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
I made these mini cakes to reclaim my birthday cake tradition but also as a way to choose life and joy instead of fear. It seems appropriate that now, as I'm sharing the recipe, the world is in the grips of fear. We're in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and when I start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, scared or all of the above, I remind myself to return to gratitude.
The Coronavirus has hurled us all into strange and uncertain times. These are my quarantine tips, the tools I'm using to remain as grounded and calm as possible. Incidentally, most of these tips are generally useful for working from home/freelancing under "normal" circumstances. What about you? What tools are helping you during social distancing?
Chocolate chip pancakes conjure the moments in childhood when I felt the safest, the most innocent and the most loved. I've updated these gluten-free oat pancakes to be heartier, healthier and more sustaining, but I hope the feeling remains the same. For those moments when you want to pretend this is just an extended snow day, these pancakes are here.