Thursday, May 20, 2010

Five Days

So, it's been five days since I've posted anything here. Did the world miss my pointing out that May 16th marked 240 years since Maria Antonia of Austria, a well-intentioned, poorly educated, overly dressed teenager, was sent off from her homeland to marry the shy, ill-suited heir to the throne of France? I doubt it. Exactly 34 years later, on May 16th, 1804,, when Antoinette's headless corpse & that of her hubby were crumbling away in their graves, up out of the blood & ashes of the Revolution, Napoleon Bonaparte became France's emperor.
May 17th? I didn't even know until just a second ago that the 17th of May was the 500th anniversary of the death of one of my favorite painters EVER: Sandro Botticelli. Well I remember nearly getting bitten by an impatient, weary, Florentine horse out in the square by the Uffizi, the day I first saw Botticelli's exquisite tendrils and leafy gowns up close, w/ my own personal eyes. What had I been doing that I wasn't paying attention? Pen and ink drawings for a coloring book. Taking Mimi for a walk. Trying and repeatedly failing to get my new lawn mower to start. So I read a bit more about him... And the 18th of May - when was that? Tuesday, I reckon. Frank Capra's birthday. Jeannette Rankin's deathday (what a heroic dame she was!) I applied for the privilege of making a speech to a bunch of strangers. Promptly rejected. Not entirely a bad thing as I'd rather stay home and draw. The 19th? The sun reappeared hereabouts, shone his shiny face down on a rather soggy sector full of bowed-down peonies and water-logged irises, all unaware and uncaring - why should they care? flowers and people come and go - that Nellie Melba was born in 1861, on another 19th of May. Sounds kind of thin from a distance, but I understand Dame Nellie was a stunner in her day, so much so that she inspired what sounds like a swellegant bit o' dessert. Here's a recipe for it, by way of

4 ripe peaches
2 c. sugar
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Vanilla ice cream
1 pkg. frozen raspberries

Place peaches in boiling water for a few seconds to remove skins. Cut in half to remove pits. Combine sugar and water in small saucepan and allow to boil for 5 minutes until a syrup is formed. Add vanilla and peach halves. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove peaches and chill. Puree berries in food processor. Chill. Place peach half in dessert bowl. Add scoop of ice cream and top with raspberry sauce.

And today, the 20th of May, is not merely Thursday, another rainy day in Missouri. No, to my mind, it is grander, enriched, with the knowledge that on a day, perhaps like this day, minus such keyboards as I be typing on, or the sound of an ice cream truck, jingling along outdoors by way of an internal combustion engine, back upstream in 1768, a cheerful, black-haired Dolley Todd was born in North Carolina, without the least idea in her little baby head that one day she'd marry that puny, but charming & brilliant Jemmy Madison. By golly, I'm going to get out that Dolley Madison manuscript of mine and submit it again, in honor of that remarkable lady. And it's Jimmy Stewart's birthday, bless him forever. I think I'll put Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on the video hearth; let it flicker while I finish my coloring book. This calls for some Peach Melba.

1 comment:

  1. ooh baybee... I hadn't seen/heard this one: