48 posts
Storied Dishes

After we got engaged I couldn't wait to finally get to choose an everyday china pattern and register for gifts. (How in the world was that almost 30 years ago?) I didn't need to choose fine china; I had inherited my mother's Malden by Oxford, simple, rimmed in gold, and stunning. I'm one of those who believes kitchen art begins with pretty dishes. A spectacularly set table doesn't necessarily have to...

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Sunlight, Shadows, and a Supper Club

When I was younger, I was sure that loneliness was both inevitable and temporary. It was simply the price one paid for moving to a faraway city or taking a new job or joining a different church. Loneliness was a straightforward ailment easily cured in time. Now that I am older, I understand loneliness not as a sickness but a shadow. The sun shines brightly here in the land of...

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Someone On Your Side

It was a winter of my soul, that season. The kind where you look like yourself on the outside, but your inside is hollow. Obsidian. Though I had never understood depression – I typically sidled obnoxious with a perpetual silver linings perspective – I was sad, marrow deep. Tormented, really, by circumstances beyond my control. Not a life and death thing or infidelity or financial ruin; and, thankfully, it had...

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How to Feed Each Other’s Hunger

In our twenties, my husband and I thought nothing of using garden furniture for indoor dining. The wrought iron chair with the crooked seat cushion scraped against the pine floor as my neighbor pulled it up beside the table and sat down. Theresa eased her pregnant body into the world’s most uncomfortable chair with a sigh, while I puttered in the kitchen, preparing our make-shift meal. My daughter kept Theresa...

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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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The Dish, A Family And A Place At The Table

It was a late December day and I had not yet made “the dish.” We have it every year during the holidays. And other times if I decide to make it. It is nothing fancy, but it is a big part of the holidays. While home alone one afternoon I started the process. It is not a 20 minute thrown together dinner. It takes time, planning and preparation. I start...

2 1
Little Bits of Good That Overwhelm the World

“The true way and the sure way to friendship is being open to each other, accepting each other just as we are, knowing each other.” Mother Teresa “Hi,” I said. I pulled a pack of playful stickers from my pocket. “Prevyet.” She smiled back with eyes wide as Christmas, admiring the Muppets and a yellow packet of Juicy Fruit. Now what? My Russian was far too limited to carry on...

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Last Minute Hospitality

It was a last-minute plan, and I suppose when it's last minute, it's hardly a plan at all. We're in one of those seasons when life is complicated. A lovely way to dress that up is to compare it to the weather when we lived in Germany--whatever was forecast often had little to do with the actual climate. Temperature was usually close to the bullseye, but precipitation? She was as fickle as a hormonally-challenged...

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The Kind of Friend Grace Makes

“We’re going to be in town for the next few days, and we’d love to see you guys.” A simple Facebook message sent to my husband and me. Somewhere well over a decade ago both of our families attended church together. Since then, they’ve served overseas and returned to live in another state. We’ve lived on a ranch to foster multiple children and returned home. With the vast distance between...

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