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Carrot-top pesto


The young farmers from whom I bought vegetables this summer are now getting their fall crops. On Friday I picked up carrots, sweet potatoes, and curly kale. The carrots had been pulled that same morning. I’d never before heard of carrots being grown in this area, and I’d never had fresh carrots with the tops intact. It seemed like a crime not to use all those green leaves, so I made pesto.

My basil is almost gone, but there was enough to give the pesto a hint of basil. I also used extra garlic in case the carrot tops had any flavor that needed overpowering. But there were no off-putting flavors in the carrot tops. The carrot tops made a dense, hearty, very green-tasting pesto.


Saturday’s live stream from the Berlin Philharmonic was all Mozart. It was thrilling — the overture to Così fan tutte; Symphony No. 35 in D major (the Haffner symphony); the Concertone for two violins and orchestra; and everybody’s favorite Mozart symphony — the Symphony No. 40 in G minor. The conductor was Riccardo Minasi.

Is something going around in Berlin? I’ve never heard so much coughing from the audience. But it wasn’t because they were bored. In fact they were on their feet at the end of the 40th. I know most of that symphony by heart. The first classical recording I ever owned, age about 11, was Mozart’s 40th. I listened to it over and over, and I’ve continued to listen to it over and over all these years. Though the 40th is in a minor key and is often described as dark, I understand why so many people in the audience were smiling as they listened. It was because the performance was so superb, and maybe because it was the first time they’d ever heard it performed live.

It was a very warm day with sun streaming in the windows, so I listened with headphones so that Lily could snooze in the sun.

Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Highlands


I finished reading Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley last week. There is much that I could say about it, but I’m at risk of becoming a Walter Scott boor. But for anyone who is curious about the odd sort of readers who still read Sir Walter Scott, I recommend the lecture below. It’s the literary historian Jenni Calder speaking to the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club. Look at all those gray heads in the audience! I had a look at their web site. They hold black tie dinners. Princess Anne attended one of their meetings. I can only say that it makes me happy to know that somewhere in the world (though probably only in that one place) there is a Sir Walter Scott club.

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