the new book

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This past weekend, we had our first photo day for the new book.

The new book.  (Hold on. Deep breath.)

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letters from huldufolk house (a giveaway)

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Dear friend,

What it is that makes friendship last? No one would say that we are anything close to who we were back then when we first met, but still we know and love each other now, recognizing that each layer of onion skin, while different from the last, is between you were  (who I know) and who you’ll be (who I hope to know). Even back then when we were at the beginning (me, tiny 13, you worldly 17), I felt that I needed to stick around to see who you’d be. And although we’ve seen each other only a handful of times in the decades since, we’ve somehow managed to meet each other where we are just then. Continue reading

lavender lemon marmalade

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On exactly this day of last year, I introduced you to my lemon tree. I was proud, awed, and most of all, optimistic about its chances for survival. I swept up every fallen leaf until there wasn’t one left on the tree, and then, bolstered by encouraging cheers from friends that “lemon trees just do this, and they always come back,” I trimmed back the wood in search of green. I trimmed and I trimmed until the tree was just a trunk in its pot, and then, perhaps to punish myself, I left the dead trunk on the porch for the entire summer where it could continue to remind me that I had failed the life that had once resided there. Later in the season, I was at the nursery and the owner (who had both supplied the original tree and given advice and support when it was in distress) asked me how the lemon tree was doing. Head down, without meeting his eye, I confessed that the lemon tree had officially expired. Continue reading

first of the month: the sweet demon

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Sugar is in the news a lot lately. We’ve been talking about this some over on Facebook, and it certainly came up a few months ago in our conversation about nutrition labels. In Mark Bittman’s March 25 column in the New York Times, he pretty much summed up the current thinking on what’s good and bad–at least today:

…The days of skinless chicken breasts and tubs of I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter may finally be drawing to a close…But the real villains in our diet — sugar and ultra-processed foods — are becoming increasingly apparent. You can go back to eating butter, if you haven’t already.

And there you have it. Yay fat! Boo sugar. This lines up with the thinking that seems to be present over on the bestselling cookbooks on Amazon right now, too. Paleo, juicing, smoothies, weight loss, busting “sugar and carb cravings,” more weight loss, and lots of quitting sugar. When it comes to the demonizing of sugar, there’s some variety. Some people are just anti-refined sugar or hidden processed food sugar, and some people expand the evil bubble until it includes fruit. Either way, the general word on the street is that we’re all addicts in various amounts of denial.

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where to stay in montreal (or really anywhere)

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Joey and I have been to Montreal together four times, and with each trip, we seem to get  a little bit closer to actually living there.

The first time, we stayed at The Auberge Bonaparte, in the old port. It was our honeymoon and we splurged on a real hotel, the nicest place I’d ever stayed in. I was six months pregnant with Sadie, and I’d sit in the big bathtub in our white bathroom, listening to Joey read Harry Potter out loud from the deep window seat that overlooked the Basilique Notre Dame. It was deep winter, and for those few days in the city, we barely ventured outside of the touristy old port. Ice gathered like grout in between the cobble stones, and we walked a block here, a block there, eating steaks and fries and pastries when we were hungry. Continue reading