Peanut Butter Swirl Peanut Butter Ice Cream (with Concord Grape Jam Toast Crumbles)


Upon reflection, I see that, in many ways, I have hit the same note, every day, for years. In different ways. Some of them, simple.

Every evening, through the darkening light from the windows [because I have never been the kind to always hit the switch when I should]

spreading the contents of jars from corner to corner and sandwiching together, wrapped in cellophane and served with an apple and some carrots and something crunchy.

Every day, unpacking my tin box at a round table with the same faces that kind of changed each year. Chairs screech that same noise we never seem to invent anything to fix at the addition and the loss of a presence.

-and I wonder about the thing that brought me there-

It was always the same jam, the same loaf, the same brand of crunchy goop. Every day. And there was only once that I could break the smooth on top with a knife before the next time would roll around.

Did I even like it?

There were the kinds of each I chose.

just as there are notes that have been hit I haven’t liked, and

I have this idea that

If time is not quite so linear, then it can refract like multicolored light across space into the present.

and perhaps there, it can all transform

Sweetened condensed milk creamed with peanut butter and vanilla. Dollops of salted, homemade whipped cream like tossed sheets in the morning folded to make the mixture light. Freeze. Swirls of natural crunchy. Freeze. Toast crumbled in concord grape jam, and stir until

cold creamy chewy sweet smooth fluff (reawakened fluff, familiar/unfamiliar fluff)

Fluff.

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Katharine Hepburn’s Brownies


// A performance // They were not the ones. That sounds amazing. Thank God. I wrote,

You made me feel ordinary. This is how you made someone you love feel. I wrote,

You can’t be you and love unconditionally. I wrote,

I’m not changing for anyone. I don’t deserve to be invaded. I don’t owe you anything. Don’t talk to me that way. Don’t expect anything from me. I’m not here to serve you. I’m not sorry you didn’t get what you wanted from me. I wrote,

It’s okay if what you’re experiencing means NO. to something (you otherwise considered), and you do not need to justify your NO. or turn it into anything it isn’t by explaining yourself. No one gets to know your story. No one is entitled. I wrote,

I’d like all the little parts of myself that have felt unsafe to rest. And be loved. I wrote,

If you are your most you and there is love in your heart, you are not an island. I wrote,

Do you know the parts of her she doesn’t, the ones she cannot know? Do you think of them? Were you devastated? I ask you these questions (about me) in my mind’s eye sometimes. In the space between ask and the creation of an answer, you respond affirmatively. I wrote,

I deserve happiness. I deserve love. I am going to be more than okay. It is my time. I will sit with whatever I have to to get there, because I am worth it. I wrote,

I will be made to feel like I am silk. I wrote,

They were not the ones. That sounds amazing. Thank God.

The Autumn Playlist 2017


Thinking in terms of:

dust settling atop that which is not its endpoint–

confetti collections on trees, and also other likely places,

and unlikely places, then

let them all drop

/ suddenly / finally / in some ways / lighter

stripped of the things that may have weighed, I believe

[my life is going to change]

And that that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.

(Khalil Gibran)

Sea Salt + Walnut + Caramel Chip Cookies


There’s a word we all say weird. Or, rather, we do not say it in unison.

“cahr-muhl.”
“cär-uh-mehl.”

or, as my mother calls it,
“cär-uh-muhl.”

This is fine. We do not have to be doing everything at the same time.

I recently admitted to myself that I am very tired, and it was big [the exhaustion, and the getting there]

because why do we feel like we have to justify however we are, and why do we demand explanations of one another for things
because don’t you think that something probably happened in the years and years and years it took for us both to collide, and

why do you think I owe you something just because you are not receiving what you would like from me, and why is it that you cannot find that within yourself

love is not about possession. love is about appreciation.

(osho)

and sometimes, you just have to drop everything and take a nap and when you wake to find you set your alarm for 5am instead of 5pm and it is much later than you even planned to sleep but at least you let go and woke naturally for the first time in a long time (and you probably needed that),

-with softened butter and molasses and toasted walnuts and caramel chips you make a simple dough that bakes in eight minutes and tastes like fall spent sitting at your grandmother’s kitchen table listening to the refrigerator buzz and watching her watch the birds out the window while she rubs lipstick on her cheeks next to the cupboard that is always full of cookies-

everything will leave and arrive and leave again whether or not you have rested, and there may as well be sweet and salty and nostalgic along the way

Quick Pickled Red Onions


(eye)Lids close, and the projector finds its starting point. You see: The same story. The same one.

You do not have to see it again, really. It is written. [And it is over.] And you were there. But it plays again, anyway. Slides clicking, light flicking. What a long time to repeat oneself through the dark. Airtight, except for that which made it in with all that came before.

You finally buy a book a dear friend told you about [and the movies he said star: you]. You watch this version of yourself someone sees in you on the television. You tell yourself the first page you choose will contain what you are meant to encounter. Here is what you find upon opening:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.


And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wonderous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief. (Kahlil Gibran)

How silly to think we are immune. Lids open, and you start to realize that maybe what you told yourself (when you were alone and out of sight; when the curtains had lowered and the back stage was setting; when only you could see what was replaying) can be reworded.

Like produce turned to ribbons on the mandoline, purple-white bands of crunch to meet warm salt and sugar and water and vinegar / peppercorn dots and chili confetti and lemon twists / and left alone to transform underneath the confines of that which holds it in.

It is fuchsia beneath the casing of its bounds, a watercolor world within a world, projecting its transformation through the glass and waiting

for the moment you are ready.

Mint Matcha Macadamia Hello Dollies


How to try and mend a heart (part two).

I don’t know. There are no answers. It’s going to pump blood and ache or not ache or not ache and then ache again and then not ache for as long as it wants to. For as long as it can. For as long as it’s possible. For as long as it’s meant to. For as long as you let it. For as long as you don’t.

Things will piece together, as they do. And they will unravel. As they do. You will laugh. You will let some you love come near, and you might even let them wrap loving arms around you.

Do not harden. Do not let even a moment of your time be spent not feeling the things you are feeling as they arise. Even if it means banging your head on the car door because you got lost in your thoughts for a second.

You had other priorities. You were letting your heart talk. It was time to come back.

Still, listen. And let yourself love. In ways you didn’t anticipate. Welcome new faces. Hold hands in a moment of confusion. Forgive those you lost track of. Forgive yourself for the parts that you have played. And maybe you might start to wonder if the point of it all was to help you to realize that you are okay, either way, even with a slight ache sometimes, because

/ thank goodness things are and have been important to you / thank goodness you know what it is to love / thank goodness loving and having can be two separate things sometimes / and

since when do things ever have to appear the way we imagine them?

except, of course, when it involves mint chips and matcha mixing up Hello Dollies, because I definitely dreamed of desiccated coconut crust and semisweet chocolate and macadamias and sweet, grassy, green condensed milk long before it occurred, and my expectations were still surpassed, which brings me to my last point, wherein we acknowledge how the things we envision can also fall short of what reality delivers. maybelet’stry

*
*
*
*
&
*

expect greatness [without attachment to shape or form].

Zucchini Pizza with Lemon and Chives


Arundhati Roy pointed out, “There are things that can be forgotten. And things that cannot-that sit on dusty shelves like stuffed birds with baleful, sideways staring eyes.”

And she was right.

If I were to summarize my character, it would be with this: recently, I sat on a bench in my favorite book store waiting for my friends to finish up and buy something, already. Eventually, one sat down with me, and the other made his way to the register.

And then I decided I wanted to find a cookbook for myself.

(^meeeee)

In process, I spotted a different-kind-of-book cover. And some words: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. And underneath, there she was. The author of my favorite book of all time. Roy wrote something new.

The sticker read, “Signed Copy.”

If I know anything, it’s this:

coincidence both is and isn’t.

I think, in that moment, I needed to find a piece of this thing that touched me long ago. I was so different then. Yet, I have carried memory of my time spent reading The God of Small Things with me for years. I remember thinking of the twins while at a haunted Florida theatre concession stand. I recall weeping in bed reading the romance. I can still see those blind eyes as I envisioned them years ago, reading. And now, I am the me I have come to know, and I have a new book.

I wonder two things:
.

1) What if I hadn’t gone back?
2) What if I didn’t have people who would wait?

.
It feels like a privilege, because it has not always been this way. And let’s be real: it isn’t always possible. Sometimes, someone can’t wait. Sometimes, you won’t wait, either. But when you find it, do not take the love in your life for granted. Also, let it change you. And change with it. And grow with the ones who are willing to stick around. And don’t explain to people who demand. And don’t overthink it. Let it make you better again.

I don’t know, something shifted recently. And surprisingly. Like, it really didn’t seem like the time. And it took a really long while to get here. And I didn’t ever expect to. And I think that’s why it feels real. Because it took time. It didn’t masquerade as something else. In fact, it occurred when it seemed it wouldn’t. But I think maybe it was happening all along.

Memories of time spent at a huge dining room table with cats and a sweet little dog and my best friend in the whole world. Finally calling the doctor about something that Google later helped me to heal, after all. Cackling about feelings. Bags of coins and settling for PB M&Ms instead of mint ones. Grated zucchini mixed with cheese on top of crispy crust. It seems too simple, even though it isn’t. A lot went into getting there.

[but also, it took two more tries afterward before I realized that lemon and chives taste pretty great and sugar on pizza dough is totally neat and also yes please to parm shavings on top]

You live, you learn.