Readers and Friends, what a year it has been-
likely the most honest and rewarding of my adult life, having never roped a wild young toddler
and tempered his natural charm with a few necessary manners
and smothered him with kisses.
I cannot call him tame, I would never want to. He is wilding me.
Yes, he has begun requesting kisses. We melt into puddles daily
at his small feet.
On this fine warm California Christmas day I want to share with you
one of the most festive recipes I have under my belt, care of my very excellent mother.
Once you've baked it you'll see, this is a rich gift indeed.
There is a lot to celebrate today, a lot to wish for.
We received some clarifying words on a situation that's broken our hearts,
words that give so much hope in the greater picture of things.
Relative blessings... isn't everything a relative blessing?
Everything lately has reminded me to use the good dishes,
spray the expensive perfume.
Hoard nothing: life is to be spent with a luxurious hand
in good clean hard work that brings satisfaction
in generosity of heart
and a well-rested soul
I overworked madly this month, honoring requests and falling behind.
I may have let a few folks down
by saying 'yes' when my mouth was too tired to form words
and then admitting my overreach.
I've nearly forgotten how to tend to myself.
I am working hard to remember.
How does that happen, exactly?
I've never been more excited for a new year than I am for this one
100% because of Orion and Schmilly (and those delicious bad cats),
in the delight I take loving this small and powerful family unit.
In the waning days of this year I wish you unfinished projects neatly tied
and souls set on fire with passion
for whatever pleases them.
From the warmest part of my heart I wish you peace
and a bar set high
for your well-being and abundance.
You are worth all of it and then some,
you magnificent creature.
Merry Christmas from all of us here to all of you.
Sunny, Schmilly and O
CRANBERRY ORANGE BREAD
Makes 1 large loaf or 3 small loaves
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup solid vegetable shortening (I use butter)
3/4 cup of orange juice
1 egg, well beaten
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1 cup fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
Heat oven to 350
l. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into medium bowl; cut in shortening (or butter) until mixture resembles coarse meal. Beat juice, egg, and zest lightly in small bowl; add to dry ingredients, tossing with fork until mixture is evenly moistened. Fold in cranberries.
2 Turn batter into lightly greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan, or divide evenly among three 5 11/16 x 3 1/4 x 2 inch disposable foil loaf pans. (I found pans that were not disposable. I don't know how easy they are to locate) Bake until golden brown and wooden pick inserted in center of cake is withdrawn clean, about 1 hour for large loaf, about 45 minutes for small loaves. Cool pans on wire rack 10 minutes; turn out bread. Continue cooling to room temperature.