24 Meals.

August 20, 2013 § 2 Comments

birthday

Last Saturday I celebrated my 24th birthday.

There was a moment, as we waited for my sister to emerge from the kitchen with a cake ablaze, that I paused to gaze at the faces of the friends who crowded around our table, singing Happy Birthday to my sister and me. How blessed I am, I thought, to enter a new chapter in a chorus of love.

birthday1

I didn’t expect to be home for my birthday. This year had its surprises for me — some of them sobering enough that I’m amazed and humbled to have tumbled through them to find myself in summertime, in summery spirits, surrounded by the people and pursuits that fill me up with gratitude. Good food and dear friends. May the year continue in this way.

birthday2

I’m taking this milestone as an opportunity to begin a new project, to help me expand my repertoire of recipes and move me along in my dream of becoming an exceptional cook and savvy hostess.

The goal is very simple: to prepare 24 meals over the next 12 months. Each meal should include a drink, a salad, an entree, and a dessert. I will try to host a dinner party each month to put my culinary matchmaking skills to the test.

24 years, 24 meals. This is going to be a good year.

—–

birthdaycake

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

To begin, here’s the remarkable cake my sister made for me. The recipe comes courtesy of Regan Burns at CHOW.

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Caravan

August 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Join the caravan of those who have turned their faces to the light.

I had a bit of a revelation yesterday when I was walking past City Hall with dear L.

Government Center is uglier than not on its worst days, with its cement overhang and the drab, geometric rim of its office towers. But the sun has a way of dignifying things — even brutalist concrete building faces.

These days have been surpassingly lovely. I scroll through my iPhone gallery and it’s all lens-flare and dusky diffused light. Yesterday, as we shared lunch on the Esplanade, a fog descended over the river and there was a gale of dewdrops and sunlight. It turned the riverbank into a prism and the picnic blanket (thrown around our shoulders to shield us) into cape-like wings. I read somewhere recently that sunshower is a word somewhat unique to our region.

sunshower

On our way back to our cars, the sun shone bright again, painting the rooftops and steeples and making the sidewalks glimmer. Even Government Center became a beautiful arena filled with gold and warm shadows. I grabbed L’s arm and cried a bit, right there on Cambridge Street, because it was too beautiful and it came upon me in a wave that we only have so many moments here in the sunlight. Our time here is finite. If I were prescient, I could count the hours left to me.

With that thought, I was overcome with a profound gratitude for my time and place in the sun – for the warmth and glow and hush and perfume and abundance of it. So thankful for the kindred spirit beside me, for those who make me revel in the moments we are given together.

I wonder how I can ever overlook these graces. They are the pulse of life. They move our caravan along.

Slowing down.

May 5, 2013 § Leave a comment

Near the center of a small park, near the center of a sprawling city, behind tall tufts of new grass, the undersides of the petals of English daisies are edged in fuchsia.

Goodness, and what else do we miss when we don’t let ourselves slow down?

englishdaisies

A Question of Fate

April 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

She prayed for a sign: she said,
“Be explicit with me, Heaven.
White flowers if for hope,
red flowers for a stop.”

But she wandered off the path that day
wherever she glimpsed
snowdrops or daisies
or lilies of the valley;

and she veered away
from the strange veiled women
who wandered the streets
surprising passers-by
by handing them red roses.

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