Monthly Archives: January 2016

Elizabeth’s restaurant warms a cold night

“Somebody in a red suit of mackinaw cloth and a wool hat is on the pond, fishing through the ice for pickerel. In winter pickerel tend to lose their somewhat muddy taste.” On a winter night some time ago, friends gathered at Elizabeth’s in Pittsfield for a celebration, and as Tom Ellis, the proprietor, began…

Sharing a Winter weekend

Polenta smooth as softened butter with sausage crisp, tender and sharp. Thick-sliced ham with collard greens, biscuits and pickled cabbage. An apricot scone, somehow soft, warm and lightly dry, with butter and honey on the plate — we broke it into pieces with  our fingers and dipped it in. On a Sunday afternoon in January, I…

A Quixotic Start to a New Year

A traveler contemplates a dented, mildewed breast-plate and cuisses (thigh armor) piled on a watering trough. He paces around the inn yard on a hot and still night, wearing a paste-board helmet that sticks to his sweating forehead. I imagine the inn as a low-slung building with dust ground into the stucco and water stains on the tiled roof…