Hey, are you guys still there? Fantastic. Because it’s time to dish up part two on Antigua’s Jumby Bay Island, and it’s all about the food.

As in fresh-from-the-farm organic food. Plucked from the lady hen herself. Did I tell you that I’m now a chicken farmer? It’s all true. I learned how to enter a chicken coop without any of the residents escaping (harder than it seems) and cautiously step over forty or so chickens who like to greet their visitors like some kind of frenzied poultry paparazzi. It was all very zen, believe me. There was no screaming, no panicking, no running, no clinging to a ledge for dear life, no Hail Marys before plunging my bare arm beneath the feathered breast of a she-hen guarding her egg with a fierce case of stink eye. I may pick up the hobby this summer. Nothing beats fresh, still-warm chicken eggs. Nothing. And I’ll sacrifice life and limb to do it.

Fortunately Jumby Bay’s supremely talented kitchen and farming staff were there to help out with the remainder of our meals. Leaving that one joyous experiencing of plucking my own tomatoes, snipping some kale leaves, trimming herb flowers from the organic garden, and yes, even harvesting my own eggs…to an isolated incident of tomato salad-making for two. Forever encased in that memory box in my brain with the boldface letters A-N-T-I-G-U-A printed on the front. It’s a good set of memories.

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Stay in Touch



It’s the year of travel, or so I hope! 2018 is off to a good start with a January long weekend in Antigua.

The Caribbean ranks high on my list of must-visit destinations, particularly during the dead of winter when below zero wind chill temps make the simple act of walking the dog around the block a daunting task.

For the past few years, we’ve opted to fly south during the winter months, spending our time in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica (again), the Dominican (again), Barbados, St. Barths, and the Cayman Islands. We’re lucky that we’ve had the chance to travel so much and build up some serious Caribbean island chops, believe me, I don’t take this for granted. Plus, it puts us in a good position to share our experience at an island previously unexplored: Antigua.

I confess that prior to our trip, I wasn’t well-versed in all things Antiguan (and will even admit to having hopped on Jet Blue flight 743, due south, without having checked to find out exactly where in the emerald green Caribbean archipelago we’d be landing).

For the geography buffs out there, Antigua lies just east of St. Kitts, south of the US Virgin Islands, and north of Guadaloupe and St. Lucia. It’s one of the top islands in a chain that looks like an elongated spine that meanders from Puerto Rico in the north to Venezuela in the south.

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It’s officially the holidays. Although we already knew that. I knew that as far back as early November when I touched down in the UK to find that seasonal lights, Christmas trees, and sequined nutcrackers were already in full swing.

But that was London. There were other parts of Britain that I visited too. Parts less showy, less flashy, more understated, defined by rolling green pastures and black rubber boots. Parts that were no doubt celebrating the holidays, but you had to look for it. A seasonal mince pie here, some Christmas pudding gelato there.

Welcome to the countryside.

The Talbot Hotel

Yorkshire that is, and the second and final post of my two-part series on the UK, food + travel.

If there were ever a fitting stop to begin my Yorkshire adventures, it would be Malton. After departing from York and driving past endless meadows dotted with sheep and the occasional herd of cattle, I found myself staring up the imposing stone façade of the Malton Hotel where I’d be spending two glorious nights in the type of comfort that would have driven Laura Ashley into a jealous rage. Fabrics full of bounce and English rose. Handsome paintings of stallions and hounds and fine men in even finer hunting dress. Verdant dales, kissed with sun and a touch of English mist, peeking through every window. Those Bronté sisters knew where to set up shack.

The point of my visit though, despite my sudden desire to learn a craft like floral arranging or needlework, was food.

And much like I did on my city adventures, I tuckered into all that Yorkshire and its countryside had to offer.

The Talbot Restaurant

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“What’s the purpose of your stay?”

“I’m on a food tour of the U.K.”

“Is that right?”

“Yes, I have a food blog.”

“I was thinking of starting me one of those too. Me ‘n my partner, we had a name for it, ‘The Wobbly Table’. That’s the worst part of a restaurant experience isn’t it? The wobbly table. The name was taken though. What’s the name of yours?”

“Feed Me Dearly.”

“You got a card on ya?”

I rooted around my 20-year old blue canvas passport wallet, the one that still carries a yellowed love note from my husband, and passed him my information in pseudo-laminate form: website name, email address, social details.

The passport control agent looked at it, smiled at the three mischievous toeheads staring up from his palm, and let me through.

“Welcome to London.”



The Knightsbridge Hotel

Dinner by Heston Blumenthal

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Fall cocktails, blush hues. This week, a study in contrasts.

It’s that time of year when the skies start to darken earlier than normal. At 9PM, sunset in the height of summer is just starting to edge its way down the valley that sits squarely across from our stone patio. It’s now mid-fall, and that hour is 5PM, the time ticking towards that point in November when the clocks are turned back and we, for the most part, accept with reluctance that winter is near.

I love the darkness. I love the rain. I love anything that forces me to stay inside and seek cover amongst a treasured set of inanimate objects. Books, magazines, iphone gadgets – ordered yet still unpackaged. Reading, writing, cleaning, procrastinating. Wearing nothing but loungewear.

I love the smell of fall. The whiff of damp leaves that hangs in the cold air when the kids run in from their games outside. I once bought a candle from

Homesick Candles,  each candle smelling like the leaves endemic to the state on the label. More Aēsop than Yankee Candle should you ask, I can’t take those cloying smells. I bought the candle that said “Washington”. I’m not from Washington. I’m not from anywhere close to Washington. But the candle reminded me of this time of year. The hunker. The silence. Somehow, it smells like home.

It’s the season for sturdy stockpots and cast iron cookware. Long-neglected since the early days of spring when the days are still more cool than warm. My pots nearly beckon me to use them, cry out for a damp rag to release them from their silken coats of dust. They speak to me, I know they do. Maybe yours will too if you bend your ear and listen.

In summer it’s hard to cook slowly and methodically. Meals require nothing but a quick sear or a bracing vinaigrette. But, autumn demands it of us.

Including cocktails. Especially cocktails.

I made these beauties a few weeks ago; on a weekend that was just warm enough in the sunshine to make outdoor drinking appealing. The morning had been crisp, the kitchen tiles cool to the touch. We were in the mood for cocktails (before noon, naturally), and I’d be damned if I wasn’t going to use my stove to prep them.

And make use of all of the fall flavors. Autumn Glory apples with notes of sweet caramel and cinnamon. Apple pie without the guilt.

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