Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gratefully Yours

Should you be hosting a gathering at your home this Thanksgiving, here are some tips from food writer Laurie Colwin (1944-1992) that always soothe me when I become nervous about having a lot of people over.

1. Unless you're that sort of person, don't drive yourself nuts.

2. People are made happy by delicious food, and you do not have to knock yourself out to be thrilling or original.

3. Never try out something you have never made before on a large (or small, for that matter) number of people.

4. Serve a few delicious things in large quantity.

5. Always buy more lemons than you think you need.

* * * * *

On a personal note, I am thankful to all of you who have visited my blog over the past two years and have made my journey such an exciting and fulfilling one. A blog is a conversation between like-minded friends and I have learned as much from you as (hopefully) you have from me -- the other night, I counted 8 books stacked next to my bed that I bought on recommendations from all of you!

The more I explore the landscape of art, travel and domesticity, the more certain I become that the meaning of life is to be found in every moment of living. "A Bloomsbury Life" is my way of recording all these little beats - a shaft of light illuminating a bunch of peonies, the laughter of friends around a dinner table, the euphoria of the first cup of coffee, the joy of reading on a blanket beneath a tree - that elevate the everyday into something sacred. If, during the final moments of one's life, we really do get to enjoy a personal "highlights" reel, I know it's those things that will flash by me in vivid color, not the job promotions or the corner office I had in New York. The little stuff is the big stuff.

With hugs and gratitude,



Splendid Sass said...

Love your blog. There is always something new to learn!

LPC said...

Lisa, thank you in return. Your view of the world and your talent in communicating are lovely.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Wishing you a warm and lovely Thanksgiving, Lisa. You are a treasure!

Karena said...

Lisa, I am so grateful for your friendship and encourarement!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Art by Karena

Susan in TX said...

The little things are INDEED the big things. Lovely commentary, as are most things I find on your blog. I always enjoy reading you and absorbing your pictures! I have traveled places with you that I would never otherwise have seen and been inspired by your creativity. Thank you for sharing with all of us, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

Sunday Taylor said...

Laurie Colwin is one of my favorite food writers, I used to read her articles in "Gourmet" magazine, and was so sad when she passed away. Thank you for reminding me of her humor, wisdom, and practicality. I just pulled her book from my cookbook cabinet, and will enjoy rereading her. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

jennifer ament said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa-So grateful for the little things as well! Thanks for the reminder... :)

Reggie Darling said...

Lovely post, Lisa. And thank you for reminding us of Laurie Colwin. I remember the sting of learning of her early and untimely death, which cut me as a knife, as it was so unexpected and unanticipated. She was a marvelous writer, and someone whose every word I adored. I give thanks, indeed, for her memory, and for those of us who remain and who--like you--carry on her torch

Hels said...

I have been lecturing on the Bloomsbury Set all semester and couldn't think of a lovelier topic and title for you to blog with. It is an endless source of fascination, even 70 years later.

I am not quite sure what Thanksgiving is about, but I wish you a great day. And plant your own lemon tree - that way there will always be enough fresh fruint.

Miss Whistle said...

I can honestly say that you and your blog have enriched my life. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. May you have plenty of lemons and plenty of joy.

Miss W

Susan B. said...

Thank you, Lisa, and you are so right about the little things! Wishing you and yours a wonderful holiday weekend!

pve design said...

Your attitude is full of gratitude and goodness which keeps me coming back. I can imagine a guest in your home feeling nourished, satisfied and full of intrigue at how simply marvelous you are.
My motto is;
Always have fresh bread to break. Hope you will have time to pop over for my "daily bread" today.
It is after all a gift-away!

Dianne said...

Thank you Lisa for always making me think!I stayed up all night when I first found you. I read the entire blog...could not get enough. Your wit and wisdom was so refreshing and honestly smart. Thank you for allowing us into your lovely home and for introducing us to your sweet husband and son. I love being a part of it all. Hope your Thanksgiving is spent looking at faces you love!

The Buzz Blog @ Diane James Home said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Lisa, and thank you for sharing a slice of your life - passions, pictures, and points of view! (I jumped over to Amazon to buy my first Laurie Colwin book after reading your post - can't wait to give me some me-time during this hectic pre-holiday period!)

Rose said...

"The little stuff is the big stuff." I really like this notion, but it's so hard to manage on a daily basis. I love your blog and hope you have some great holidays in your near future.

DM said...

Golly! I really am grateful that your blog is in existence! I don't have enough fingers or toes to count how many times you've taught me something unique, beautiful and interesting!

-air kiss-

helen tilston said...

A beautiful Thanksgiving post, Lisa.

Wishing you and your family an abundance of joy on this Thanksgiving day.

I wish to thank you for your inclusiveness. Bloomsbury Life brings joy, entertainment, learning and uplifting comments.
Helen Tilston

So Lovely said...

Happy Thanksgiving my love. xxx

24 Corners said...

I'm not familiar with Laurie Colwin...thank you for introducing us, I'm looking forward to reading more of her wisdom. I always buy more lemons than I need as I can't live or cook with out them, nice to see someone else feels the same way!
You have for us dear Lisa, created many a bedside book pile yourself...and this one sounds like it will fit on top of my personal pile perfectly (say three times fast!).

You and your blog are a delightful gift, one that I'm so thankful for and cherish!
Wishing you and your men a lovely Thanksgiving!
xo J~

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

My week isn't right until I've popped in for your creative inspiration, sound advice, and the beauty everywhere you look. Wishing you the divine Italian, and Luca a wondeful Thanksgiving!

Rocio said...

Yes, it is the little things that make up a fulfilling life. Thank you Lisa. Have a lovely Thanksgiving day.

PS. I had the first roasted chestnuts of the season the other day and thouht about you!! I was running errands in town with my 4 year old and it was her first taste of the chestnut. Much to my dismay she did not like it, but I will keep trying, I am afraid it may be an acquired taste.

Unknown said...

Thanks to you too!

Happy Thanksgiving!


grace said...

Hi Lisa, I've been a secret admirer of your blog for a few months now and am inspired by your writing. That dining table is absolutely gorgeous. May I ask what kind of wood it is? Is the top that thick, or is it a "skirting"? Once upon a time I thought I'd be a furniture-maker, so I moved to England (and dragged my husband with me) to train under a fine-furniture maker. I've never looked at furniture the same ever again. Thank you for sharing!

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

From the first moment I discovered ABL, I was a goner! As others stated, I travel with you, entertain with you, read the same books...and more. Your generous spirit allows us in and with such grace!!!

Johanna Spinks said...

Great fun read...congrats...it's been too long. Hope to see you soon

katiedid said...

Wishing you and your lovely family the Happiest of Holidays!

Is that my seat I see on the horseshoe settee?

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Grace: The dining table was purchased by my parents in Denmark in the 1960's. I have the original receipt somewhere -- it was sold at the Fritz Hansen shop in Copenhagen. It's cherry, I think, and yes, does have a lip (skirting?) that extends down the side about 4 inches. It also has leaves, which makes it convertible from a small circle to a long oval which seats 12 easily.

Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments. I hope you all are relaxing this weekend. I think I need to go on a juice fast to make up for all the greedy eating I did this weekend! xxx

quintessence said...

Wonderful advice. I loved Laurie Colwin - she was a wonderful writer and a lovely person - left us much too young.

kendall k. said...

So excited I found your blog!!

p.s I'm your newest follower :)

Acanthus and Acorn said...

I hope your had a wonderful holiday with family and friends.

I still remember the first post of yours I stumbled upon and will not soon forget the impression it made on me. I've rarely missed a post since. I love that you love all the truly beautiful aspects of domestic life.

Angeli said...

Lisa, Thankful for all your inspiration this past year, missed both shows of your embroidery that I was aware of and hope I may catch one next year. Have you started a new project?

Wishing you a warm season with your family and friends.


Joyce said...

Dear Lisa, One of the things I'm grateful for is your wonderful blog. Best, Joyce


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