Saturday, November 26, 2011


We spent Thanksgiving at my grandparents house. I walked around after dinner, looking at all their treasures, a lifetime's worth of stuff. I couldn't help but have the thought that this could be the last year I get to walk around their house like that. But I hope not.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

As the holidays approach, I like to get busier and busier. I'm working on my first quilt, making construction paper turkeys and christmas trees with Hayden, making healthy chili, adding vintage trims and buttons to some of my worn-out clothes to make them new again, and filling out antique christmas cards. But throughout all this, I'll have to remember to pace myself a bit. I also have a lot of doctor's appointments and medical tests this coming week, which usually means one thing: burn-out. And I don't want to be burned-out for Thanksgiving. There is pie to be eaten.

But today--glorious Sunday--shall be a wonderful day, if I have anything to do with it. I will wear my green dress and plum cardigan and tall boots, and I will drink too much cinnamon coffee, and I will take my husband and son to a Peter Pan show later. We will watch people "fly" and maybe have some gooey grilled cheeses afterwards. At least, I hope this is an approximation of how the day will go. I could really use a good day.

Or maybe I'll just go back to bed.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


The sun was shining through the big window, so bright my eyes watered. My skin felt infused with warmth and like it was golden, even though it isn't. I forgot what I'm not and remembered what I am.

Where and how do you feel beautiful?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

rosemary loaf cake.

I love this time of year, this heading into winter, if for no other reason than this one: it gives me an excuse to bake excessively. I find myself giving away cookies and biscuits and halved loaves of homemade bread because there is seriously no way we can eat all of this by ourselves.

One of my favorite cookbooks is How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Ahh Nigella, you do truly own a piece of my heart with your witty anecdotes and your habit of (very) shamelessly going back for seconds...thirds. She's such a babe, isn't she? Quite bodacious, and her recipes are out-of-this-world delicious, even the more humble ones.

One of the recipes in this book I always go back to is her rosemary loaf cake. This is a beautiful cake, so aromatic and comforting, with an interesting mix of sweet and savory flavors. It goes incredibly well with tea or strong coffee, or, if you're my son, chocolate milk. I've learned over time to let it sit for 2 days before even tasting it--a true exercise in will-power if there ever was one. But seriously, try to wait. It's gloriousness isn't quite there right after its baked. Just eat your weight in cheese or something while the cake sits and becomes amazingly damp and dense. Yum.

Rosemary Loaf Cake

1 cup plus 2 tbsp soft unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/3 cups self-rising cake flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
about 2 tsp chopped rosemary needles
4 tbsp milk
1-2 tbsp brown or white sugar

9 x 5 inch loaf pan, buttered and lined with parchment

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream soft butter and sugar.
Beat in eggs one at a time, folding in a spoonful of flour after each addition. Add the vanilla. Fold in the rest of the flour, then the rosemary. Thin the batter with the milk. Pour into the prepared pan, sprinkle the top with sugar and bake for about an hour. Cool cake in its pan. Serves 8-10.