I was fairly young, and my younger siblings don't remember our grandmother's at all. It was really important to me when my children were growing up that they spent a lot of time with their grandmothers. I wanted them to have what I did not. My mom has always been a difficult woman, very set in her ways and knows what she wants and expects and nothing less. Thankfully three of my children have a fairly good relationship with her, but mostly my eldest son. But then we lived with her and my father when he was a baby until I married my second husband. Of all my children, he is the most like me, very sentimental and caring about the little things in life. That jam looks gorgeous. I have no cassis, but I have framboise. I wonder how that would work. Hmm... food for thought there. It looks so good. Also your tartine/sandwich. It looks delicious. I love French Radishes. I good white bread, buttered and covered with sliced radishes. I suppose that is the French in me coming out. Thanks always for all that you share, and especially for your tender heart. You are a blessing to me in many ways. xoxo

    1. Dear Marie.. the jam would be just as good w/ no is just right.I am tired of jellied jams;)
      They just don't taste right..this is jam like..old fashioned sweetness jam.
      I know what a ♥ you have..
      I never knew a nana..
      they were all gone when I was born..people live longer now in most cases..
      I know nanas that are great grandmothers! Imagine!Like your mom!

    2. Read this again this morning Monique. I had forgotten. I am so sorry you lost your mum at such a young age. I am grateful to have had mine for ever so long. You have really helped me to put things into perspective. The loss and love are the same, but I am so grateful for the extra years. We have to take the blessings we are given and really appreciate them for what they are. I know my mom would have struggled without her leg in the long run and also her memory, so I am happy that she is now free of all of that. I guess I just wasn't ready to say goodbye. Are we ever? I think not. ((((hugs)))) xoxo

  14. David's jam sounds perfect. I am tired of using pectin in my jam. Such beautiful sketches and stunning landscaping you have. The artist's eye is your gift for sure. Anna Quindlen is a gifted writer and I know I would love to read more of her works. Too bad you never got to have a word with Rosie. But I am like you in wanting to respect people's privacy. I have had several close encounters with famous people that I have never approached. Dudley Moore was once staying at the same bed and breakfast with us. I passed him in the garden and just nodded a greeting.

    1. Twins:)

      I loved Dudley in 10!
      He was a wonderful pianist also.
      That is me.. a nodded greeting;)
      I don't like pectin stuff anymore either:)
      I hoe you try it and like it..
      Penny I made more today..and used a large WECK Jar..
      the juice came flowing out..
      Not a great idea..Love the look..but it is not always seal proof.
      Use a twist top.
      That's how much we liked it..I made it already again;)
      I am a private person..
      so I always ..think of others maybe having the same gene..even if they are stars:)

  15. I have some catching up to do. Your posts are lovely, along with your beautiful photos. The garden pictures are so peaceful and tranquil. The jam look so good. When my children were young, I made jam and baked up a storm. Glad to were able to spend an afternoon with Max. I am so sorry you lost your Mom at a such a young age. It must have been difficult. I know you are a very kind woman who treasure her family and friends. Thanks for sharing the writings of Anna Quindlen. Thank you for your sweet visit.

    1. Thank You Linda..hope the doggies feel better..

  16. I love David's recipes. They are always so good! You have so many gifts...creativity, kindness, carrying...a lovely lady you are.

    1. I know we both like his Chicken Marsala..(with modifications here though..but for us..)I have made and made... it so good!

      He is quite brilliant!

  17. Me encanta, estupenda mermelada y maravillosas fotos.

  18. Hi Monique...
    Such touching words about your Mom...and being a it!♥️
    Your gardens are gorgeous...mine are overflowing...with green!! hahaha!
    Hope you have an excellent week ahead...
    Those wee crustinis and radish look AWESOME!! How do you think up these combos??
    I am making veggie lasagna for dinner...and some skinny beef and barley soup...
    Miss V napping... better get busy!
    Enjoy your day!
    Linda :o)

    1. Oh...I forgot...I make freezer jam...tasty and easy!!

    2. I bet you are happy to be home with Miss V;)

      The green turns technicolor in a breath!

  19. Cassis in jam sounds great, an original! Anna Quindlen is an excellent writer with a great command of the language. I have read most of her books and enjoyed them all. Sad about your mother and too bad that Rosie didn't acknowledge. I just turned 70, age doesn't bother me either, never did. Have a great week!

  20. Your Anna Quindlen sounds like a heart person, as are you. I'm sorry she didn't respond. Here, you can & do warmly respond to all sorts of writers and creative people...Oh, your colors, your colors!!!!

    1. Hi Rita..I never wrote to Anna:)

      My experience w/ Rosie..stopped me:)

      I learned a new trick spray my watercolors w/ water first..

  21. I really enjoyed reading your post. I do not know the work of Anna Quindlen – but I will check on her. Years ago I spent a whole Sunday watching reruns of “A Farm in Africa” from the English writer Helspeth Huxley. Then I read several of her books but could not find the old ones. I wrote to Penguin in England for them. They forwarded my letter to Helspeth and she answered me! I could not believe it. We wrote to each other several times.

    My children only saw my mother, their grandmother, 3 or 4 times in their lifetime (my father died earlier.) The problem is that she lived in Paris and us in the US, so it was difficult to visit with the children – it is so nice that you can see your grand children often. I love cassis in all its form but it is not found easily in the US. I did not know about adding it to jam – I’ll try it. I like to add one tablespoon of crème de cassis to vanilla ice cream to give a good taste as cassis ice cream is unknown here. When I am in France I eat cassis ice cream or sherbet daily!

    1. I will have to look into A Farm In Africa...
      How nice she responded!
      Your letter must have been..great..

      Look at Julia..and Avis♥

      I added moût de ice cream for a while..because my dear friend Nancy served it to us:)
      She did not enjoy making desserts..and often served this.
      I was hooked from day one..
      But then again..everything she made..I was hooked;)

  22. Oh love that jam - I made it a couple of weeks ago when I picked 20 pounds of fruit. Very nice! Have a great week.

  23. Love your jam Monique, it will be so wonderful to have when the cold winds blow! I lost my dad when I was 9, very different than a mom but still so hard.

    1. Never easy!
      I lost my dad too..6 months after my mom..

      But I was more ready it seemed for that as I have not the same way..

  24. Love your jam Monique, it will be so wonderful to have when the cold winds blow! I lost my dad when I was 9, very different than a mom but still so hard.

  25. What a beautiful post, Monique. I think people in general, love to hear compliments. I would send her a link to this post. It is so beautiful. I happen to have a bottle of cassis that needs a spot. And I need jam. What a match!

    1. Hi Abbé..I am sure she gets fan mail..all the time!
      Than k you:)

  26. Hi Monque,

    It's so beautiful at your side of the world with lots of sunshine and colours. A perfect view to enjoy this lovely homemade jam too :D