Tag Archives: bread

Sunday morning snapshot

The house smells of curry. My hands do as well, faintly, the tips of my fingers a little yellow from messing about with spices. Stronger than curry is the scent of clementines when I touch my face. That, more than anything, more than the snow outside, more than the chill wind that blows in when someone opens the door, tells me winter’s coming.

There are chickpeas bubbling on the stove. There’s bread rising on the counter. There’s a new sourdough starter fermenting in the corner. Ripley, the “young” cat at seventeen, is migrating around the house with the sun, finding a warm patch here and there.

(Have I told the story about how Ripley got her name? She came to us at one week old, when her feral mother dropped her by the side of the road. Aside from being much too young to have no mother, she also had been exposed to distemper in utero and had a terrible case of the shakes. I felt like she needed a tough name in order to survive, and at that moment the toughest one I could think of was Ripley, mighty fighter of aliens.)

Our old lady dog is sleeping on the recliner. It’s a break from my son’s bed, which she believes was bought for her and which she generously shares with him. She likes winter coat season because coats that drop to the floor are also fair game as beds.

There’s tea that’s already been drunk, and tea still to be made. I owe my dear spouse a chapter of Crossroads, and owe myself another game of solitaire. I still have carrot soup to make tonight as well, and it seems like the kind of day when all I should do is bake. Almond…something with almond, because that is what I want when things turn cold. There’s the threat of a nor’easter this week, and that brings out the chipmunk in me, stashing food around the house. I’d be grateful to pass through another winter without any of the weeklong power outages we’ve had every few years of late.

But that is not today. Today is blue sky and brisk wind and pines dancing in the back yard. The kind of day I could find fox tracks in the fresh snow if I were to look. The kind of day to close my eyes and start to imagine a Montana blizzard, and a seventeen-year-old girl wandering out into it and finding…well, that’s mine to write.

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Things to do when people are in your basement, tearing apart your heating system

1. Make pizza sauce. From scratch. From a pile of tomatoes. Because it makes you feel useful. And focused. And normal, in a way that a slightly feral, overly imaginative, often anxious homeschooling mother might not feel when strangers are looking in.

2. Make bread. Why? See above.

3. Try not to listen to the sounds of blow torches and draining pipes and clanging metal and occasional loud voices. Definitely try to not imagine a disaster down there.

4. Tell the dog everything is just fine when she sees a unfamiliar truck parked in the backyard and barks. And barks. And barks. Watch the dog go back to sleep.

5. Drink tea that went cold while doing steps 1-4.

6. Remember you are a writer. Realize that you don’t have to be here, that you have a teenage girl named Blue at a bus stop waiting for you. She’s been waiting for a day or two, and you’re the only one who can get her out of there. She doesn’t care about the hot smell of the newly welded pipes, or the thud of something very heavy falling to the floor. She just wants to get on that bus, the one you have to send her way, so she can find her sister.

7. Write.