World Elephant Day

Luca and World Elephant Day

WATERTOWN, CT–This Wednesday, August 12th, is World Elephant Day, a global effort to raise awareness of the plight of African and Asian elephants. In Africa alone, 96 elephants are needlessly killed each day. Master Luca, the youngest member of the Leite’s Culinaria family (he’s the son of executive assistant Annie Musso), decided to help these gentle giants in his own very LCish way—via food and drink.

Master Luca—who is 3 3/4 and fond of mac and cheese, swings, and creatures from both land and sea—approached his mother two weeks ago saying, “I want to help animals.” Subsequently, Ms. Musso started researching ways young children can become involved with animal welfare. She discovered that most hands-on volunteer experiences are geared for older children. Undeterred, Master Luca insisted he and his mother find a way that he can contribute. That’s when they devised a plan to participate in the classic childhood summer ritual of selling lemonade. Because the Mussos live on a quiet street, Ms. Musso was concerned proceeds would be low. Gramma Eastman, Master Luca’s grandmother, suggested they set up their stand at the Watertown Farmers’ Market. This past Saturday, the group was more than happy to accommodate the wee entrepreneur, one of the youngest in the market’s history. Read more »

Morning Harvest

Morning Harvest

I don’t have a lot to say today. This post is more about bragging. (“Really, you’re going to brag, Leite? Is that how Momma Leite raised you?” I can hear you all thinking.) [Editor’s Note: I hate to be the one to tell you this, but this is not the first time David’s been a braggart.] Come on people, cut me some slack. I just harvested our first cucumber from our garden this morning—the first cucumber I’ve ever planted. Plus I pulled our very first beets ever out of the earth. What an extremely satisfying experience. They practically popped out themselves.

When I worked on Mr. Silvia’s farm when I was a kid, he never planted beets, so I never understood how they grew. In fact, this morning, my heart sank when I saw the tops of them cresting the soil. “Damn it,” I thought. “I screwed up again.” But before I did what I wanted to do, which was to yank each and every one of those suckers out of the ground and hurl them into the woods, I read up on them. They’re supposed to crest. It’s called “bulbing up.” I left the other 60 or so plants in the ground, right next to the carrots I’m desperate to pull out and take a peek at. Read more »

Ode to Summer Squash

Summer Squash

There is no pleasure like picking the first vegetables of the season.
This morning wet, muddy.
Summer squash, it was.
Prickly leaves, like floppy summer hats, pushed out of the way. Read more »

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