Eastside Road, October 13, 2014—IT WAS AN INTENSE and fatiguing day, much of it spent in hospitals: a new great-grandchild arrived at 1:30 in the morning (though we didn't know about it until we got up six hours later); an old friend died quietly at four in the afternoon. This is what we can expect at our age; I'm not complaining. The baby is healthy and handsome and his mother's doing fine; the friend had been suffering and couldn't have been made better and seemed ready for her journey.
On a day like this, Cook said, I always think of Marion. That's Marion Cunningham, who we knew for years, since meeting her back in the 1970s I believe at James Beard's seaside cottage in Oregon. A fine cook and author of cookbooks, she specialized in good traditional down-home American cooking, always ethical, authentic, and tasty.
This is her barley pilaf: barley, cooked until just soft but retaining its structure and bite, flavored with chopped scallions and butter — Marion is unthinkable without butter. A green salad afterward, and a couple of See's candies.
Cheap Barbera d'Asti (soon we'll be sampling better ones!)