(Apparently announcing your retirement brings out the best and worst in the people around you. It starts rumors, too. I've been fingered as the new editor of the paper and hired to do public relations work for a funeral home. Wow. Who knew?)
In truth, I'm going to devote my time to resurrecting the small communications business I once operated. Writing and public relations are what I do best. Or so people tell me.
I have a long to-do list, starting with creating an office for myself in our upstairs library. This room, with its built-in bookshelves and window seat used to look out on an ancient maple tree. In fall, the room seemed fired with the scarlet of the sugar maple. The tree had to come down last November and the room has lost some of its charm. But I'm painting it pumpkin with creamy woodwork, looking for a new area rug, and hanging some of my copper-hued prints on the walls.
My kitchen needs attention - lots of it. I jokingly call it a "French" kitchen because it's not much larger than the tiny kitchens of Paris. But the truth is, I have always had a vision of what a French kitchen means: An old cupboard, copper, tiles, lace curtains, worn wooden surfaces (well, we have the latter). Finally, we'll have time for some DIY projects.
These plans sustain me. So does a good breakfast. I started the week with a pineapple tomato tartine. The tomato came from the growers at Immerfrost Farm, who seem to be introducing lots of new produce to our area. This sweet, fleshy tomato is a meal in itself. The exterior is red and yellow while the interior is yellow with red streaks and relatively few seeds.
To make this tartine, you will need:
- 2 slices of whole-grain bread
- 2 teaspoons butter (OK, you know I use Smart Balance)
- 1 heaping Tablespoon cream cheese
- 5-6 thin slices cucumber
- 1/2 teaspoon minced onion, fresh or dried
- 1/4 teaspoons chives, cut, or dill, chopped
- 2 teaspoons mayonaisse
- 2 thick slices pineapple or any other beefsteak tomato
Toast and butter the bread, slathering on cream cheese. Layer on the cucumbers, adding onion and either chives or dill; top with mayo. Add the tomato slices last. A few sprinkles of sea salt help move the flavor forward, as this is a mildish tomato.
Wow. I liked this even better than this tartine.
That's the pineapple tomato below. Next to a small green one the growers urged me to try.