Malcolm and the Duchess

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‘What passes for Royalty on either side of The Pond’

I’m staring at my le Creuset, thinking of the Duchess of Devonshire. Wondering if I can squeeze out another batch of her boeuf bourguignon before the weather agrees that it’s Spring.

The Duchess was the last of several Mitford Sisters, two of whom were famous writers, and two of whom were famous Nazis. (One, Unity, shot herself when Hitler dumped her for Eva Braun.)

While her sisters were writing books and dabbling in fascism, Deborah was saving Chatsworth, her husband’s estate. Bless her, she was able to get people to pay good money to check out her Elvis Presley memorabilia and flocks of fine poultry.

Malcolm Forbes wasn’t a Duchess (or even a Duke), but he shared her fondness for celebrities and eggs, particularly Faberge. Malcolm was powerful, knew a lot of famous people, and had lots of houses–certainly more than Debo (as she was known to friends and fam, but not to me or Malcolm.)

Me, posing for the bus-riding paparazzi at one of Malcolm’s houses. See how I got there in a sec

Malcolm was a patient of The Dude’s Dad (who was a urologist). Very Important People (mostly Very Important Men) came to see him. Some of them (like Malcolm) became quite attached to The Dude’s Dad, who, in addition to being a great doctor, was also a very charming man.

The Dude’s Mom was charming and persuasive. When The Dude and I were planning our honeymoon, she picked up the phone: “Malcolm? Wayne and Alice are getting married. Can they stay in one of your houses?”

Fast forward to Malcolm Forbes’ castle in Morocco.

Me, holding up the dining room. Looooong table in background, with servant. The Dude and I would wave at each other from opposite ends

We were the only ones there, except for dozens of servants. We’d perch by the fountain and watch the tour buses pull in (Malcolm’s toy soldier museum was there, and it was open to the public).

It was fun watching people snap our pictures, thinking we must be Royalty.

Me, posing as Royalty at a memorable beef bourguignon-serving occasion involving a birthday. Nope, not the Duchess’s — or even Malcolm’s

New York City. March 2018

The Cave of Our Marriage

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‘Or, How deep is your love?’

First, let me say that The Cave of Our Marriage was and is not the cute snow cave pictured above. (Though that is The Child of Our Marriage gleefully playing inside.)

I’m showing you that snow cave because last week I promised cute-kids-in-snow photos if I could get my scanner to work. (More on that later. Or not.) But mainly because no pictures of the Marital Cave exist. (It was waaaay too dark in there for any to turn out, if we had thought to take any.)

Why a story about a cave? See, this week is The Dude’s and my wedding anniversary — the latest of many. At this point, we’ve been married more years than we were alive before we got married. Or something like that.

But about that cave. Continue reading

They needed the eggs

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‘Special Cozy and Delicious Weekend Edition

So. Those of you who follow my blog (thank you!) know that I’ve been trying to restrain myself. Limit my posts to twice a week. But I’m breaking my self-imposed rule today.

See, the Duchess of Devonshire died. Not that I knew her or anything, but I do think of her around this time of year because that’s when I dust off the le Creuset and make her boeuf bourguignon. Which is absolutely the best BB ever. (Recipe included at the end of this post. So, if you’re bored, feel free to skip ahead.)

But if you’d like to find out what the heck the Duchess of D has to do with Malcolm Forbes, read on.

Malcolm Forbes wasn’t a Duchess (or even a Duke), but he was probably pretty close to what passes for Royalty on our side of the Pond. He was powerful, he knew a lot of famous people. Besides, he had tons of money, certainly more than Debo (as she was known to her friends and fam, but not to commoners like me — or even Malcolm, I bet).

Well, Malcolm was one of the Dude’s Dad’s patients. (The Dude would kill me for mentioning this, Continue reading