Pizza Night

  • Upskirt
    All winter long, the Trenchers have come over for "Pizza Nights" at our house. It's a time to experiment with toppings, drink red wine (so good for our health!) and forget about our woes.

Parent Seminar 2006

  • The week after Thanksgiving may be an unusual time to have a turkey and ham gathering, but Eliot Waxman and I welcomed thirty-seven parents of our Senior Seminar students to the ninth annual microcosm of the "seminar" experience. The parents actively participated and the evening was, as always, enjoyable. Each year we find out why our students are so good---it comes from their parents!

Party at Museum of Natural History

  • 18
    The Bat Mitzvah party of my niece Rachel was unlike any party any of us had ever seen. Several large spaces at the Museum of Natural History were dedicated to the party, including the Mammoth Hall, the Grand Foyer with dinosaur skeletons, and the two story Marine Hall. The juxtaposition of modern technology, music, food, lights, and the ancient artifacts was breathtaking. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge each photo.

Cardinals and Squirrel

  • Baby is ready to fly away, because Dad still wants to give him nuts.
    Click to enlarge any photo. These photos are taken through the side door of our kitchen, because that way the birds seems to feel safe. A squirrel with no use of his right leg---due to a squirrel rumble in our backyard---enjoys eating the bird leftovers on our porch. Daddy cardinal comes to feed junior after the Blue Jays leave. Baby ruffles his feathers and cheeps while Dad breaks the nuts apart, then goes over to place the piece in baby's beak. CUTE!!!!

Birds on Sunday Morning

  • Female cardinal
    Quite early each morning, blue jays start cawing outside our kitchen door for some nuts. On this Sunday morning, I took pictures of all the usual suspects arriving to nosh. They have a "holding pattern," like planes in a crowded airport, and one by one (with many more jays than anything else,) they approach for a landing. Here are a few I caught on camera.

Wildlife in Fairfax Subdivision

  • Chipmunk cheeks
    Staying home from school has brought surprises: a buck, a coyote, and a fox all sharing space in our less-than-an-acre subdivision yard. You'll need to click on the photos to have any chance of seeing the Fairfax wildlife. I used to think our son David was as wild as it would ever get---but I was wrong!

The Last Daytona AP Lit Reading

  • The Daytona Beach pier from my hotel window.
    2006 was the tenth and last time English Literature would be read at Daytona Beach. I will miss the pelicans, the waves from my hotel window, the trips to St. Augustine. I won't miss the tatoo parlors.

Farmers' Market

  • Apricots
    Every Wednesday I go to the Farmers' Market, to touch base with the farmer roots of my midwest ancestors. It makes me happy to see how beautiful everything is, out in the open, with no flourescent lights, no hormones, no food coloring, and no hype!

Eggs and Conch Fritters

  • Eggs
    After eating the Cafe Atlantico conch fritters, I went on an internet quest to find the recipe, and was successful. They are the best recipe, by far, of an AP favorite from Florida. Score all day---conch fritters at night! The Farmers' Market eggs come from different varieties of hens---all free range, of course.

Dinner for California Guests

  • After dinner, the dishes are stacked and ready to put away
    When Joan Sills told me her friend Gail and daughter Lily were visiting colleges from Walnut Creek, California, I knew I had to show them some Eastern hospitality. Joan, Mary, and the visitors dined well after viewing Brown, Yale, Amherst, and other colleges. The menu: smoked salmon, spinach balls, parsnip soup, crab cakes with avocado puree, salad, fingerling potatoes, racks of lamb with mustard glaze, Chocolate temptation cake.

Snow '06

  • looking out my kitchen window
    Even though it snowed on the weekend, I was ready to take the white stuff on whatever terms! No school tomorrow....LOL. (Click on any picture to enlarge.)

Homemade Comfort Foods

  • Pizza
    In January, it's time for dumplings and homemade pizza. Dumplings are traditionally made in the Chinese New Year to represent good things ahead (the filling inside the wrapping), but we all know that dumplings are great any time of the year. And pizza---what can I say about pizza? Except that I don't know what I did before I bought that outrageously heavy pizza stone that now sits at the bottom of my oven!

Turtle Making

  • The turtles are ready for their close-up.
    Once every year or two, I let the kitchen get cold, chop bittersweet Scharffen Berger chocolate, boil sugar, cream, corn syrup, and butter to 240 degrees, toast Sioux pecans (hard to find---I have a Texas source I plan to keep secret), and make those little lovelies called turtles. Everyone agrees it's the best thing I make.

Homage to Julia Child

  • Puff pastry shells in the shape of fish will hold the seafood first course
    Since her death a few months ago, I have been wanting to serve an all-Julia dinner, as a kind of tribute to her and her influence on home cooks. December 10 I pulled it off! Click on any picture to enlarge.

Cambridge

  • Cambridge 2004
    These are photos from the George Mason University Center for Global Education Cambridge program. For three years I was their faculty sponsor in English Literature. Click on each picture for a description.

Summer '06 Dinner Table settings

  • Fresh tomato and spinach pasta
    The first dinner was more formal---gold dishes and Italian food: antipasto, pasta, osso buco, salad, lemon ice cream with ginger cookies. The second dinner was a loud, raucous Trencher/Gottlieb dinner---as we affectionately call our most frequent guests. The theme was New York food.

2005 Thanksgiving

  • John and Roberta after dinner
    The Trenchers, Gottliebs, Mary, Joan, and Joan's friend John visited Mark, Lauren and me for Thanksgiving 2005. Truth be told, the food was very similar to Thanksgiving 2004, but the dished were different! This time I used Wedgwood Turquoise Florentine.

Almost in-laws

  • Brunch with Adriana and Marcella, our almost in-laws
    Marcella and Adriana, almost in-laws, and welcome additions to our family.

Empanadas

  • The color of these baked, not fried, empnandas comes from an egg wash.
    Adriana has inspired me to make empanadas, a delectable finger food with meat or vegetable interiors.

A Maui Moment

  • Maui sunset
    The sunsets in Maui are among the most beautiful in the world.

A Maui Storm

  • Wind's up off our balcony
    These photos were from our balcony.

A Hawaii Portrait

  • Do we look like we're in Hawaii?
    An idyllic week in Hawaii with the Faris family ended with a French meal (French?) in Lahaina.

A Cherry Blossom Sunday

  • Two Monuments at once.
    April 2005 was a beautiful day at the Tidal Basin. We have made it a tradition to visit the blossoms ever since 1976, the Sunday before David was born, when more than blossoms were blooming!

2005 Parent Seminar

  • Eliot Waxman speaks to a group
    On November 30, 44 parents came to the eighth annual Parent Seminar held by Erica Jacobs and Eliot Waxman. We ate, wrote, met in small groups and then all discussed "What Matters in Education." Click on each picture to enlarge.

Jimmy and Susie Birthday Dinner

  • The table is set
    This turns out to be two photos of the table setting only, my son David's bete noir about my photos which are rarely about the food once I get in a frenzy of cooking. But Jimmy and Susie always have a fine birthday repast chez Jacobs!

A MOMA moment

  • The entrance
    MOMA has an amazing sculpture garden, beautiful even in the winter.

A Brief Happening: Christo's Gates

  • Saffron against the snow
    Christo's Gates happened for a few months in 2005---an unexpected hit with critics and tourists and a boon to the New York economy. They were also beautiful!

Joan's New House

  • Still moving in, some of Joan's collection awaits hanging.
    Joan's new house in Pasadena, MD looks out on the water and is exactly what our mothers, who were best friends, would have loved as their retirement getaway. Now it will be our getaway retreat, and a place to remember that part of Joan's penchant for collecting and wild colors and warm woods comes from her close relationship with my mom.

Salt as Art

  • Salt, Salt
    My son David got very happy when he saw this supermarket display in Washington State. Click on each picture for a description.

Cambridge, London, and Paul McCartney

  • Paul McCartney's home
    After three weeks at the International Summer Schools, GMU students spend one week in a flat in St. John's Woods, right behind Paul McCartney's home. Click on each picture for a description.

Another Birthday Dinner

  • Zoe and Greg relaxing after dinner
    A birthday dinner for Billy, Roberta, and Mark.

Faris Dinner

  • Anna and Ben
    When Jack and Karen Faris (friends of 32 years) arrived with their children, Bob and Anna, Anna's husband Ben, and their guest from Italy, Piero, it was time to pull out all the stops for dinner.

Thanksgiving Tables

  • Wedgwood and Orrefors
    When everyone came I had no time to take pictures. The tables tell their own tales of lots of dishes to come.

Christmas Dinner

  • The Hosts
    Click on each photo to enlarge

Snow Weekend Tablesettings

  • Saturday night salad
    Click on each picture to enlarge

Birthday Chinese Dinner

  • The next day there was nothing left but clean woks and pans.
    January is the birthday month for both Joan and Mary.

Parent Seminar

  • The place was hopping!
    On November 15, 57 of the best parents in the world came to the sixth annual Parent Seminar at Oakton High School. We ate, wrote, spoke in small groups, and then shared in a large group. I think this event defines the word "community": we all came together to speak of matters important to students, parents, teachers, school, and all of society.

The It Depends Kids

  • Right Side---It Depends
    On the day of a seminar, five students showed up in class with their "Seminar Spirit It Depends" shirts, in honor of Mr. Waxman.
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