On a Sunday afternoon visit to a rural one room schoolhouse, on the opposite end of the county from where my great-grandmother taught a century ago, I thought about how we learn, where we learn, and why we learn. I also thought about how fortunate I was/still am to be surrounded by a family of public educators. That legacy of a lifelong love of learning is not something I take lightly.
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Deviled eggs: one tasty dish that I associate with the return of Spring. I first remember eating them at my grandma’s house for Easter dinner, then as part of the potlucks during Memorial Day and Fourth of July cook-outs. It never occurred to me why my deviled eggs never tasted like those that I remembered eating at family gatherings. I had been following, what I thought were, fairly standard deviled egg recipes; they all included some sort of mustard. It turns out that the deviled eggs I grew up to love only had three ingredients — eggs, sugar and “salad dressing” (a sprinkling of smoked paprika was my addition). I learned this fact when I made deviled eggs with my mom this past Easter, her way. She turned to her recipe box and pulled out an index card describing her mom’s recipe. We laughed at the spelling of the title, and she told me, “I typed this recipe card the day before I left for college.” Slightly sweet and simply egg-creamy. Now I look back at these photos and think of the promise of Spring and the comforts of home.
A helpful resource: 5 Secrets to Perfectly Hard-Boiled Eggs – thank you, Design Mom.
A few weeks ago I was in Manhattan for a quick research trip with my mom (though all researchers know that there is no such thing as quick research). It was snowing when we flew into the city at midnight, and despite cool temperatures, there were signs of spring throughout the city. These photos were taken nearby Central Park South. Sculpture by Olaf Breuning.
I’ll admit that I was not thrilled with the idea that my niece chose a prefab Cinderella castle kit from the store for our annual gingerbread session this year. She loves to bake and is now old enough to see the project through from scratch. I was looking forward to designing our own charming chalet or creative candy cottage a la Hansel and Gretel. In the end, the gingerbread castle we put together from the kit still allowed for unique touches. My favorite parts are the mice dancing on the roof and the alien-looking snowmen with the blue eyes (all from the brain of the sweet five-year-old). I need to remember that these activities are, above all, about togetherness and that the outcome will inevitably be as unique and fabulous as the individuals involved.
It happened again: lots of living and not much blogging. This summer has been adventurous and at times, delicious. I am grateful for the milestones we celebrated and the simple moments we savored. When I look at these photos I remember unexpected treats from this past season; wishing all of you those reminders of the good times. I sense a reflective autumn coming on.
Together with my sister and her kids, we hand-cranked a batch of vanilla ice cream with our grandma/great-grandma on the cement outside of her front yard. We were celebrating her 85th birthday… the same way we did when my sister and I were kids.
These are a few pictures from the whirlwind Eastbound research & family road trip I took with my mom several weeks ago. Yep, that’s the trip I made the granola for; behold! it was a snack lifesaver after two engine-smoking tows and one hazy and stormy Hudson River migraine. We reconnected with family, made new friends along the way, and were introduced to new tastes like Scrapple, Water Ice & Custard, Reuben Egg Rolls, and fresh Sheep’s Milk Ricotta.
Little did I know the directions my life would be moving in when I took off in the car that May day. I did not mean to abandon this blog, but I did mean to enjoy life’s moments as they unfolded. For one reason or another, taking pictures and posting them in a blog article did not quite fit.
I am away from home again as I write, this time I’m in Chicago for a library conference. During these two trips I have been struck by the feelings of home I have felt while being away, away from my fairly predictable home base. These feelings are still difficult for me to articulate, but I am working on it. I do know that having people in my life to share these moments with, big and small, at home and away, makes all the difference.
So, hello again! and I hope that all of you have experienced those tangible and intangible feelings of home since I’ve been away from the cozywalls blog. I’ll be back sooner than later this time; I participated in my first-ever community food swap last weekend!
The colorful plastic eggs were not hard to find this year since most of nature is still brown. The egg hunting soon turned into egg tackling, as it became a race to the bright treasures. “I recovered three from my sister’s fumble,” my nephew cheered triumphantly.