Cooking

20 posts
Tradition And Experimentation: A Few Good Eats This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Thinking back on my childhood, I can't recall a single Thanksgiving that we spent with just our small family of five. It seemed we always spent the day with someone, whether they were blood relatives, or friends. The company of others was always more important than the menu. The more, the merrier was the philosophy we lived. We had our traditions, of course....

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A Feast For All Saints

A couple of weeks ago I took the kids to our favorite garden for fall photos. I've been doing this since they could walk. We have a history of images all taken in this familiar setting, chronologically recording their monumental growth. But it's not just any garden. It's a quiet garden, a memorial garden. A place where people can come to remember the saints who have died. We wander the...

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Back to Basics (Grilled Caprese Sandwiches)

I sent my baby to kindergarten this year, and I didn't shed a single tear. I dropped my son off to fend for himself, and nothing but eager anticipation left the building with me.  That's quite impressive for someone like me. Even the simplest, most expected changes have been known to throw me into a full-on sob fest. (Think night-before-the-new-semester break down in college. Every time.) I like routine. I...

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Something New: Seasons in Mothering (and a recipe to keep kids home)

To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring. ~George Santayana "Fall’s coming." My man-child climbs into the passenger seat next to me for after-school pick up, announces this with a wide smile. He doesn’t even say hello. "I went outside to warm up this morning because I was cold and it was colder outside!" I don’t respond...

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Finding Home and Love in Spaghetti Bolognese

There are stories we tell over and over because we never want to forget. This is one of them.  Eight years ago I wandered around the streets of Geneva, Switzerland in February. My coat was good for an Australian winter, but I froze in the northern hemisphere's chilly days. I was only there for two weeks as part of a year when I traveled around the world. I started in...

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Rest and Ratatouille

In summer, metaphors are as plentiful as buzzing bees. Here is one with its nose buried in a hollyhock. Here are half a dozen more darting among the clover. Summer is a gradual unspooling, and I see the picture of it everywhere: rosebuds unfurling, pea vines and morning glories curling and uncurling. Summer is for slowly, but surely, unclenching our fists, letting our hurried shoulders drop, and leaning in toward...

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Manna in the Desert

I stand in the shower and let the hot water soak into my hair and run over my ears. The rest of the world gets muffled, and I find the quiet and space I long for there. No one is climbing me, touching me, needing me, calling me over and over again. I inhale the steam and exhale the weight off my shoulders, and I will the 5 minutes of...

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On Apples, Trees and the Light of the World

Tonight I’m turning off the lights and letting the low light of the candle flicker over Bing Crosby’s voice. For hundreds of years, people have been lighting candles for one reason or another. For comfort. For light. For hope. For prayer. To show someone which way to go. To find the way themselves. Tonight I’m keeping them lit because they remind me that darkness cannot extinguish light. No matter how...

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Grief, Gratitude, and Turkey Stuffing

Thanksgiving was the first holiday we celebrated after moving to this old red-brick farmhouse in southeastern Pennsylvania. Tomorrow, we will celebrate our fifth Thanksgiving in this place. Is it any wonder I am looking back? Every year, we have roasted a turkey bought from a local Lancaster County farmer. I no longer attempt complicated new recipes because these turkeys are so flavorful. There are many reasons to take good care...

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Love at the Table

I still remember the first time I met her, emerging from the shadow of her garage to meet us at the car. Her eyes were the same piercing blue as his; or rather, I suppose, his, hers. I think I told her so right then. I don't know if he and I were in love yet but we were headed in that direction; he brought me home to meet his parents, after all. Obviously, something was...

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