The secret to longevity...

On the morning of Nan McEvoy's third (!!) birthday celebration lunch at the ranch last week I was having my coffee and reading Ruth Reichl's Letter-from-the-Editor in the latest issue of Gourmet. In it she was bristling about today's oft-uttered mantra of 'moderation in all things' as albeit, sane and healthy and morally correct---also very very boring. She gushes on about her preference for people with passions, people who fall deeply in love with a food, an object, or a way of life. People who aren't afraid to throw caution to the wind and follow their hearts. I couldn't help but think of Nan and the ranch and the people who are drawn to the magic of it all, all of whom possess wildly passionate hearts.IG1 From our rock-collecting cattleman and swing-dancing two-stepping agricultural ecologist to our housebunny-loving marketeer, euro soccer watching office manager and golf-crazed chef. Let us not even speak of our collective food passions. Most of us can't get through a meal without talking about what the next one will be. And at the helm of all this passion is Nan, who delights in oysters drizzled with the fruits of her labor on her birthday (see the Drake's Bay lovelies at her lunch courtesy of the Lunny family). One thing she does prefer in moderation is her greens, over which she admittedly chooses dessert---something she never skips. And by her example, fun and joy should always be experienced in excess.