Posted: December 5th, 2013
Can we talk about Advent? I have no idea what your faith is like, what your religion is, how you feel about the general universe, etc. So all I can do is offer up my feelings about some of these topics from time to time, and today I feel like I need to talk about Advent, the time we wait for Christmas to come, and remember what it was (and is) like to wait for Jesus, for God to redeem the world.
Growing up we lit our Advent candles every Sunday night. We all had a part: My mom would read a couple of paragraphs about waiting for Christmas, my dad would read the Bible, I would play the piano for us to sing a song together, my brother would ask the question “Why do we light the first/second/third/fourth candle?” And then we would blow out the candles, which became a production when my brother was in elementary school and could not attempt to blow out his candle without breaking into laughter. And I have to say (and I think my mom would be happy to know this) that out of all the things going on during Christmas-time, the tradition of those Advent nights stick out to me. Read more »
Posted: December 2nd, 2013
As usual, our Thanksgiving was eventful. Mostly because I was painting my parents’ walls two days before Thanksgiving, my mom was painting baseboards on Wednesday morning before family arrived, and when I went over to help on Wednesday afternoon (cleaning and cleaning and cleaning) we finished with just about 10 minutes to spare before the doorbell rang.
And because of my parents’ Thanksgiving house-chaos, I might have over-committed just a bit when I agreed to make so many of our Thanksgiving dishes. Pumpkin pie, rolls, a delicious gratin that I’ll share later this week, mashed potatoes. But, because I have never made the pecan pie for Thanksgiving before (and I wanted that recipe in my repertoire and on this site), I asked if I could make it and my mom said, “Yes, but you have to make my recipe. You can’t change it.” Read more »
Posted: November 26th, 2013
So, much to my dismay, I realize that it has been over two months since I have had a dessert recipe on here. That is ridiculous and a problem we need to solve today. Mostly it’s been caused by my recent focus on making our dinners easier and trying to find new favorite go-to easy meals. There was also the beginning of fall braising obsession that lasted for a couple of weeks. Plus some travel, some vegetables, and the launching of my meals plans (which I will hopefully have another edition of for you in a couple of weeks). But all of this should be no excuse for the lack of chocolate to be found here lately. Read more »
Posted: November 21st, 2013
Can I tell you what the hardest thing for me is? Being present. I always feel like I am trying and I always feel like I am failing. I always feel like I am waiting for that next thing or looking back at that past thing, and it all seems better than the right now. Except this year. This year it seems I am stuck where I am, and I suppose in a good way. This year it feels like Thanksgiving is so far away–I am still in full fall mode and I feel like the leaves are falling off faster than they should be–even though next week is the week. (Last year at this time I was guiltily listening to Christmas music.)
But the problem with finally being present is that I also feel so ill-prepared. Thanksgiving is next week? What? I’m not even sure what all I’m making yet, although I do know it will include rolls and some pies and perhaps a yet-to-be-determined side dish that I’ve bookmarked for months but only seems appropriate to pull out that the height of the highest feasting season. Read more »
Posted: November 19th, 2013
Traveling teaches you a lot about yourself. And traveling with my family teaches you an extra amount about yourself because it requires an incredible amount of patience as misfortune after misfortune happens. And it’s not just on big trips either. Even on a weekend trip to Auburn, a trip we make multiple times every year, you have to have a lot of flexibility and more than a little patience as cars break down (which happened to us last month on our Auburn trip), restaurants tell you there is a 2.5 hour wait, and satellite dishes cease to work correctly and a mad dash is made to buy an antenna. Then we do things like forget to give keys back to the right person, or forget the tent canopy and have to turn back around in game day traffic. But in the end, as it always does, things work out, and great trips can happen. And if you are really really lucky, you get to scream at plays like this and go roll Toomer’s for it. (I can’t. stop. watching.) Read more »