I head back to Cambridge tomorrow, to prepare for the memorial celebration next weekend (friends coming from as far away as Minnesota, California, Florida!) but it has been a lovely few days here, with friends for dinner Thursday night...

Rhubarb pudding

Here is a rhubarb bread pudding which was delicious for dessert. (Dinner was baked salmon stuffed with fennel).

And my brother is with me. (Here he is):

  Jon in kitchen

Everyone should have a meticulous brother who likes to fix things. Martin was a great guy and a wonderful companion but not Mr. Fixit. (My friend Susan refers to such men affectionately as "Jews with Tools")  Jon has busied himself at the Cambridge house and now, in Maine, he has taken on the problem of the old butcher block in the kitchen and its many years of accumulated crud. After solvents, sandpaper, elbow grease, and mineral oil:

  Butcher block

Not to mention the new flat screen TV that son Ben and his partner Lori gave me for my birthday, installed here at the farm...Ben left me instructions for several remotes which left me whimpering. No problem, said Jon. He has now combined everything on one remote so that even I, when I am alone here, which I will be for most of this summer, will be able to find things and watch things and mute things. Or so I hope and assume.

(But could my brother recall—and sing—the words to all the old Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, the way Martin could?  Nope, no way)