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I could talk about the weather

I woke up this morning and found the house entirely wrapped in fog. If you stood in front of the window in the kitchen, where I stand to make my coffee, you could watch it blow up the street in gusts - sometimes wisps, sometimes great puffs. I called Brandon over to see it when he woke up, and even half asleep, he managed a moderately enthusiastic WOW, which surprised me. The fog horns were blowing. And now, a couple of hours on, the sun is out, searing through it, working its way steadily across the floor.

I could talk about the weather all day. I am turning into an old man. The dog does his morning walk of the deck, securing the perimeter. Everyone has a job to do.

Last week, I was out of town, traveling with my mom. I took her as my date to a friend’s wedding, a wedding to beat all weddings, where the groom’s father played air guitar and I got to watch my mother, my near-retirement-age mother, break it down to “Empire State of Mind.” I’m still coming down from that. I shot eight rolls of film in nine days. When I have pictures, I promise to tell you about it.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some great things I’ve found lately. I really love gathering these for you, all the bits that stick in my head. Maybe they will stick in yours.

- My mom and I rented a car and drove about 1200 miles over the course of our trip. In the hopes that we would have a CD player, I burned a couple of albums before we left, and the one we listened to most often was Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone. It’s been out for about two years, but it took me a long time to fall for it. Now it’s thoroughly won me over. Especially the eighth track, “Fever.” The lyrics are sinister, but the sound feels so... sexy. Not that I make a habit of listening to sexy music with my mother. In any case, from now on, I think that album will always remind me of our trip, and I like that.

- I always love Tommy’s blog This is Naive, but she’s really been pushing the right buttons for me lately. I especially like this post. I love the way she sees.

- Brian’s midsummer mix!

- Soap from Townsend Bay Soap Company, in nearby Port Townsend, Washington. Apparently, I am really into soap. I particularly like the Townsend Bay Rum scent, and the Woods of Washington scent, too. Both smell like summer vacation. Different versions of summer vacation.

- Barry Estabrook is a national treasure. His investigative reporting on industrial tomato farming is eye-opening, horrifying, and very, very important.

- On the other hand, and not even remotely important: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Body Workout! Enjoy. Christophe and Gemma introduced me to this, so I can’t take any credit. DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN UP DOWN UP

- I have long admired The Art of Eating, and I’m thrilled to have a story in their current issue. I’ve learned so much about food from reading AoE. Not available online, but well worth the price of a subscription.

- Last but not least, my new (old) favorite version of the song “Summertime,” via my friend Ben. Billy Stewart! Yeow. (Correction: apparently Ben learned about this song from Brandon, who used to play sax along to it when he was in high school.)

Happy week.


Anonymous Lynne @ 365 Days of Baking said...

We were wrapped in dust last night which my daughter thought was fog. There definitely weren't any foghorns going off. I miss hearing those back east.
What an awesome time with your mother - a memory to cherish forever! It made me smile. Thank you, Molly.

12:11 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Ruth said...

Thanks for introducing me to 'This is Naive' - also based in the UK - who knew?

12:15 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Rachel @ the minimalist mom said...

Love love love Neko Case. You have good taste away from the table too. =)

12:27 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Delyth said...

You live close to Port Townsend? I love that place. Coming from the UK, I was extremely excited to visit due to the movie 'An officer and a gentlemen', filmed in it's entirety there. The pub was the same, we had breakfast at what was TJ's bar in the movie and even visited the army barracks. Memories of Richard Gere in those boots at the beginning will stay with me forever.
Delyth : www.thedelicious.net

12:50 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Sarah said...

I heard Estabrook on Fresh Air. Very interesting. Made me appreciate my garden fresh tomatoes even more.

1:08 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous jamieofalltrades said...

You're not getting old, you're being more of a Seattlite. Seattlites could talk old people under the table about the weather!

1:10 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Bev Weidner said...

Neko Case is my girlfriend!

Okay so she's not, but I could marry all of her records.

Well, and her.

1:33 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger claire said...

that arnold clip is hilarious! all these years later and he's still big on the up down up down up down : )


1:37 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Brooks at Cakewalker said...

If there's one thing to stop me in my tracks while working in the kitchen (besides a fire), it would be gazing at unusual weather. A terrific list of things found! I particularly like Neko Case...thank you for sharing.

1:46 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger jess☆ said...

How beautiful that you got to have such a great time with your mum! I'm still giggling at the image of a "near-retirement" mother doing "Empire State of Mind" ... cute!!

1:52 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous ruthie@thetwicebitten said...

haha mum dancing

always a treat

1:59 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Julie said...

Molly, I am so delighted with your writing--you have saved my sanity today. While trying to clean up the (very) scary laundry room in preparation for its demise (we're expanding the kitchen and moving the laundry downstairs), I had to escape the mess, said a little prayer, and found your new post! Hooray! Mood boosted! I can now re-enter the packing up/cleaning up/storing up phase, all while trying to entertain the kiddos. Thank you for my little happiness break!

2:19 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Nicole said...

love neko case - great road trip music. this is a lovely non-food list! thanks for sharing :) i love the tone/mood/vibe of this blog...one of my favorite food blogs i read.

2:24 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger MChaotic said...

Hm, coffee filter and empty Campari bottle in the sink - that must have been quite a breakfast!

2:35 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Paige said...

I've never tried that soap, but I grew up in PT, so I should. I've spent the last 5 years as an Oregonian but my fiance and I are moving to Seattle permanently in 2 weeks!

2:44 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Maria said...

I love it when you post new things you have discovered and share it with us. Sounds like you had a great time with your mom. And since mom is my best friend, I can relate to having fun with her. I can also realte to mom getting down to some song, my mom's case was J. Timberlake "Sexy Back" during a Christmas party 2 yrs. ago. I am still trying to get over that. :)

2:49 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Nicole said...

I used to live in Port Townsend before I moved to Alaska. Love that soap too. I have been meaning to subscrite to The Art of Eating for a long time. Thanks for giving me the motivation to finally go for it.

4:00 PM, July 06, 2011  
OpenID erstwhiledear said...

ooo perfect. I'm looking forward to getting the mail now. I never know when to expect those bundles of food knowledge.

5:28 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Nisrine said...

He he, I love the Schwarzenegger video. Too funny!

I can't wait to see your holiday pictures.

5:42 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Beth said...

I come to your blog for your food writing and recipes primarily, but I've noticed your photos have been stellar lately. Absolutely love the first one with the flowers. And I'm now very excited to see your photos from Italy. Nothing like film in a foreign land. :)

6:09 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to stop lurking just to say that Neko Case is THE BEST.

6:23 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Roberta said...

So sweet, your list of favorites. I thank you and will get myself to iTunes straight away to listen to Neko Case.

7:20 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous vinita said...

Thanks for the introduction to "This is Naive".

7:55 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Jess said...

Cannot wait to see those photos, M.

7:58 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous julie C said...

Great post, Molly. Is the soap available anywhere here in Seattle?

9:09 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Kristine in SB said...

I noticed you in a picture in Luisa's first wedding post. Just made my heart sing. Following bloggers is so strange. We don't know you but we've seen you through your words and pictures....and we think we know you. I've been reading both of you since pretty much your blog beginnings. You've both been through a lot. Lots of life changes, highs and lows. But seeing you in a wedding photo of a friend....well, that is where is at. It's not virtual, it's real.

Thanks for all the sharing...the recipes, the stories, the links. As for the weather talk, it's a good thing. It means you're present where you live. An OK girl in Seattle is going to have some weather issues.

9:46 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

Fun meandering post.

10:05 PM, July 06, 2011  
OpenID linseykitchens.com said...

I have been GUSHING about the weather--three days of sun, sun, sun in Mount Vernon. Come on, beans, grow!

Thanks for all the fun links. Can't wait to explore them. Though I should be out getting my vitamin D.

10:24 PM, July 06, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow - that Billy Stewart song was jaaaaamin. Awesome tip. If this food writing thing falls through for you, there's always music. (also loved your Shooby Taylor reference from a while back)

10:36 PM, July 06, 2011  
Blogger Dorothy Cheng Jewelry said...

I love This is Naive; been reading her for ages and ages and her pictures of food make my heart beat fast. Also love how she responds to all the comments.

10:44 PM, July 06, 2011  
OpenID lacaffettierarosa said...

I love talking about the weather. It makes me feel so British, where it is a national passion. Sounds like you had a great trip with your mum.. I'd love to organise something similar with mine.

1:19 AM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Amy, UK. said...

Wow- what a powerfully written article on tomato farming. It's astonishing that in this day and age conditions like that are allowed to continue in the US. Sadly the huge human and environmental cost that modern farming techniques are placing on the planet remain unchecked because the corporations who make the most money from it maintain their political power through their financial power.

I've heard of a very similar situation happening with North African immigrants in the Spanish tomato farms that feed much of Europe's non-seasonal tomato desires. Hopefully through wider publicity and concern over situations like this governments will listen up and put a stop to these appalling situations.

5:57 AM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger Christina said...

Love love Neko and love when a artist or album reminds me of a moment in time.

6:34 AM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous izzyeats said...

First, I wanted to tell you that I just finished reading your book. Loved it! Thank you for such wonderful writing and recipes.

Second, thanks for posting the link to The Art of Eating--I didn't know about it and it looks great!

6:39 AM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger A Day That is Dessert said...

Thanks, Molly, for the great links. So eager to see your Italy photos! - loved the glimpse of you in Luisa's post.

7:17 AM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger Dandy said...

You shoot rolls of film?

8:13 AM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I love the song Empire State of Mind and imagining your Mom singing it is hilarious!

8:48 AM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Middle Cyclone is one of my most favorite albums of all time...and that you shoot with film?! I like you even more knowing these little things. Thanks also for sharing your friend's blog. It is lovely!

10:01 AM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous kate o. said...

estabrook is indeed a treasure. i live in south florida and navigating the world of tomatoes/produce grown down here has been difficult. the main grocery chain down here has dealt with the tomato issue terribly - denying any slavery in the fields and taking no responsibility for what their producers do or don't do. thanks for telling more people about his work.

and yes, brian's mix is great!

10:10 AM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard those foghorns down toward Shilshole yesterday, but it was sunny up here on the hill. I thought maybe one was malfunctioning! But this morning, to me, is just glorious. It's much cooler (and was SO much easier to sleep last night), but warm enough to enjoy my cup of tea outside in a T-shirt. Call me a native, but days like this are the reason I live in northwest Washington.

10:44 AM, July 07, 2011  
OpenID besquirrely.com said...

Guffaw! I just love the juxtaposition of Arnold - up down up down up down - with Neko Case, soap and other musings. Loving your sensibilities. Bliggity blog on.

12:25 PM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Emily said...

I just saw Neko Case last Friday night at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga (CA). Such an amazing show! And she played "Fever." I love that album, and all her others as well. I really enjoy your blog...thanks!

1:08 PM, July 07, 2011  
Anonymous Kimberley said...

Ah, the fog. Living in San Francisco, I can relate. I've always wondered why people pooh-pooh talk of the weather, because it's kind of important. And yes to your list. It's lovely.

2:08 PM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger KatyBelle said...

Your version of "Summertime" is great, but really, the only version for me is Sam Cooke's. It gives me goosebumps every time I hear it.

8:19 PM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger Johanna said...

I love Middle Cyclone and I love your blog!! BTW Neko Case is playing at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday.

11:12 PM, July 07, 2011  
Blogger thisisnaive said...

Thanks, Molly. xx

4:20 AM, July 08, 2011  
Blogger Claudia said...

Sexy songs with your mother is a wondrous thing. Savor.

8:46 PM, July 08, 2011  
Anonymous Ilke said...

I am not sure if I could survive 1200 miles with my mom in a car! :)
Great post with the collections that reflect your life!

9:52 PM, July 08, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Campari and coffee; two of my favorite things!

9:34 PM, July 09, 2011  
Blogger Lucia said...

A car trip with your mum, listening to Fever. Life can be good, sometimes :-)

4:46 AM, July 10, 2011  
Anonymous Sasha (Global Table Adventure) said...

Loving Arnold's workout. Still laughing... ;)

7:54 AM, July 10, 2011  
Anonymous Marie-Claude said...

Hi Molly,
After listening to Neko Case (thanks for the recommendation), I think you would very much enjoy Martha Wainwright's eponymous album. The style is similar (though more folk), the poetry is great and the voice equally entrancing.
Love your blog. Have made Pimm's cup today, got rave reviews.

5:10 PM, July 10, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love, love, love Barry Estabrook as well. I was so sad when Gourmet magazine folded, not least of which was I was going to miss his writing. I am glad to find that he has a website and is continuing his important writing.

5:06 PM, July 11, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more!

5:11 PM, July 11, 2011  
Anonymous kickpleat said...

Thank you so much for all these links - I LOVE these posts of yours. And I can't wait to see photos from the wedding - especially of your mom getting down. Happy summer, Molly!

11:08 AM, July 12, 2011  
Blogger SSteve said...

The fog reminds me of growing up in South San Francisco. Except for the part about the sun burning through.

Middle Cyclone is on of my favorite albums of the past five years. I just can't get enough of it. The latest New Pornographers album is equally fantastic. All Songs Considered has a Neko Case concert that you can listen to online (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5325695). The thing I really love about this is hearing how much fun everyone is having. You should really listen to it. I'll be happy to send you a CD of the conert if that will make it easier for you.

1:18 PM, July 13, 2011  
Blogger Emilie G. Keim said...

Thanks for sharing these, Molly. You are the best!

10:40 AM, July 14, 2011  
Blogger Jaysts said...

I'm from Port Townsend, I've been reading your blog for a couple of years and I went to your book signing at Idlewild in NY City in 2009. I've also been to Delancey and I hope to go again soon. I'm so glad you've been to my town!. In case you haven't already you should check out Mt. Townsend Creamery next time you come to PT, they have some really great cheese.

11:37 PM, July 20, 2011  
OpenID hilaryldavis said...

Ah fog - something we San Franciscans spend so much time wrapped in. Loved this post Molly, thanks for sharing!



9:41 PM, July 25, 2011  
Blogger Kristina Emmons said...

"Not that I make a habit of listening to sexy music with my mother." Aha ha ha!

1:11 AM, July 26, 2011  
Blogger eviedee said...

I just wanted to jump in with the most embarrassing comment ever. I love what you do with real food but your review of Molly McButter on the podcast is the biggest way you are impacting my life lately. I recently was surprised with open heart surgery to correct a congenital heart defect and had been missing butter like crazy! Thanks to the two Mollys I am missing it less lately, so THANKS!! :)

10:56 PM, August 03, 2011  

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