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Mom, Matisse, MoMA, and More

Indira Ganesan. Mom at MoMa, 2014

Indira Ganesan. Mom at MoMa, 2014 (Painting: Andy Warhol, Cambell’s Soup Cans, 1962, courtesy of MoMA)

Matisse, Blue Nude, Creative Commons

Matisse, Blue Nude, Creative CommonsHenri Matisse: The Cut-Outs



October 12, 2014–February 10, 2015

Today, December 31, 2014, Matisse would have been 145 years old!

Last Saturday, a balmy day in the fifties, my sister-in-law shepherded our family to New York City, to see the Matisse exhibit at MoMa.  Color, shape, and transformation in room after room.  If you can, run to see!

The other floors offered treasures as well. Run and see these too, and best wishes for a healthy, happy New Year.

Dianna Molzan, Untitled 2010

Dianna Molzan, Untitled 2010

Detail, Charline von Heyl, Concetto Spaziale 2009 Hunting Collecection, MoMA

Detail, Charline von Heyl, Concetto Spaziale 2009
Hunting Collecection, MoMA

Charline von Heyl Concetto Spaziale 2009 MoMA

Charline von Heyl
Concetto Spaziale 2009
Museum of Modern Art

Winter Solstice


Tre Marie Panettone from Boston’s  Salumeria Italiana

My friend Jenny keeps a blog called The Lore of the Garden, and through it I discovered the winter solstice is on its way.  Today is the longest night, and after solstice, the nights slowly, incrementally become shorter.  It gets a bit fuzzy in March because the sun starts setting sooner.  According to the Gregorian Calendar, New Year is just around the corner.

One of the nicest New Year blog greetings came from Elissa Altman’s Poor Man’s Feast site with a list of wishes for her readers.  I would add a wish for panetonne, introduced to me by my friend Rosie many years ago. Instantly, after tasting it, I was transported to my childhood and the sweet, fruit-filled buns that would arrive by bike from Srirangam’s only bakery.  When I returned to India for a year of college, my eighteenth birthday was celebrated with an extraordinary fruitcake, the likes of which I have never tasted since.   In France, it was the lovely slice of fruited pound cake served on the train in a  hand-wheeled cart down the aisle which makes me nostalgic. Panetonne is like fruitcake and fruited pound-cake, but it is lighter, more brioche than pound.

Sweets for the solstice.

May your year be filled with light and strength.  May you always proofread.



James Galway, 2014

James Galway, 2014


I dug up the last of the dahlias, and tackled my  first attempt at dividing and storing. The results were not pretty.  A bucket full of rejected bulbs (thin, soft, shriveled) stood at my side while a paltry number of possibly productive tubers emerged for labeling.  I am thinking I don’t have a storage space to keep them at the recommended 45-50 degrees F.  I am thinking could I not be spending my time better? I am thinking I need better tools. After digging and dividing, my fingernails black with compost, for who wants to wear gloves when one is already in the thick of it, I leaned back, and swore to forgo this bit of alchemical puttering in the future. But  I loved the way Hamari’s Accord spread its pointy pale yellow blooms, and the Edinburgh kept flowering.

Once again, I am uncertain where I will live in the fall, where I will write.

I distracted myself with bulbs last month.  I devoured rare tulip catalogues which offered twelve and twenty-eight dollar specimens which would yield one perfect bloom the first season, and more the following. These are legacy bulbs.   I let my pocketbook rule, and opted for handfuls of the lower-priced and popular choices. Intuitively,  I wanted to root, lay a semblance of permanence on rented ground.  For two years I resisted planting roses thinking I was a temporary boarder at best until I rescued three end of the year throw-aways.  This fall, I bought an English Rose, David Austin’s James Galway, dreaming of Gertrude Jekyll and Constance Spry for the summer.  

Now the garden will rest, unless I get restless and plant a few more bulbs.  I will let it rest as it gathers its strength, with roots growing quietly.

Birthday Kale


Indira Ganesan, Birthday Greens, 2014


Three kinds of kale arrived at my doorstep, together with a bag of arugula, and two kinds of parsley.  A Birthday cornucopia from an unknown well-wisher!  I set to washing, and prepping, and with the flat leaf (Russian) kale made a saute with oyster mushrooms, cumin, turmeric, and  salt.  Later in the week, I will add wheat berries and other grains to create a pilaf, and spice it up with chili pepper and curry leaf.

Three kinds of kale and no one to take credit!  Lacinto, known as dinosaur, curly kale, and the aforementioned.

From this website, in addition to learning that eating steamed kale helps lower cholesterol, I found a recipe for braised apples and kale, drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Is Kale the New Prozac? asks this website, an article worth reading for the title alone, and the mention of a Harvard  journal called Psychosomatic Medicine, which seems an oxymoron at the very least.  Yet I admit I am happy to believe that kale can lead to optimism.

Three kinds of Kale and parsley, so a kaling we will go then into this new year! And Thank You, Mysterious Bringer of Greens!

All Day, Now Night

Rosebuds against Rainstorm

Rosebuds against Rainstorm

It has been raining.  Gusts up to 45 mph, or is it 65?

At one point the rain turned to slush, frozen snow-like crystals, and a brief white drift formed to disappear.

All day I have been working on the new novel, and all day yesterday.

In truth, today I stopped a few times to correct papers and read A Room Lit By Roses for tomorrow’s class.

What will they think of this fierce brave writer, Carole,who is so open with her emotions in a way that is no way sentimental?

The screens are shaking like kodo drums.  Will the calm actually arrive tomorrow?

I gathered my rosebuds, literally this morning, to see if I can see them bloom, and picked a surprise delphinium, which has been steadfast all summer long.

Chocolate cosmos are still blooming so I brought them in, too.



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