Someday, when we can hold hands and hug, and pass plates to each other, I will indulge my craving to eat my way through Italy. In the meantime, I'll make simple pastas with big flavors and try to appreciate the lessons of Italian cooking. I'll continue to be grateful for the lessons of this time, for resourcefulness, and for the difference a little lemon zest can make.
As much as this whole grain peach pie was a gift for Annie, it was also a gift for me. It felt so good to be able to bake for someone else again, to share, even if sharing looks differently these days. It felt reviving to truly play with food again, not for work, not for money but for the delight of someone else.
This week, on Earth Day, my baby turned seven! She has become a literary number, a good luck number, a Biblical number. This week, the love of my dog reminds me that time, all time, even socially-distanced time, is extremely precious and not to be taken for granted.
When my friend and fellow creative, Erin Kelly, asked me recently if I had read The Artist's Way, I felt a nudge from the universe. I've known about this book for years and had shelved it up high on a someday shelf. I'd never made the leap to reading the book and putting the free-form writing into motion. Until now. I could feel the conspiring of the universe. This was the time to start this path.
If there's one silver lining to social distancing, it's a very stripped-back, honest look at time and fulfillment. How often do I turn to Netflix aimlessly? How often do I pick up my phone to fill a void of companionship? How could I fill my life with more joyful creation... and more cookies!
This celebration of my cookbook may not look like what I expected it to look like. It's bittersweet to celebrate without the man who stood by my side through the intensity of the book process. He gifted me this, a framed copy of his receipt from that day in Barnes & Noble, and it will forever be one of my most cherished gifts. But celebrate, I will because it was hard earned.
"A rose dreams of enjoying the company of bees, but none appears. The sun asks: 'Aren’t you tired of waiting?' 'Yes,' answers the rose, 'but if I close my petals, I will wither and die.' And yet, even when Love does not appear, we remain open to its presence. Sometimes, when loneliness seems about to crush everything, the only way to resist is to keep on loving." -from "Manuscript Found in Accra" by Paulo Coelho