Thursday, January 21, 2010

Rainy Day Fits and Starts

After three days of storms, complete with thunder and lightening, the rain has tapered off to gentle and dreary. The light in the house is gray and cold, like the weather outside and makes me glad that I live in modern times, with heat and electricity. Put down the blind (battery operated), close the drapes (hand-operated still) and turn on the lights and music. Cozy. So much so that I feel sleepy and sluggish--not at all like writing.

The big grocery store chain that I frequently order groceries from for delivery does not have an ingredient I want to bake with. Almond paste. Neither does the small organic delivery service. (Granted, that was a long shot.) Google tells me that Amazon has almond paste and Amazon itself has marzipan as well. Probably enough for two batches of the cookies that I want to make, one shaped like tiny hearts for Valentine's Day and one like shamrocks for St Patrick's Day.

Trouble is I don't really want to order it shipped. It should be available locally. In the past, I made my marzipan from scratch, first making almond paste from scratch. I know where the book is and I am sure that blanched almonds are available locally, but I don't think I am going to do this from scratch.

Second trouble is that if I buy the marzipan, I am then committing myself to doing this rather elaborate baking. So I will keep thinking about it while I go and do something else.

Friends brought lunch today and that was delightful. (May be part of the reason that I am sleepy, too. It was a biggish lunch.)

The Christmas decorations are almost put away. Another hour of effort and organizing and I would be there with the job all done. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe on Saturday. It's really sounding like a procrastinating sort of a day!

Today is the feast of St. Agnes--one of my patron saints. I was named for my grandmothers, my mother's mother was Agnes Elizabeth. So Agnes is my middle name. Sometimes I have wished that my parents had chosen Elizabeth for my middle name, but that would have been long. Often, I wish I had chosen Rose for my confirmation name because there were so many Roses in my family tree--but I didn't know that then and Mary was a popular choice.

I am grateful for the rain and that it is tapering off! Grateful that perhaps the drought will end and I can grow basil plants again. I will pick a project and go do it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happiness is....

Being blogged! I was blogged this week by someone who cited one of the products from my Etsy store.

The link is here,

It was so much fun to receive the Etsy convo (email) and see the write-up. I am so grateful.

Catching Up

It's hard to believe that I have let two weeks go by without a word on this blog. I am still here. The first week was simply spent enjoying Christmas. With all the decorations out, light shone forth from all the sparkling things and I took time to delight in all of it. Friends stopped by and the visits were so wonderful. One morning, I met the next generation of a family who have been like extended family to me for over thirty-five years. The children are beautiful.

Each year the holidays seem to have a rhythm of their own. There are the traditions, the things that are always the same and then the things that are slightly different. This year it seemed that the concentration of gifts was on food--a giant See's toffee bar, lovely tea, enough cookies to give a party and a wonderful care basket of a complete meal of ham and other goodies that brought my friend's party to me. I too baked, filling the house with warm, comforting, good smells.

I remarked about this to one friend and posited that it seemed to be everyone's reaction to the recession. Making and sharing food brings comfort and connects us to our roots, those food memories of childhood that in turn, for most of us, signify security.

I am grateful for the lovely holiday just past and grateful too that the earthquake did not occur close to me. (Our two little bumpers on the Calaveras this week were enough of a reminder to me that this is earthquake country.) The earthquake was also a motivator to me to take down the Christmas decorations and put them away. As much as I love them, they are safer put away. That is a curious psychology and one that I may, or may not need to explore further!

It is easier to get on with the work of the New Year with Christmas decorations put away.

May 2010 be one of health, prosperity and grace for all of us.