Category Archives: Uncategorized

To Live or To Write?

“Then, I might stare at the laptop screen for a few minutes until I remember a phone call that must be made. Today—and this is five days after I started this piece—we have to go to the spring (15 minutes away) to fill up our water containers, and down to the port (15 minutes in […]

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By Ferry from Andros To Folegandros

“The journey I’m about to describe took place a few years ago, but it could well have happened four or five decades ago. We seemed to travel back in time as we chugged around the Cyclades in an aged steamer. If you have not lived here among the Greeks, you probably don’t know the expression […]

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“Cucina Povera,” Revisited

“I also remember the tales of my mother-in-law, my first husband’s mother. Dora Lada, known to the family as Dodo, was born in 1900. She brought up her two children on her own, after her husband died of something preventable not long after the Stock Market crash of ’29. Dodo did not resemble the eponymous […]

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Diana of Maroussi

“Maroussi would be an idyll that lasted almost two decades. I would meet the rest of my neighbors, who included a quintet of wonderfully eccentric older ladies, Greek, English, and Maltese; an academician/professor of philosophy; the mothers—as stout as one of the house’s heirloom wardrobes—of boys who would become Duff’s pals; an English woman my […]

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The Vlita of Rethymnon

“I’d been ferreting out recipes in the medieval inner town, founded by the Venetians in the 13th century and still full of atmosphere. Here, Latin emblems or Ottoman inscriptions crown massive wooden doors set in arched stone portals. Sometimes, they open onto flowering courtyards, where you half expect to see a hansom carriage instead of […]

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Midday In 1960s Paris

“The neighborhood around Boulevard Haussman was residential and stuffy, staid apartment houses with few shop windows to peer into. But before long I found myself in front of a façade masked with heavy curtains and the name Cordon Bleu stamped in gold letters on a discreet dark blue background. The door was ajar, so I […]

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Prospero’s Kitchen: The Odyssey of An Ionian Cookbook

“It all began on a tennis court in the late 1980s. I was co-editing a magazine for a Greek hotel chain and, since we were writing most of the articles ourselves under pseudonyms, we were searching for someone to do a food column. Whom to ask but my French tennis partner? You can always rely […]

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Picking Our Andriot Olives

“On the day we left Andros in mid-October, I was convinced no olives would be clinging to the trees two weeks later. They were prematurely ripe, already littering the ground—wrinkled as raisins, hard as goat droppings—and the weather seemed to be mocking us. Thunderclouds rose and billowed to the southeast, lightning forked to the south […]

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May Day, or Pouvez-vous m’aider?

“May Days were a new concept to me. As an American, I always thought of Labor Day as an end-of-summer holiday, not a rite of spring. In Paris, it meant little old ladies selling bunches of muguets (lilies of the valley) on the curb. In Greece, as I was to discover, it was a time for […]

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Pserimos, A Tiny Fairy Tale

“Joy-of-the-People (literal transliteration of my Greek husband’s name, Harilaos) and I discovered the little island by accident back in 1975. Horrified by the rats slinking around taverna tables in the port of Kalymnos, maddened by the motorbikes roaring round and round the main square, we shouldered our rucksacks and escaped the holiday from hell. A […]

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