My sweet parents joined us at the farm on Wednesday night for dinner and just catching up. I made my version of all-day Indian food, which amounts to Tikka Masala made with boneless chicken thighs (soaked for hours in spiced, full fat Greek yogurt), several large discs of garlic naan bread (I definitely overcooked a few of them), some steamy jasmine rice, and heaps of garlic-roasted broccoli. We ate well, enjoyed much needed conversation, and laughed so much. During dessert (simple brownies) we watched the kids’ wedding video and photo slideshow, and Handsome and I told them lots more stories from their third grandchild’s wedding. They laughed and wept and smiled the whole time. It was hard and strange for none of the bride and groom’s grandparents to attend (due to covid restrictions), but as always my parents just rolled with it. They were happy to see everything in photos and hear about all the details and special moments. They celebrated with us as if they had been there. Nothing but love and support.
How wonderful to have my parents here, near me, alive and healthy and engaged in life. I look around and see so many friends who don’t have their parents or who don’t have this kind of warmth with their parents, and it only deepens my gratitude. Mom and Dad have walked us through so many chapters in life, many of them easy breezy, many of them terrifying and uncertain. They just don’t shy away from anything. And they’re lots of fun.
Here is a photo of Jess and me at her wedding. I cried thousands of happy tears that weekend, just overwhelmed by and speechless from the deepest joy, very much like when she was born. Around the moment this photo was taken, she said, “Mom I think you’re gonna dehydrate.”
I finally ordered most of my garden seeds, whew! They will begin to trickle into my turqouise mailbox over the next few weeks, and I will use the broad tables and bright windows in the upstairs Apartment to give them the best possible start in life. I have also begun the annual Clearing of the Oak Leaf Ocean outdoors, which is easily the most laborious precursor to the growing season. Also one of the most exciting jobs, because it means winter is literally being swept away. Our compost bins are all full and cooking away nicely. Very ready to feed the soil.
I want to relocate our two ducks to the front coop to try out some companionship living with Johhny Cash, the lone gander. He is peaceful enough with the chickens and roosters but does seem a bit lonely since Mama Goose passed. Plus, Rick Astlee and Mike Meyers Lemon are occassionally agressive to the small hens in the south coop. I think the big girls up front have a better chance of putting them in their place. I am sure this is riveting to you. I promise to keep you updated whether you like it or not.
Also in poultry news, the girls are laying like crazy! One new hen up front is laying mint blue eggs, which is thrilling to me. Maybe I should name her Tiffany.
Handsome and I both needed a little sweet indulgence today, so I made a small pan of “Chocolate Peanutbutter Oatmeal Bars.” Here’s the easy recipe:
BASE: Blend together the butters and sugars, add the egg, incorporate flour, baking soda, salt, and vanilla, and oats. Spread dough in a prepared small, deep dish baking pan (I used mine that is just smaller than 9×13), bake at 350* for 20 minutes.
1/2 cup butter, melted to brown then cooled.
1/3 cup peanutbutter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 plain white sugar
1 large egg
tsp baking soda
1 c flour
1 c oats
FROSTING: Making frosting while bars bake. Just blend together 1 c powdered sugar with 1/2 c peanutbutter, add milk or cream until you get a spreadable consistency.
FINISH: When baked bars come out of the oven and are still warm, sprinkle with 1 c of chocolate chips (more if you are a happy person). As they melt, spread and smooth the chocolate gently over the top of the bars. Eventually, dollop the peanutbutter frosting on top and spread that too, then allow to set up a bit. Very good with ice cold milk.
A quick word about running: Over the past several months I have been rebuilding gradually and carefully, leaving extra energy on the table and being really careful about soft tissue happiness and joint mobility, also trying my best to be patient about pandemic time management, life balance stuff. And it is paying off. Yesterday I ran 12 miles for the first time in months, and it felt amazing and actually easy. I had loads of extra energy to spare, and nothing hurt. The feeling of being in tune with myself and at ease with life is just irreplaceable.
I have recently finished reading two few books that were straggling on my shelf of good intentions, and for very different reasons I am so glad to have read them:
Fear Itself: the Causes and Consequences of Fear in America (bu Ann Gordon, L Edward Day, and more, it’s a heavy research book)
The Pull of the Moon (by Elizabeth Berg)
With a little luck I will post reviews on each book this month. Have you read either one?
As I close up today, I am happy to see emails notifying me that two of my three giant seed orders have shipped. I might celebrate by eating another cookie bar and doing a few yoga stretches, because no running today.
Have you every been in a cult?
Over and out!
Don’t join a cult.
Just grow a garden
and bake something.
Maybe go running.