Georgia O’Keeffe’s cookbooks in the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center

Oh, this is very good. We can learn a lot about each other by peeking into the kitchen, our kitchens won’t lie. They tell the story about how we relate to the earth, nature, and our own bodies.

I have made your secret garlic salad dressing from Weekends with O’Keeffe by C.S. Merrill. There are 8 references to garlic in this book, by the way. You were a believer of garlic.

The one about the dressing must be shared because of it’s efficiency and elegance.

:Miss O’Keeffe showed me the secret of the salad dressing: garlic chopped into a large spoon, salt sprinkled over with the garlic crushed into it, olive oil poured over, then lemon juice or vinegar. Then [this is the best] you pour it drippingly over the greens and toss with the same spoon.:

This dressing creates such a vivid salad experience. I love using one spoon to make and dress a salad. Because I hate doing dishes.

By the way, one of the other references to garlic is the rumor that mosquitos didn’t bite you because you smelled of it. If this is true, this must be why we wear garlic to ward off vampires.

This picture of your cookbooks reminds me of the time I made my father consomme, a type of clarified broth. It was my first visit after learning that he was in hospice care. I wanted to make him something special and heard him mention consomme. It may have been just a passing comment but I latched onto the idea and set about making it. The funny thing about consomme is that in presentation it totally belies the sweat, ooze, funny smells, dirty frothiness and sheer effort of the preparation. The stock is boiled several times with all kinds of impurities rising to the surface. The egg whites are added and as they seek to collect in one mass, they further clarify the broth. Once the broth is strained great pains are taken to remove any remaining fat, including at the end skimming a clean paper towel over the surface of the liquid. THEN you simmer the liquid again and add tiny perfect cubes of carrot and celery to float in the broth when served as a start to an elegant meal.

We drank our consomme out of tea cups sitting in front of the tv. My father seemed pleased and I felt comfort that a whole messy dirty situation could boil down into something so clear and precise.


Dog & God


Georgia O’Keeffe on Evening Walk with her Dog, Ghost Ranch, by John Loengard, 1966

This photo reminds me of this quote:

“It was a beautiful clear dark blue evening – high tide –  The sort of thing that makes you feel that the human gods we have invented are a real joke – that God is something too tremendous – so universal – that we poor humans can’t conceive of it – “

Page 374 My Faraway One



Georgia O’Keeffe Peach and Glass 1927

Dear Georgia,

Today I bit into a peach that was not entirely ripe and I remembered how my father told me to harvest the peaches before the frost (or was it wind) one of the times I visited him in his last year. I think there was a storm brewing and he said we’d better collect them before they all got knocked off and bruised. I can’t remember if it was August or October. One of those times I was headed into town to the grocery store – this must have been February – and I asked him – can I get you anything? Yes, he said, get me a five pound bag of manure, would you? That made me laugh, but it was no joke – he wanted it to start artichoke shoots in the greenhouse. Later he sent me pictures of the artichokes and I felt proud that I had contributed the poop.

Your peach looks gorgeously ripe, Georgia.






“Not long after Arthur Miller, the intellectual playwright, began dating Marilyn Monroe, the sexy movie star, Miller told his mother that he was anxious for her to meet Monroe in the near future. Miller’s mother suggested that they come up from their apartment in New York to her home in Connecticut for dinner later that week, and Miller passed along the news to Monroe. Monroe, who was famously insecure, was particularly nervous about this meeting, since she desperately wanted Miller’s mother to approve of her so that Miller would feel secure enough to propose to her.

On the day of the meeting, Miller and Monroe made the two-and-a-half hour drive without stopping. Probably owing to her nerves, Monroe desperately needed to urinate for much of the trip, but she was afraid to stop at a public restroom along the way because if she was noticed by fans it might cause a commotion that would cause them to be late. Therefore, after Miller and Monroe were let into Miller’s mother’s house and pleasantries were exchanged, Monroe quickly excused herself to use the adjacent restroom.

When Monroe closed the door, it occurred to her that she was still very much within earshot of Miller and his mother, so, being as self-conscious as she was, she decided that the most ladylike thing to do would be to turn on the faucet while she did her business. That way, she figured, she could avoid the embarrassment of being heard, while claiming to have been splashing some water on her face.

Meanwhile, as the water ran audibly in the bathroom, Miller and his mother sat down and began to make small talk. Eventually, Miller got to the point and said, ‘Well, Mother, what do you think of her?!’ Miller’s mother paused for a moment to think about how she wanted to phrase her response. ‘Well,’ she said, ‘she’s awfully pretty, but from the sound of it she pisses like a racehorse!'”


Slipping Away

Marilyn Monroe From de last sitting, 1962 (Marilyn looking curious)- Bert Stern

You are slipping away from me.

All I can find is a white sheet and some whisp of wakefulness.

A glimpse of gold.

Miserable Enough

Must make effort to do Must have the dicipline to do the following –

z – go to class – my own always – without fail

x – go as often as possible to observe Strassberg’s other private classes

g – never miss actor’s studio sessions

v – work whenever possible – on class assignments – and always keep working on the acting exercises

u – start attending Clurman lectures – also Lee Strassberg’s directors lectures at theater wing – enquire about both

l – keep looking around me – only much more so – observing – but not only myself but others and everything – take things (it) for what they (it’s) are worth

y – must make strong effort to work on current problems and phobias that out of my past has arisen – making much much much more more more more more effort in my analisis. And be there always on time – no excuses for being ever late.

w – if possible – take at least one class at university – in literature –

o – follow RCA thing through.

p – try to find someone to take dancing from – body work (creative)

t – take care of my instrument – personally & bodily (exercise)

try to enjoy myself when I can – I’ll be miserable enough as it is.

From: Fragments: Poems, Intimate Notes, Letters by Marilyn Monroe, Stanley Buchthal (Editor), Bernard Comment (Editor)