What we choose to keep

serrano chilesMy dad and stepmom had a bumper crop of Thai bird chiles this year. Thai birds are a mouth-punching terror of a chile, so we figured it out quickly when Lucas came in from their garden screaming and wiping frantically at his mouth, Jacob hot on his heels calling “He didn’t listen to me when I said that it wasn’t a tomato!” Continue reading

A bit of a cheat

Lucas feetSometimes when I find that I can’t work through the words in my head, that I’m stretching to sift them onto a page, I put away my pen. A walk helps. But often I turn to someone else’s work. It’s a bit of a cheat, maybe. But depending on how I feel stuck, I have a medicine chest of writers close at hand, writers who can remind me of the many ways people make magic with words. In a lonely business, their voices can bring me back round to my own.  Continue reading

Some things that are good

rhubarbI have been stalking the markets, waiting for rhubarb. It finally showed up last week. My favorite vegetable. I have all sorts of plans for its short sassy season, but right away on getting it home I needed to make something. Continue reading

Fits and starts

cauliflowerTransitions are sometimes rocky. (Can I get an Amen, my fellow parents of preschoolers?) I know I was just talking about the celebrations and the asparagus and the season of the egg, just a week two weeks ago in fact. But. Continue reading

Happy birthday, happy spring

Gabe's Magic SauceCalifornia turns golden (Kyle insists on calling it “brown”) by late spring, but right now, oh things are green around here. Last week we celebrated the equinox, and the official arrival of the spring. That same day – March 20th – would have been my mom’s 63rd birthday. In an unexpected alignment of so many things I love, I was able to celebrate with Dan and Gabe and our families, and with my Aunt Linna and my Uncle Lance. (And also with Gabe’s World-Famous Chimichurri Sauce. More on that in a minute.)  Continue reading

Here comes the sun

bitter orangesWhen I read Luisa’s post on seville orange marmalade, her description of the tantalizing aroma in her apartment as the oranges cooked down took me straight back to December: orange peel candying on the stove and a house that smelled bright, sunny, freshly picked. Orange is one of my very favorite smells: citrus in general has a good showing in that category, but oranges take the winning spot over most anything, most days. It has been said a million times, but it is truth: oranges smell like sunshine would smell, if it only could.  Continue reading