The last word

boys cookingI have two sick kids today, just in time for all that good cheer. Still, we are baking – cookies, cakes, candies and biscuits! – and tomorrow morning we’ll have fresh homemade morning buns, per Jacob’s request. I’ve been playing with that recipe and plan to share soon – but in the meantime, here is one you might want to try instead. Continue reading

Faith

oatmeal breadWe have come to the longest night. I’ve been hesitant about posting this bread recipe, or anything really. I have experienced deep grief in my life, and abiding loss, but I cannot imagine – oh, I cannot imagine. I don’t want to imagine. We stand up in solidarity, we bear witness, we offer whatever we can, an effort to shoulder some small piece of a heartache that surely must be as vast as the universe.

And we have faith.

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Fire

whole wheat cranberry breadWhen I met my sister-in-law Kate (when we were very young and very single, and went on a bizarre wine-country adventure with the lovely Molly and two of the world’s strangest men) – when I met her, I had an instant suspicion that my brother Dan, given half a chance, would fall in love with her. I was immediately smitten with her myself, in that way that happens every so often with people – I knew instantly that we were going to be friends.

And I also thought she might marry my brother.

Of course, at the beginning, it was only me who saw it. Dan and Kate were busy, dating other people, living in other parts of the world. But then, finally, early in December of 2005, I had my chance. Newly single, newly email-friendly with each other, suddenly sharing egg-nog lattes and beer recommendations — it was clear that the moment was right. Kyle and I plotted a dinner at our place, casually suggesting to each of them that they would be welcome to spend the night. We didn’t mention that we had only one air mattress to go around- we figured they could work that part out themselves after a night of good food, good wine, and much merry making.

After dinner, we opened a bottle that Kyle and I had been saving for something special. We poured four glasses, divided into two teams for a board game, and crowded around the big ottoman in our living room. Love was in the air.

But something else was in the air too. Kate wrinkled her nose. “It smells like – it smells like burning brakes.” We all sniffed the air and nodded. It did indeed, exactly. And just as we opened our mouths to agree, we heard the first explosion.  Continue reading

We begin again

coconut chai kabocha soup

December for me does not start with the promise of September, or the blue skies of October, or even the every-day feeling of November. December for me starts with a slow down, a pause, a breath held for an instant in anticipation of the month ahead. This year it started with lights, and also, it started with soup.

Or maybe I mean that it started with tea.  Continue reading