Truth and Risks

I am not a risk taker. This is my truth. I have tried to be a risk-taker on a few occasions and they always landed on the side of “less than awesome” and more than once it was a god-awful experience.

That is not to say that I haven’t engaged in some terribly risky behavior. But there is a difference between doing something stupid and impetuous and taking a calculated risk. Stupid, I can do. Calculated is apparently not so much of my forté.

Of course, I was better at being calculated and risk-taking back in the days when I didn’t care if I walked the tightrope of life without a net. But now I’m not alone in this venture and I worry about how my actions will impact folks I love. Continue reading

Baking Bagels Because of Beavers

In my years as a baker, I have never made bagels. That’s changing today. And it’s all the fault of the beaver. Or perhaps I should say I am baking bagels today because the food industry of the US uses castoreum in many foods but allows the manufacturers to label castoreum as “natural ingredients.” And while we can’t argue that the anal scent glands of beavers are certainly “natural,” it isn’t something I particularly want to feed to my kids.

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Slowing For the Holy Trinity

Today started as a bit of a mess. That happens when I sleep through my alarm, seeing as how I move just above glacial in the morning. Even after I got the kids to their schools with their haphazardly thrown-together lunches, I was still operating in more of a lopsided out-of-sorts version of myself. I knew what the menu said would happen for dinner tonight so I got out my crockpot and started throwing the ingredients into it. And then, just as I was about to put the lid on the whole thing, I sniffed.

It isn’t that I smelled anything wrong. But I didn’t smell anything right.

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Ribs, or I Wouldn’t Know Them From Adam

I suppose I should apologize for such a silly little attempt at a pun. What can I say, it’s late. (Yes, I know. I’m actually writing this Thursday night. Shocking, indeed.)

But back to ribs and Adam. Or, more to the point, Adam and ribs.

I don’t know Adam, well the famously Biblical one at least. But I do know ribs. I haven’t always known ribs but since marrying Mister Soandso I’ve learned a few things about all things ribby.

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Doing Things The Hard Way

I’ve been lamenting for several days over the sad, sad condition of my kitchen floor. I’m pretty sure that if it were any more sticky, I’d loose either a flip-flop or a 6 year old in there. But of course, mopping said floor is never very high on my list of things to do. (Obviously.) But this morning, as I schlepped across the kitchen to the coffee maker, my slippers making a sound much like when I give my dog peanut butter, I figured I’d better actually mop the dang thing. And therein lies the story. Continue reading

Feeding Others

It seems my whole life has been spent feeding others. Obviously, not my earliest years, but since I was about five I have been cooking, baking and feeding others. In those many years, my role as a “feeder” has shifted and evolved, but it has stayed with me. The crux is that I love to cook and I love to feed people. And yet, feeding others has a way of starving critical bits of your own self.

To be in the role of feeding others is often to be also in the role of looking for affirmation. As a cook, there is nothing better than the seat dance of a happy eater. A case in point? Several days ago my son’s friend was over for a play date and after eating lunch, I gave her a brownie. The batch was a gluten free disaster so I simply put the overly-gooey brownie in a bowl, warmed it in the microwave, squirted some whipped cream on top, and presented it, voila! Remember that special scene in When Harry Met Sally? That was our little lunch guest. “Ohhhhh. Ahhhhhh, this is soooooo gooooood! Ohhhhh!” Seeing her in obvious ecstasy was both funny and affirming. Here was someone who definitely liked what I was feeding her.

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Chili, Lasagna, and Paganism

Peeking out my window at various times today has shown the day to be alternating parts of overcast, sunny, and cloudy.  Stepping out the door proved that we were not having a heat wave either.  I don’t know about the other folks in the the Northwest, but this feels too much like early spring rather than the first day of summer.   In fact, the temperatures have me thinking about cold weather foods like steaming bowls of chili or plates of lasagna.  Sigh.  Looks like the barbecue will need to wait a few more days.

But since the weather is not lending itself to grilling steaks and corn on the barbie, I am in the mood for some good ole recipe diving.  You know, that process of reading lots of recipes on a given “food” and then making up my own little version.  Which almost always is quite awesome and rarely reproducible.  I think the best part is just how many ways there are of making something delicious to serve to my family. Continue reading