In The Kitchen

7 posts
The Dessert Disaster

Thinking about it, I suppose I've been learning to cook my entire life. I can remember pulling up a chair to our kitchen counter in the apartment we lived in prior to my mother's death, so I had to have been small. Boxed cakes with store-bought icing were downright magic. Seriously, mix together a bowl of dry ingredients with an egg and oil and you have a cake? Who cared...

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What Worked In 2017

Wherever you live and whatever your political persuasions may be, I think we can all agree that our world held its moments of profound sadness in 2017. I have no great ideas for how big things can shift and change, but I leave 2017 convinced that we all have work to do in our communities and neighborhoods. We have people to love, we have walls that need to be rebuilt...

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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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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...

9 4
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...

13 0
The Bountiful Feast

“Is anyone joining us tonight?” she asks as she counts the plates for dinner. The fact that she doesn’t know this answer points to the varying numbers that gather around our little faux wood dining set. “Just us tonight,” I say, and flip another tortilla in the cast iron pan. There’s a stack of 15 tortillas on the plate and I’ve rolled out the last one. We won’t eat 16...

2 0
In Which A Meal Is My Only Goal

Life has been a little weird for me. Maybe weird is a bad description? Maybe unstable is better. Maybe for the first time in my life I am truly grappling with those old words from Paul, “For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate.” Romans 7:15 (HCSB). Is the visceral understanding of these...

4 2
Fighting Boredom with Loveliness

Every year this time of year, I find myself in a rut. The days are gray and I’m weary of cold weather. The buzz of the holidays has quieted and the change of routine that comes with summer seems far off. It’s a season filled with writing and work, causing the days to blur. My table becomes a metaphor for my life. In the past few months, my crockpot has...

5 3
In the Habit of Hospitality

I am allergic to goals and averse to resolutions. I love to dream, but I prefer my dreams in rosy shades of vague. Details and action plans make me tired. Oh, January. Oh, month of optimism and ambition. I love you. But I do not trust you. * Or, perhaps, I do not trust myself. For though I am no setter of goals, I, too, long to turn over that...

8 2
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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