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Covered

There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares or duties.

John Muir

Wonders

This planet feeds us. It brings us water. It brings us possibilities for food. It brings us all kinds of wonders.

Sidney Poitier

I’ve never seen a goose poop mid-flight, but can you imagine?

How about that for a beginning to mark the end of 2021? All told, it was a pretty great year for us, thank goodness. Not that shitty things didn’t happen. Nearly six hundred family homes are mere ashes after burning rapid-fire near my childhood home. People we care about died (one from COVID) and got brain cancer, while others got married and had beautiful, healthy babies. Two had successful surgeries! Relationships ended and others flourished. Good and bad, how life always is. There’s probably a more eloquent saying for that, but I’m too lazy to look at the moment.

Two of my favorite people, hanging out for Christmas! We spent three nights at my parents, where Greg and my dad laughed and played ample pool while sipping adult beverages. I did not document my mom and I making tamales, some of the best ever, or us eating them, but I assure you it happened. We also listened to holiday songs, watched movies, admired the glow of Christmas lights, and played Farkle with my Aunt Mari. All the good things. Y-E-S, yes!

Juniper played and played in the yard of my childhood, and, as always, how fun it was to see the place of my burgeoning imagination run riot with her joy.

Shuttling about, we spent a grand evening at Michael and Mary’s, and another under the twinkle of holiday lights and the roar of laughter with our dear, dear, Andie Card. On the afternoon we went home, we stopped by my cousin Stephanie’s for treats and conversation and to see Stella grow stronger and stronger. An abundance of riches.

Yesterday, before the snow. Last night, after first noticing the arrival, I dashed onto the porch in my bare feet and shouted with glee. We awoke to several inches and it continues to fall. My word, how long in coming that was. Here’s hoping we get heaps and tons more this 2022.

And finally, the last of the 2021 food photos. For our holiday treats, I made: biscochitos (and created my best iteration, yet), peanut butter fudge (also my own recipe, which tastes like a PayDay!), toasted walnut fudge, cherry mashers (thank you, Joanna Gaines, though I used butter), red chile pecan brittle, butterscotch potato chip shortbread, peppermint slice, and brownie cups (peppermint chip and not-so-plain).

Our New Year’s Eve meal was zoodles with a fabulous Italian sausage and mushroom red sauce (homemade, duh!) and extra cheesy garlic bread. We live large!!

Here’s hoping this is the year we really bust through COVID and make every sweet dream come true! HUGS…

Fruit Cake

Good Friday morning to you, dear reader!

I’m fairly certain I’ve written about this before, but hey, I’ve got 1,799 posts (say what?!) out in blogland, and that is A LOT to remember. So, fruit cake take two here we are!

I often think I was born in some strange space-time vortex because I love a lot of foods, music, clothing, and miscellaneous yadda-yadda that my peers do not AT ALL. This is not new (surprise!). Among other outstanding oddities, I had a thing for Richard Nixon as a fifth grader, which on many levels still holds true (read this); liked the Doors when most kids were grooving to the BeeGees, and absolutely love fruit cake.

I legit wonder what is wrong with it: buttery, fruity, nutty, just a little boozy. Seriously, all the things! And will you look at it? It’s stained glass pretty, peeps. I have convinced Greg of the goodness, too.

It had been a while since I made it. Southeast 56th Avenue Portland, Oregon (gun not gone: never was, never will be) circa 2013. Eight years! We moved to Pittsburgh in December 2014, so it was totally off the radar amid boxing and unboxing and a Monongahela incline steep learning curve. Then my Grandma died, and she was among my chief recipients (Grandpa, too!). Then life, another move, and, truth be told, a whole lot of not remembering.

I also never bought any when I saw it on offer because I really like my Martha Stewart from ages and ages ago recipes, and didn’t want to waste those dollars, just in case. Remember that I am quite particular about my favorite foods, dear reader. Quite.

But oh, this year I remembered, bought all the necessary ingredients, and made a small batch. It is as good as my tastebuds could recollect and so heady with remembrance it makes me swoon. Take a slice and do a happy dance while the flavors pop and pop. Life is good.

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Pastel

The sky Sunday evening, beautifully illuminated, casting pastel light all around the garden. A perfect end to two very wonderful and productive days getting ready for this year’s green up.

We also grilled some chicken in a tasty Tex-Mex style, loaded up on salad and beans, and farted plenty afterwards (oh, yes I did!).

Since we’re patiently awaiting our ability to return to restaurants, we haven’t had our favorite beef bulgogi at ShinSaDong since last summer. I remedied the fact with another internet search. Ground beef bulgogi salad success. It’s the small things.

In the BIG things category – Greg got his first vaccine last Friday, and I am on the roster for the J & J this Sunday – one and done. Praise be to science and kindly nurses administering shot after shot after shot.

Oatmeal peanut butter cookie, gilded with peanut butter frosting. Sometimes you need extra.

I bought a Willie mug!! It has Trigger on it, too, plus blue bells and mockingbirds, state flower and bird of Texas, of course. A mighty fine sip, if I do say so.

Sleeping giants….

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