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Showing posts from January, 2014

Crunchy Fruit Drops (Spice Cookies)

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This has not been the best of weeks.  A week ago on Saturday my aunt died.  My mother called early in the morning to tell me, and such an announcement was not a surprise; my mother's oldest sister had been diagnosed with cancer a while back, and this past summer, I said my goodbyes.  That July, my thin aunt declared that she hoped to make it to August, when her granddaughter got married, and once she made it to that late-summer wedding, we all dared to hope that she would make it through Thanksgiving.  Once early December came and she turned 81, we all pulled for her to make it through Christmas and New Year's.  My aunt had determination.

About a year ago, my aunt discovered that I loved to cook--something that probably startled her, given my mother's own anti-cooking stance.  She asked my mom to give me her recipe box, which my mother mailed to me.   The box is full of cake and cookie recipes (peanut brittle, pumpkin cookies, coffee cake, powdered doughnuts)--at least 2/…

Chocolate Pots de Crème

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At the end of 2013, the husband and I packed our bags and headed north.The husband’s family acquired in August a vacation-cum-pre-retirement home about four hours north of our humble Oakland abode.Said home is nestled, and yes the verb must be nestled, in the redwoods, tucked in on all four sides.There, the husband and I have been appointed a room wherein we have begun to nest with big, furry blankets and a quilt from my aunt.The house is in no uncertain disarray with the kitchen having recently been torn out and reinstalled and boasts not a lick of solid furniture on the main floor save that of the white-plastic-lawn-chair kind and a dining table.However, when we come up, we do so with his parents, who in their generosity have made us feel as if this place has become our own as well.


On the 28th of December, the in-laws invited over some friends from the area, and the husband and I prepared the first official dinner in the new kitchen.In a sweet, overheard phone call to those friend…