The apples

apple pieI am not prone to insomnia. But sometimes something in the darkness will wake me, and I will not be able to fall back asleep. There are some memories that are curled up in my heart, like ribbons, or snakes – it is at those moments, when I’m laying awake in deepest night, that they unfurl themselves.

The apples are one of those memories.

Continue reading


ginger-kicked stir-fryA couple of weeks ago, I bought myself something for my birthday. I won’t keep you in suspense: it was a wok. I told you about shortcake in Santa Cruz, but we spent my actual birthday in San Francisco, mostly in Chinatown (with a brief but worthwhile swing through the Mission on our way home, to show the guys some murals and get ice cream).  But anyway, the wok.  Continue reading

Lunch time

cheese crackersI know that there are a great many of you who have packed hundreds, thousands even, of “school lunches” for your kids. I, however, have packed exactly 17 of them to date. And until today, they were all duds.

I was new to this whole lunch thing, and I wanted to shine. I consulted with him on his choices each morning, put his favorite foods into his favorite snack bags, tucked those bags lovingly into his bright green lunch box. I put an ice cube in with the water in his froggy water bottle and arranged it next to a carefully rolled cloth napkin. Perhaps I even RErolled the napkin, once, maybe.

cheese crackers

These lunches, my friends, were my own personal visions of motherhood done right, of care and nurture and love. Love that he would feel come lunch time, even though I was a whole half a mile away, up the hill at home.

While he was spending his mornings playing with his friends, splashing and swinging and singing and sandboxing, and having the time of his life, surely – surely! – while he was doing this he would work up an appetite for these delicacies. Delicacies he himself had selected. Delicacies that I had packaged not with preservatives or BPA or hydrogenated-syruped-who-knows-what, but with gobs and gobs of love. LOVE! (And perhaps a touch of anxiety about being away from him for a whole four hour stretch, alongside a wee smidge of pride about his abiding love for vegetables).

And of course I don’t need to tell you the next part. Continue reading


pistachio bread

Parents can secure so little for their children, so little safety, even in the best circumstances. Great faith is required to give the child up, trusting God to honor the parents’ love for him by assuring that there will indeed be angels in the wilderness. ~ Marilynne Robinson

This has been one of those weeks. It seems that everywhere I turn I am reading about global warming that has passed the point of no return, or the dry scorched earth where crops should be growing. The seas are rising, and the planet is choking on plastic (sorry, that one’s a graphic photo). I pride myself on taking things in stride, but sometimes I feel things catching up with me.

Of course, this feeling that the whole weight of the world has washed over me always comes on those weeks when projects, laundry, and lack-of-sleep have also swamped into things. And possibly hormones too. So anyway, it has been a doozie. By Wednesday night, I needed something to bring me down from the ledge.

Continue reading

Bright shining as the sun – Tomato Tuesday

slave free tomatoes

Tomato season is upon us! In our garden, we plant easy-to-pick-and-eat cherries in all colors of the rainbow, and then watch for heirlooms to creep in around the margins (this year, we have grow-back green zebras, my favorite). When we got back from the mountains, we found a bright shining rainbow of candy-sweet and deep-tart and summery-smelling beauties waiting for us. And boy do I have a recipe for you. But first – first, let’s talk (in a totally roundabout way) about why we grow tomatoes in our yard, even though 1/4 of our household (starts with K, 6’4, also inexplicably hates blueberries – any guesses?) doesn’t even LIKE them. Unless they are cooked. And then only maybe.

Continue reading

Around the table

Assuming we can somehow fit this towering mountain of sleeping bags and bug spray and jackets and soccer balls into our vehicle (ah yes, traveling with children!) we are heading off early early early in the morning to Tuolumne, Continue reading