Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Those Things (I Can’t Do Without)

In an upcoming issue of Hudson Valley Connoisseur, we’re taking a look at comfort foods, and why they make us happy. That got me thinking about happiness in general – and my happiness in particular.

I’m talking about strictly material (and perhaps somewhat superficial) stuff here. Of course, the health, comfort and company of my family and other loved ones takes precedent over any material things. But assuming my (and their) basic needs are taken care of, here’s some of what makes me feel happy and pampered.

Wearing the perfect black dress.
I have two – the winter dress and the summer dress. I can dress them up or dress them down. And I’ll cry on the day they wear out or —horrors— no longer fit. Do men have an equivalent piece of clothing that does it for them?

Fresh flowers. No run-of-the-mill, chilled and imported from South America roses that are sold at the corner stop-for-milk-and-gas-spot for me. I like flowers that don't travel far. My favorites this time of year are the locally grown-under-glass anemones. I like to pick them up on weekends from Ralph Pitcher & Sons farm, 41 Pitcher Road, Rhinebeck. F.W. Battenfeld & Son’s on Route 199 in Red Hook also sells them at the farm. These are elegant, vibrant flowers. I even put them on the cover of the April issue of Hudson Valley Connoisseur. (It's up there, on the side.) Know of other farmstands that sell great flowers in season?

Cherry and pignoli biscotti from Gigi’s Market, 223 Pitcher Lane, Red Hook. They don’t bake that flavor combo all that often and when they do, it sells out fast. Hmm, maybe I shouldn’t have shared that. Save some for me! I’d love to hear your bakery recommendations.

A really good pedicure. My favorite pedicure place is in southern California and I’m still looking for a special salon here in the valley. Any suggestions?

Heated car seats. Once you have them, it’s really hard to go without – the Hudson Valley can get pretty darn cold during the winter (and they even come in handy on damp summer evenings.) What little extras do you need in your car?

What do you need to make you feel special? To brighten your day? You can e-mail it to me at or post it here. More of my list tomorrow ...

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