This mysterious photo is a salad. A beet salad, to be exact. And it's a lousy photo...taken with my cell phone....because you can't really tell that it was the most incredibly beautiful beet salad I think I've ever seen, with red and golden beets in cubes, carefully arranged on the plate and decorated with tiny nasturtium leaves.
This was the first course at a lovely restaurant called ELEVEN MADISON PARK in New York, at a luncheon yesterday in honor of "The Willoughbys." Publishers do wonderfully gracious things to announce a new book, and this was Houghton Mifflin's highly edible welcome to the Willoughby family, with some terrific guests, all of them from the publishing/media/library world, all of them book lovers. Two of them just back from serving on the Newbery Committee! and though of course they can't describe their process of deliberation...at least I was able to tell them what a wonderful choice I thought they had made with this year's winner.
I am now back home in Cambridge after two busy days in New York, trying to get organized to go off to St. Paul on Sunday. Sunday evening I will give a reading at Hamline University. I thought I had the perfect selection...a short story I once published, called "Snowbound," set during winter (and it is certainly winter in St. Paul, Minnesota!) and—I think— quite funny, and appropriate to a college/university audience. Ah, therein lies the problem. I suddenly (fortunately) realized that this event is open to the public...and so there will very likely be children in the audience. And the winter story, the funny story, the college story, has some bad language in it. Sigh. I guess I had better read something else.