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Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that...

Simple Blackberry Galette

I have declared this summer to be the summer of galettes, crisps, and cobblers. I also decided it was the summer of s'mores, in the form of milkshakes and brownies. I just can't get enough of marshmallows and fresh fruit. On my food blog a few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for blueberry cobbler and there...

After The Storm

My father’s big hands light a hurricane lamp and pull a porch chair closer to his. With a gentle touch on my shoulder, he bids me sit. Trembling joints remind me I have not rested once today. Crackling portable radio grates against my ears, still squawking emergency broadcast After-Disaster instructions. He places a paper plate...

Invisible Hospitality And An End-of-Summer Cake

Ten years ago, she confessed to me that hospitality wasn’t for her. The tasks that brought me life brought her only unbearable stress. She sloughed off a burden of expectation that wasn’t hers to bear. She said no to hosting friends for dinner and said yes to so many other good things. * Today, that same friend is mom to a houseful of kids. They arrived through birth and adoption...

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Biscuits, Eggs, and Becoming Family

White walls and a 80s multicolored afghan were all that greeted me in my new bedroom offered to me by virtual strangers. It had been two months since my parents had kicked me out of their home, leaving me stranded with nothing but a bunch of trash bags filled with my childhood stuffed animals and the fifty dollar check I had gotten from my job I worked at once a...

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On The End Of A Season And A Recipe For A Crustless Quiche

I watched the sun slip behind the pinky-orange veil of the horizon tonight and felt both relief and nostalgia for the end of the summer. It came so fast--the days a blurry swirl of long afternoons riding bikes, and late evenings sitting in the driveway watching the street lights come on well after 9PM. Sun-soaked days, and the near-permanent smell of chlorine on our skin, in our hair and in...

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On Mothering, The Holy Spirit and Making Space

I slip earbuds into my ears to find that she has chosen my music to be the backdrop to which she finds her words. She's in her first ever creative writing class and to everyone's amazement, words ease out of her like a knife passing through soft butter. My daughter is a writer and she's a dang good one. She's so good, in fact, that she recently used her gift...

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Pancakes, a Plate, and a Pair of Strangers

“These look good,” I texted my sister, and I sent along a link to Bobby Flay’s recipe for Chocolate Chip-Pistachio Pancakes with Salted Caramel Syrup (total time 55 minutes, level: intermediate.) I knew I wouldn’t make time to make them, but I knew she would the next time I came home. And she did, because she loves to cook and loves to experiment on our family. But, sorry Bobby, they just...

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Simple Blackberry Galette

I have declared this summer to be the summer of galettes, crisps, and cobblers. I also decided it was the summer of s'mores, in the form of milkshakes and brownies. I just can't get enough of marshmallows and fresh fruit. On my food blog a few weeks ago, I shared a recipe for blueberry cobbler and there was also a brief spell in June where I was making Shauna Neiquest's blueberry crisp every Saturday...

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After The Storm

My father’s big hands light a hurricane lamp and pull a porch chair closer to his. With a gentle touch on my shoulder, he bids me sit. Trembling joints remind me I have not rested once today. Crackling portable radio grates against my ears, still squawking emergency broadcast After-Disaster instructions. He places a paper plate and a cup of water in front of me on a t.v. tray and urges...

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A Recipe Box, a Letter and Food Served With Love

Recently, here at the table, Elizabeth wrote this lovely post on spontaneous hospitality.  How often hospitality isn't about a beautiful table and a fabulous menu. It is about our time. Giving of ourselves in ways we might not realize are "hospitable." My mother died in March and as co-executor of the estate, I've spent several weeks at her house...emptying, sorting, throwing out or giving away 90+ years of accumulation. And the...

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Simple Neighborly Acts

The first time I saw our street, it reminded me of a cross between Charleston's splashy Rainbow Row and The Truman Show--tall and long-but-narrow houses neatly arranged on postage-stamp lots, one after another after another. The house itself was a pie slice of the home we had lived in previously, but seasons change and it was the right thing at the right time. I wondered how we'd handle living so close to others....

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The Return Home

Less than a week ago we were eight hours from home vacationing on the shores of the Atlantic. This morning I dropped my daughter at school for her first day of first grade. That means summer break is officially over at our house. My brain and my body aren't sure what to make of the rapid change of pace and scenery. I feel a bit like the rug (or beach towel)...

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