Love Came Down at Christmas

December 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

This is one of my favorite poems or songs, depending on how you’ve heard it, that truly captures this time of year for me. Christina Rossetti was a prolific writer of verse and, though many may seem simplistic in style, her poems carry an unexpected gravity that makes them linger in your heart and mind.

“Love came down at Christmas,
Love all lovely, Love Divine,
Love was born at Christmas,
Star and Angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
Love Incarnate, Love Divine,
Worship we our Jesus,
But wherewith for sacred sign?

Love shall be our token,
Love shall be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and all men,
Love for plea and gift and sign.”

It’s truth that I want to take into the rest of this year and the next and keep it ever before me. Enjoy a musical verson here.

Look What Arrived Today!

December 18, 2012 § 2 Comments

I succumbed to the lure of Joy the Baker’s Eat Boutique curated gift box including her cookbook and some very delectable sounding treats like maple syrup, caramels and Marge granola. Image

I’m calling it my early birthday present, and the big 3-0 is exactly one month away today. Perfect timing. Time to get to celebrating! I am excited to try out the goodies, (as excited as Maisy is about that white crinkly paper) and I’ve already pegged Joy’s Peanut Butter Cake as the first recipe from the book to try. I know Callie would agree.

Fresh Out

December 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

I don’t have a poignant or standout early food memory like so many writers I come across. At least, I can’t pinpoint one. Visions of mint chocolate chip Baskin-Robbins ice cream cakes on my birthday come to mind, and I remember a truly simple but favored comfort dish of green beans, chicken and rice cooked on the stove. My mom made two-flavor fudge and coconut balls and date balls (yuck.) around this time of year when I was growing up, and I watched and tasted but I’m not sure that I helped. (She made other dishes, like Swedish meatballs and fried chicken livers, that made me shudder then and now.)

I didn’t have a euphoric moment with food as a kid. There was a lot of Cream of Wheat and scrambled eggs and fish sticks and chicken spaghetti and the occasional box of Fruity Pebbles. We had a couple of so-so successful gardens that gave us passable corn and one really good watermelon. But, I can’t rhapsodize about my first strawberry or peach, though I do remember my mom stalking the strip mall where the peach man would park his truck every summer in our city. As a kid, I thought Pillsbury apple turnovers from the refrigerated section of the grocery store were the pinnacle of Saturday morning breakfast treats, and I confess, I still kind of do. Perfectly portioned packets of cinnamon apple filling, creamy icing glaze and buttery, flaky dough crescents…what’s not to like?

Maybe the wild blackberries we picked along our dirt-road driveway would be my most idyllic food memory. None have ever tasted better, or worse, if they weren’t ripe. Of course, memories for food, or anything else, might not be the most trustworthy. The best _______ we’ve ever had is firmly tied to where and who we were when we partook of it. I think food you eat while traveling can be so filling and good because of the sheer depth of your hunger after being worn out from schlepping and navigating.

Those coconut balls my mom made aren’t exactly the same now, and how could they be? I’ve changed, the ingredients have changed, and the recipe is never executed the same way twice. Those food experiences we extol as ultimate and perfect will always exist as such in slowly fading memories and serve as catalysts to seek the next great food encounter. Maybe chasing the elusive flavor is not about finding it again after all.

Where Am I?

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