Burned Biscuits

A few weeks ago, I had some friends over for dinner. The family is very special to me; they have a connection to my Grandmother, who was a very important person in my life. Sometimes holidays are hard for me and this family has generously included us on several occasions. I had been meaning to host them for a long time, but was always waiting for the stars to align. They meant a lot and I wanted every thing to be perfect.

I should have kept on waiting.

I worked so hard to make a nice setting and good food. Rather than sticking with old standbys, I attempted Julia Child’s Coq Au Vin. It was a bomb. I overcooked it – no sauce left in the pan and the chicken was purple from soaking in the red wine. Bluch.

But, the lesson in the meal was not in how to perfect Coq Au Vin, it was in the learning that nothing has to be, nor really can be, perfect. The missing ingredient to my dish was my sense of humor and had I realized it then, I would have joked that this meal looked like something my Grandmother would have made for their Grandmother – I have the only Jewish Grandmother who wasn’t known for her cooking. We should have ordered a pizza.

A few days later, in the retelling of the story to a friend, I had a few really juicy insights. After our call, she sent me the following story from a blog she follows (www.spendwithpennies.com). With a lighter heart (and warm laugh)  I pass it on to you and raise my glass (and awareness) to good friends and good intentions. This Holiday Season, and throughout the coming year, may you accept others and yourself – and enjoy your “burned biscuits” lathered generously with sweet, creamy butter and rich, fragrant jam!

When I was a kid, my Mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my Mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! All my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my Mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don’t remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that ugly burned biscuit. He ate every bite of that thing…never made a face nor uttered a word about it! When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my Mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I’ll never forget what he said, “Honey, I love burned biscuits every now and then.” Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, “Your Mom put in a hard day at work today and she’s real tired. And besides–a little burned biscuit never hurt anyone!” As I’ve grown older, I’ve thought about that many times. Life is full of imperfect things and imperfect people. I’m not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else. But what I’ve learned over the years is that learning to accept each other’s faults and choosing to celebrate each other’s differences is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship. And that’s my prayer for you today…that you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He’s the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn’t a deal-breaker! We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship! So, please pass me a biscuit, and yes, the burned one will do just fine.”

Color My World

Orange is the new Black. Not only is it a terrific TV show, it also happens to be one of my favorite colors.

I am currently in a phase where I love neutrals (taupe, grey, creme) mixed with a pop of color. It’s showing up in my home, where I am working on choosing new living room furniture and in my clothes, where I am finding new ways of adding pops of color to my everyday khakis, jeans and black pants. This morning, I walked by H&M and they were literally giving away t-shirts. For $35, I got 6 t-shirts. I was so excited! It’s the little things that make the every day mundane that much brighter.


For some reason, I am seeing color everywhere and am having fun creating new combinations to bring it into my world during the cold, dark days of winter. I watch a lot of HGTV and pay close attention to commercials for decorating ideas (I’m probably the only one watching them anymore). I often flip through magazines while standing in a check out line and am consciously trying to take in my surroundings with a new lens on color combinations.  Walking the park today, I noticed the (gray) gravel and (light brown) dirt mixed in with some old orange leaves. After my shower, I think I’ll put on a grey sweater with a burnt orange t-shirt and khakis.

Recently I read an article on how color affects our mood. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/27/how-color-affects-our-moo_n_1114790.html

During this season of many emotions, I wonder if there is a color that is calm and connecting? Perhaps if all it takes is a colored t-shirt, then maybe we can find some comfort in identifying our own color of the season. For me, it’s orange. And I might throw some teal in there. After all, aren’t we often told nothing is black or white? Color gives us perspective. And perspective shows us a good life.

How are you MindFULL of color? What color brings calm to your world?

Let us know!

Freezerburn Bright

foodAs I opened the fridge last night, I saw left over potato pancakes (latkes) and a bowl of home-made applesauce staring at me. Once again, I made too many latkes and cooked more applesauce than Johnny Appleseed could stomach. And once again, I reached to throw food away. However, something stopped me this time. And I had an idea…

What, if for the next two weeks, as we return to work, school and routine, I buy only fruits and veggies, and attempt to eat everything we have in the freezer and cupboards  – until they’re bare?

Seems we often look at what we have in the freezer, and on the shelves, and then run out and buy more.

I poked through the freezer and took out two aluminum packages. Turkey meatloaf in one, Enchiladas in the other. Guess what’s for dinner?

My mom sent me a new book last week that has inspired this change of food perspective, Blood Bones and Butter – The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton. It looks delicious and I can’t wait to devour it.

Perhaps with this new intention to make my way through the aluminum in the freezer,  I’ll find some cookies to enjoy while I read Gabrielle’s story. I hope they look better than the Turkeyloaf.

What are you MindFULLY eating and reading this Holiday season?

Let us know!