Tuesday, December 08, 2009


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I haven't yet, and probably won't, do much in the way of holiday stuff: this little poinsettia may be it.
I did write out a lot of cards last night, which, this morning, I spilled coffee all over (after debating my options, I took the lazy route and sent them anyway! Perhaps the recipients will think the postmaster's a klutz). And I did bake shortbread and fruitcake and will be baking cheesecakes.*
But that's it: no presents this year and no tree ... I'm already focused on the day after Christmas and sailing in the Virgin Islands.
One of the hardest thing to pack: what to read. I've narrowed it down to three titles: The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman and Old Masters, New World by Cynthia Saltzman (both nonfiction) and Homecoming: A Novel by Bernhard Schlink. The Lemon Tree and Loot will have to wait until I come back; and I want to finish the two books I'm currently reading--Winston and Franklin and The Street of a Thousand Blossoms--before I go.

I'm packing a little painting kit and a clumsily made (by me!) book of torn watercolor sheets.

And I want to say thank you so much to everyone who has welcomed me back; I was verklempted by the kind responses of the Gemeinschaft to yesterday's post: it's good to be back!

*I always use Jeff Smith's (the Frugal Gourmet) cheesecake recipe; I've tried many, and this one, in my experience, is foolproof. My own emendation: I put a pan of water in the oven on the bottom rack and the cheesecake on the rack above. I also let the cheesecake sit in the turned-off oven, with the door ajar, for about an hour after broiling the top.


RH Carpenter said...

An unusual color to this poinsettia and I'd be thinking of sailing in the Virgin Islands, too, if I could...but right now I'm thinking about those cheesecakes you were talking about! ha ha Lovely painting - didn't you know how much you were missed by all of us who are addicted to you paintings?

Anonymous said...

Your flower paintings are always great. Interesting color you chose. Nice to do something different. Takes everyone off guard. Lucky you for the trip ahead. Have a wonderful time.

truerecord said...


Suzanne McDermott said...

I think this is my most favorite of your watercolors. Happy baking and sailing!

Cliff said...


So nice to have you back!

Best wishes!

cathyswatercolors said...

Hi Laura, Beautiful Poinsettia,great color. Have fun on vacation. I look forward to the paintings.

A Brush with Color said...

I love this--such a stunning take on a pointsettia, Laura. That cheesecake sounds good--i make a good cheesecake, but I like your idea of opening the oven door--I'll have to give that a go. How could that be a bad thing--letting all the good smells permeate the house?

Sherry Pierce Thurner said...

Whoa, the Virgin Islands! That sounds divine Miss Laura! This hot pink poinsettia looks very tropical, very Florida to me. It is good to see you back.

Sharon said...

This poinsettia is just luscious. What a gorgeous pink.