This time last year, on a particularly stressful day, I challenged myself to a 30 minute free write. My task was to list, in no particular order, as many good things from 2013 as I could remember. Before I got to 10 I was feeling better and building momentum. By the end I was at … Continue reading 50 (ish) happy things from 2014.
The first Christmas we were together in Memphis, before we were married, before we had children, Bernard gave my mother a puppet named Book Worm that he purchased from a local bookstore. Book Worm was a green velvet - well, book, with a place to put your finger in the underside so when you opened … Continue reading The book tree.
Few chores accentuate the Groundhog Day aspects of life as well as cooking and kitchen cleaning. Boil, serve, eat. Tidy, scrub, sweep. Bask in the shiny kitchen millisecond, and then - BAM - do it all over again. Lather, rinse, repeat. We Westerners place high priority on good habits and consistent routines. We start the … Continue reading Lather, rinse, repeat.
Today's show-off TV chefs would never have survived the Thanksgiving kitchens of my youth. The roasting turkey, oyster dressing, scalloped potatoes, tender rolls and sweet potato pie were all in well-practiced hands, so my Southern matriarch predecessors would have sent Bobby Flay packing - gracefully, I'll add. At a minimum they would would have dispatched … Continue reading Many hands, light work.
Perhaps to keep us from falling into the abyss that is pre-Christmas commercial madness, here is a story about Thanksgiving that includes a dog, a rat and the frivolity of Starbucks. You should know up front that the dog dies and the rat escapes, but it's really not a sad story, I promise. In my … Continue reading A dog, a rat, and Thanksgiving.
I saw my 29 year old self this week, standing underneath the replica of Sue, the dinosaur, in the United Airlines Customer Service line, Terminal 1, O'Hare. She, young me, was explaining to the customer service agent, nicely at first, that she'd missed her connection and really needed to get home. Wasn't there any way … Continue reading 100 years of solitude.
Before we begin, I just have to say: I wanted the Royals to win. Next year, Royals, next year. Today, if you follow a Catholic or Anglican liturgical calendar, is All Saints' Day. Tomorrow is All Souls' Day. Yesterday was the Eve of All Hallows, the night before All Saints' Day. Today celebrates good people … Continue reading It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.
Sophie Coors, the Southern folk-style artist, taught my sister to blow spit bubbles. They were at some fancy seated luncheon, the kind with strict expectations for behavior - a wedding or graduation party or New Year's formal event that required Margaret's attendance, participation and compliance. Margaret was not the compliant type, especially not at that … Continue reading The solace of a Southern kitchen.