Evan Kleiman

close-apricots-web.jpg A few years ago I noticed that a tree was growing in the tiny side area between my house and my neighbor’s.  By the time I took notice of it the tree was 4 feet tall.  Apparently I had been ignoring that side of the house. I don’t know a lot about trees but it looked like it might be some kind of fruit tree.  So I waited and asked my gardener.  Sure enough, it turned out to be an apricot tree.  Since the window above my kitchen sink is right above where the tree has taken root I figured that I must have spit an apricot seed out of the louvers. 

Yeah, it was a barbarian move, what can I say?  But it was a Blenheim pit, so I decided to let the tree stay even though I was told that since it wasn’t a “grafted” tree and without a strong rootstock it probably woudn’t bear fruit.  And for 5 years it didn’t, except for a few lonely guys who would appear each year on one branch.  They were the few, the brave, and the delicious.  Meanwhile, one year the tree trunk split nearly down to the ground.  We shored it up and figured that there would be attrition, but no, the tree thrived. 

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passover.jpg My boyfriend was a Persian Muslim.  We spent a decade together starting in the mid-eighties. Neither of us came from a religiously observant household so our typical couple problems had less to do with religion and more to do with conflicts you would expect when an open-minded, American, risk-taking former hippie (me) hung with a hard-headed (yet remarkably open-minded) Persian muslim educated in Italy (him). The sharing of food was a large part of our learning about each other.

I helped him negotiate his first experience of the American menu with its infinite choices.  You know the kind – Soup or Salad?  What kind of dressing?  Which of four entrée choices?  Which dessert? The American way of eating was complicated to him. Sometimes the consternation I saw on his face confronting what should be such a simple task just slayed me.

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