Amanda Hesser’s Visit Continues

5. Is there a time in your life you could have used a Nola studiola? (alone, in New Orleans, semi off-the-grid, unemployed) What’s one thing you’d be sure to do if you were ensconced in my Nola Studiola?

Not sure I could handle it, to be honest. I thrive on connectedness and purpose. I might use the time to dream up a new plan, and I think I’d enjoy that very much!

AB: Yeah. Sometimes I can’t handle it, either. Something is telling me to do it, though, and the chapter by chapter outline drafting thing is helping. But Connectedness—this is key. Today I worked a proper day with an hour lunch break, 8:30-5:30, and it felt right. I might be the weirdo who everyone warns me against when I talk of solitude…it’s possible.
Also, bartendresses are key. I found a fabulous one here, who is wise about pineapple cutting the bitterness of arugula, and knows which dishes feature local heirloom tomatoes.
 6. What would be your ideal meal to eat on a wide, deteriorating balcony overlooking misshapen live oak branches, in the middle of a hot New Orleans summertime? What time of day would you suggest partaking of this meal? (It’s low 70’s in the morning and high 90’s by afternoon.)
I recommend eating early in the morning. And I would eat food that also deteriorates. Like melon and cheese.
AB: I have been doing that, and also eating plums over the kitchen sink. Next up: plum paste and goat cheddar! I confess to being a bit burnt out on artichokes–Irv and Amanda’s fondness for them, back to back, outweighed my creativity.
So, I went back to my old standbys today–kale and grits. I blended kale and coconut milk and almonds, then stirred it with fresh thyme into a big bowl of yellow grits. Yeah, I did!

One thought on “Amanda Hesser’s Visit Continues

  1. Here’s a nice passage that sort of gets to the Studiola project intentions and challenges and fluttery temptation. I found this excerpt at outmoded authors blogspot. My friend Katrina directed me to May Sarton’s A Journal of Solitude when I wondered aloud my need to do such an extreme retreat to let myself think:
    “…break through into the rough, rocky depths, to the matrix itself. There is violence there and anger never resolved. My need to be alone is balanced against my fear of what will happen when suddenly I enter the huge empty silence if I cannot find support there.”


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