August 06, 2008

There’s so much to say, dear friends, and I’m the first to admit that I’ve fallen down on the job at saying it.  I have yet to write a proper “farewell, New York” post.  I have not yet begun to enumerate just what it takes to leave the place you’ve called home for 14 years and move to a place further away from home than you’ve ever lived.  (The short answer, though, is “money,” and you’d better believe that I have opinions about this.  wink The sheer panic of the last week, of getting out of Astoria; of having to hire a private carting company to pick up all the trash we could not leave out for NYC Sanitation; of spending 90 minutes at Staples trying to UPS the last of our belongings to San Jose; of spending four days at a hotel on the ass-end of JFK Airport, taking Long Island Rail Road into Manhattan and walking around the city as visitors, as opposed to residents; of getting on the plane and having an uneventful flight (save for the moment when I tried to buckle my seat belt and discovered that no, I did not lose any weight this month as I thought I did); of arriving in San Jose, driving around for an hour with a miskeyed GPS system (once we corrected it for driving as opposed to walking, we were fine), losing our calm minute by minute, and then finding it again at the truly fine Thai restaurant on the Alameda where we stopped for lunch; of gradually getting our bearings and finding our home and our hotel and school and ‘mouse’s office—it’s all there, clanging around inside my head, which, really, is a terribly selfish place to keep it.

It will all be shared in due time, dear friends, from the pure joy of discovering what is considered “humid” in San Jose to the pure whimsy of stopping at a dollar store in Fremont to get some paper plates and plastic utensils following our Trader Joe’s run, and finding dollar packets of curry leaves at the register.  In the meantime, I can say that it’s quite something to consider:  in less than a week, we have gone from this:

empty kitchen

standing where the kitchen table used to be

empty living room

to this:

we live here

Okay, in fairness, we don’t actually live there yet.  We are living in a hotel in Fremont until Sunday, and then moving to another hotel in Santa Clara for two more weeks.  But at least now we know we have a safe place to land, and that, to crib shamelessly from Robert Frost, has made all the difference.

peekaboo

Posted by Bakerina at 11:22 AM in • (0) Comments
July 21, 2008

Oh, dear friends.  There will be a time for abstract thought, for careful consideration of the world around me, for discussions of the books I’m reading and the movies we’re seeing and for nifty recipes.  Now is not that time, though.  Barring weather silliness, in exactly two weeks from this moment, Lloyd and I will be in the air over eastern Pennsylvania, chasing the morning across the country, landing in San Jose somewhere around lunchtime.  Between now and then, we have packing and accounting and clothes-shopping and eye-doctor-visiting and a whole other raft of tasks that leave me incapable of much beyond simple subject-verb constructions.  Actually, if I remember both the subject and the verb in all sentences that follow, it’s a good day.  The mighty have fallen, and far.

As my boyfriend Gordon once sang, I’ll tell you what’s what, I’ll tell you what’s what.  Two weeks ago, life chez PTMYB was not happy.  My severance from LuthorCorp was just about gone and my unemployment was about to dry up.  I had no word whether or not my student loans had been approved, much less when (if) they would be disbursed.  Lloyd had had a series of job interviews for possible transfers to his company’s San Jose office, but none of them led anywhere.  Our apartment hunting had yielded nothing.  I began to wonder if maybe I had made a catastrophic mistake, if we should have stayed put, if I should have gone to Boston and just taken an additional loan to cover both my living expenses in Boston and my share of the rent in New York.

I am well aware that the best way to suffer a reversal of fortune is to crow about it too loudly, so I will not.  I’ll just say that the unemployment benefits have been extended.  The loans came through and will be disbursed at just about the time we need them most.  Lloyd had another interview on Friday, and this one looks good.  And—oh, mercy, oh, luck, O Time, Strength, Cash and Patience—we have an apartment.  Specifically, it’s a house, one half of a duplex.  It’s one bedroom, and not quite as big as some of the other places at which we looked, but it’s twice the size of our current apartment, it has plenty of space for us (even more space since the landlord agreed to lease us half of the garage for a shockingly competitive price), it’s close to all of Lloyd’s mass transit commuting options (both bus lines and Caltrain).  It’s three blocks from school and eight blocks from my part-time job.  It has spectacular amenities (which will be meticulously documented once we’re moved in).  It has been checked by my legal advisor and deemed good.  The landlord is friendly, outgoing, and willing to answer our zillion questions.  For the life of me, I don’t know what we did to deserve this apartment, but once I find out, I’ll be sure to keep doing it.

About the only less-than-perfect thing about our new place is that we won’t be able to move into it until the end of August.  That’s allright, though.  We have a room at a hotel in Fremont for a week, long enough for us to find our feet and go take our driving tests (for unlike New York, California won’t just let you turn in your license and get a new one).  At about the time that Lloyd will need to be commuting and I’ll need to be closer to campus, we’ll be moving to another hotel in San Jose for two weeks.  That’s three weeks in hotels.  We can handle three weeks of hotel living.  I guarantee, though, that on the day we move in, I’ll be unpacking my cookbooks and pots so fast that little trails of flame will litter my wake.  Then, dear friends, the fun really starts.

First, though, we have to pack up the kitchen.

kitchen chaos

kitchen chaos sans shelves

the hob

Posted by Bakerina at 06:24 AM in • (0) Comments
July 11, 2008

In the end, the NYPL host quoted Milan Kundera as saying, “A European is someone who longs for Europe.” To which I will add the implied: A New Yorker is someone who longs for New York.

“Nostalgia” is made of two Greek words: Nostos, to return home, and algos, which means pain or suffering. It is literally homesickness. Maybe this is how you know if you’re a New Yorker or not. It’s not where you were born, or how many generations precede you, or how you make a living, but do you long painfully for New York? Are you homesick for this vanishing city?

-- Jeremiah Moss, “Discussing Eminent Domain,” Vanishing New York

In just under three weeks, the movers will arrive at our storage space in Woodside.  Lloyd and I will pack the truck—we’re moving on the cheap—and the movers will begin their 8-to-15-day trip across the country with nearly everything we own.  On Monday, August 4, we will fly out of JFK.  From that moment, we will resume our Just Visiting status in New York for the first time since January 1993.  At one time, the thought that we would leave was as remote as Omicron Persei 8; the idea that we would move 3,100 miles away to a place where neither of us had ever lived was beyond consideration.  Now we are here, packing boxes every night, sorting what comes with us and what gets tossed or donated or given away, living on the verge of the next moment.

We have been asked often if we’re excited about relocating, and while the answer is still an unequivocal “yes,” right now we are in a place where contemplating the future brings not excitement, but trepidation, if not outright fear.  We don’t have a new apartment yet; my student loan money has not yet been disbursed (although I’ve been told by heads cooler and wiser than mine that the money is on the way); my unemployment benefits end next week (although apparently the feds have extended benefits for 13 more weeks, but I’m not sure of my eligibility) and my savings are running out; and, most troubling, Lloyd’s company may not approve a transfer for him after all—which means that he may have to take an unpaid leave and temp for a while until they figure out whether there is still a place for him in the organization after all.  Through all this uncertainty, he has been a rock, an optimist and a dreamboat, but this kind of uncertainty takes its toll, and this week it’s taking its toll on both of us.  We know that this is a temporary state, and once we’re all settled in, optimism and good cheer will rule the day.  Right now, though, contemplating our future is nervewracking business, so I am turning away from the future for a few hours to consider the past, and to think about what brought us to this point, the point where we decided to leave New York.

I could say that the decision to leave came with the decision to attend law school, but that isn’t really true.  The school shortlist included two New York City schools, Cardozo and Brooklyn Law, both of which waitlisted me.  Or I could say that the decision came on the day I was laid off from LuthorCorp.  Even as I’d said that I had no idea what the future held, I knew exactly what a future in New York would hold:  either I could maintain our tenuous standard of living by taking another hideous cubicle-farm job, or else I could try to find more creative, satisfying work that wouldn’t begin to cover my half of the rent, to say nothing of groceries or health insurance deductibles.  (This is one reason why, to use a vile old phrase, I’ve never “done anything” with my culinary school diploma.  I just couldn’t afford it, especially after Lloyd was laid off from his job with a now-defunct DSL provider.  Even after he found another job, we just couldn’t afford to live on one full salary plus one entry-level pastry monkey salary.) I do remember thinking “it’s not a question of if, but when” on the day that I yelled at a Republican for hassling a mentally-ill woman on an escalator at Grand Central Station.  Ultimately, though, I knew long ago that our time was up.  I knew it five years ago, the first time I saw the DeBeers Christmas ads at Grand Central.  I knew it then; I knew it every Christmas after that, every time I saw the new set of ads; I knew it, and continue to know it, every time I walk by a construction site for a new luxury apartment building.  I know it every time a specialty bookshop closes and a Banana Republic opens up in its place—or when a 30-year-old bakery closes and an Ann Taylor store becomes a bigger Ann Taylor store.  I know it every time a supermarket turns into a drugstore, or a bank branch.  (There was a time when I considered it a point of pride to not have to rely on supermarkets, and, in truth, I still prefer to buy my fruit and vegetables and poultry and eggs at the farmer’s markets, and restrict my supermarket usage for cleaning and paper products.  But I also know that my experience is not universal, and that supermarket access is critical for people on fixed incomes and for the working poor, and that the loss of a supermarket can have a devastating impact on a neighborhood.)

Of course, every time someone mentions that the city is changing, and that little treasures of the city are being replaced with charmless alternatives, there is always a chorus close at hand to remind us that everything changes, that nothing remains static, and do we really want to live in the bad old days of fiscal crisis and escalating crime rates and grafittied subways and crack and AIDS and Gerald Ford inviting us to drop dead?  Of course I know that nothing remains static, and it shouldn’t.  The problem I have is not with change per se, but rather the nature of it.  I could just be projecting a romantic view of the past, but I don’t think I am.  Businesses have fallen and risen, neighborhoods have shifted and changed, for as long as this city has existed, but at least in the past it felt as if there were a place for all of us, not just the richest or luckiest of us.  There were places for the very wealthy, both of the old money and self-made varieties; for the middle class; for service workers and artists and public safety workers; for grocers and milliners and clerk-typists and photographers.  Now Manhattan and Brooklyn are being gobbled up by one luxury building after another and one high-end retailer after another, and Queens isn’t far behind.  I think of a story I’ve told here before, probably once too often, about the time Lloyd worked as a temp for a nonprofit that aimed to bring business investment into Lower Manhattan after the 9/11/2001 attacks, and how the head of the organization told a journalist that she was after serious money, and didn’t have time to talk to locksmiths.  I think of a conversation I’ve had with Julie more than once:  Is it really a sign of progress that hedge fund managers and designers and real estate moguls can live here, but their support staff can’t?

I am aware that I haven’t even begun to discuss the effect of this sort of hypertactic money-chasing on the arts-and-letters community in New York.  Of course high rents and lack of amenities are perilous for artists, musicians, photographers and writers, and New York certainly isn’t doing itself any favors by pricing them out of the area, but from where I sit, I can see the disappearance of more than artists.  One of my favorite short stories is Patricia Highsmith’s “Where the Door is Always Open and the Welcome Mat is Out” (anthologized in both a Highsmith collection, Nothing That Meets the Eye, and an anthology edited by David Sedaris, Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules), about a middle-aged secretary who spends a strained evening hosting her sister from Cleveland.  Mildred Stratton lives on Third Avenue in the 20s and rides the bus to her job in a small office; she keeps a small, neat apartment, shops regularly at the delicatessen below her apartment, loves her quiet life in a noisy city and feels bound to protect it from her sister’s unsympathetic scrutiny.  It is a funny, quiet story about a hardworking, kind woman who doesn’t necessarily want to set the world on fire.  In the coming New York, there is no room for people like Millie Stratton, and, I fear, no room for people like me and Lloyd, either.

(Dear friends, I am aware that this is a scattershot, disorganized, unfinished essay, what my teachers used to call “not your best effort, Jen,” but I felt keenly that I needed to write this.  I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what I could say here, but I do need to take a break for some exercise and some lunch, and maybe a little packing.  By all means, though, this will be continued.  Thank you in advance for your patience.)

encounter

Posted by Bakerina at 11:43 AM in • (0) Comments
July 02, 2008

It’s not exactly the way I wanted to break a month of blogfasting, dear friends, but I keep headbutting against false starts, incomplete sentences and general pretension.  I’ve been doing this for the better part of a day, even though there are tales to tell, tales ranging from our preparations for the Big Move West to the superb four-day weekend I spent in Pittsburgh two weeks ago.  For some reason, though, the words have been stubbornly resistant, but it is only now that I know why:  There is cake to be had, and cake will not wait its turn.

Credit for the return of cake must be given to Ragnvaeig, who triumphed over jet lag and a bad cold to meet me in the city on the stickiest, swampiest Saturday in years.  Once upon a time, I promised her a cardamom-lime cake to call her own, and on Saturday she finally got one.  Long-time PTMYB readers may remember that cardamom-lime cake was going to be the signature cake of my bakery, the one I spent years trying to open, but didn’t due to insufficient financing.  I’ve written about it for years in this space, but I didn’t realize until now that I never, ever posted the recipe for it.  Until I made Ragnvaeig’s cake, I hadn’t baked one for a long time, and I wondered whether my memory was burnishing this cake, imbuing it with virtues it didn’t necessarily have, making it better than it really was.  You could have heard me exhale for miles when Ragnvaeig deemed it good.  (Thank you, dearest.) smile In short order, two friends requested the recipe.  The cake, dear friends, is back.

For all that I like to pat myself on the back for this cake, it’s not like I slaved over three hundred variations, testing crumb variables with different amounts of eggs or baking powder; nope, for this cake, I stood on the shoulders of giants.  The “base” cake is a basic buttermilk pound cake, flavored with citrus juice and peel, baked in a tube pan and soaked, post-bake, with a citrus juice/sugar syrup.  Maida Heatter uses this basic formula for her Lemon Buttermilk Cake, as does Gale Gand’s tangerine cake in Butter Sugar Flour Eggs.  My version of this cake, as the name might indicate, involves subbing lime zest and juice for those of the other fruit; I also add cardamom, and lots of it, about a tablespoon and a half of cardamom pods.  (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I’ve never measured the cardamom post-grind.  If you prefer to use pre-ground cardamom, I’d go with a scant tablespoon, but I promise that if you have something interesting to watch on tv while you shell the cardamom pods, the work goes quickly, and the resulting cake tastes amazing.) Whenever I confess to abundant use of spices, I receive counsel that sometimes there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.  Sometimes, the advisor is right, but in this case, I don’t want to hear it.  When it comes to cardamom, particularly in this cake, less is not more.

Cardamom-lime cake
serves 12-16

For the cake:

1 1/2 tablespoons green cardamom pods
Zest of 3 medium limes (I use a Microplane to get the finest shavings possible; if you have a zester, you may want to zest the limes, then chop the zest into fine julienne)
3 tablespoons lime juice
345g (12 ounces/3 sifted cups) all-purpose flour (or plain flour, for UK/Commonwealth bakers)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
230g (8 ounces/2 sticks) unsalted butter
403g (14 ounces/2 cups) granulated or castor sugar
3 large eggs
250ml (8 fluid ounces/1 cup) buttermilk

Shell the cardamom pods and grind them in a spice grinder until powdery.

Preheat oven to 350F/160C/Gas Mark 4.  Set a rack one-third up from the oven floor.  Grease a 10-12 cup tube or Bundt pan and dust it with fine dry bread crumbs.  (You can also use a starch-based release spray, like Baker’s Joy, but I think the crumbs give it a nicer, more even color, and the cake releases better from the pan, too.)

In a small custard cup or ramekin, combine the lime zest and juice.  Set aside.  Sift or stir together the flour, baking soda and salt.  (Sifting will aerate the ingredients more, but stirring will incorporate everything better.  I generally stir unless I’m making a cake without a chemical leavener; then I hedge my bets by sifting.)

Cream the butter, sugar and cardamom together in an electric mixer, using the flat paddle (or your regular beaters if you are using a hand-held mixer).  When properly creamed, the butter will initially cling to the beater, then separate from the beater and settle on the edge of the bowl, looking pale and fluffy.  Once the butter and sugar are fully creamed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping the bowl sides after each addition.  Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix just until combined; then add half the buttermilk, the second third of the dry ingredients, the other half of the buttermilk and the last third of the dry ingredients.  Mix to blend after each addition.  When everything is incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the lime zest and juice by hand.  Make sure to scrape from the bottom of the bowl to make sure no big bits of unblended butter are hiding there.

Turn the batter into the tube pan and smooth the top.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 20 minutes.  I usually turn the cake around after 45 minutes; much earlier and you run the risk of deflating the cake.  Once the cake is in the oven, make the glaze (recipe follows).  When the cake top is golden brown, a cake tester inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean, and the batter has stopped making a gentle crackling sound, the cake is done.  Let it rest in the pan for five minutes before you turn it out.

For the glaze:

125ml (4 fluid ounces, 1/2 cup) lime juice
54g (1.875 ounces, 1/4 cup) granulated or castor sugar

This is a doddle.  As soon as you put the cake in the oven, combine the juice and the sugar.  Stir them a bit, walk away and do something else, come back and stir them again.  Eventually the sugar will dissolve and you’ll have a very tart, sticky, sweet syrup.

To finish:

After the cake has rested in the pan for five minutes, turn the cake out onto a cooling rack.  Place the rack over a large piece of foil, large enough for you to fold up the edges around the rack.  While the cake is still hot, brush the syrup all over the top, sides and center hole of cake.  Pay special attention to the sides near the cake bottom, which will be dryer than the sides near the top.  Let cool completely before eating.  No, really.  You’ll want to cut into it while it’s still hot, but doing so will leave you with a gummy, fragile crumb.  Wait until it’s cool.  You’ll be glad you did.

Now that we have cake, more can be told.  And it will, too.

Posted by Bakerina at 11:23 PM in • (1) Comments
June 06, 2008

From the sublime to the ridiculous; from a consideration of the wider world around us to a reconsideration of my own navel; from “Here’s Why You Should Go See Heavy Metal in Baghdad” to “Good Lord, I Hate This Apartment, Especially Now That We Have to Sort Through All This Shit and Pack What Remains!”, so are the days of our lives chez PTMYB.  I’m sorry, dear friends.  You are a kind and patient lot, and you really deserve better than this. 

In defense of both my lackluster performance and my never-ending dog-eyed apology, I blame both on the Sudafed, on which I’ve been living all week thanks to the fourth headcold I have caught in six months.  You would think that since all of my subway riding happens mostly during off-peak riding hours, I would not be so susceptible to the lurgies and virii that float about the city, but it would seem that this is not the case.  I choose to blame it on the flu shot I did not get back in November.  I know that colds and influenzae do not originate from the same bugs, and one shouldn’t have anything to do with the other, but I’ve noticed that in the years I do get flu shots, I catch cold maybe once a year, twice, tops.  There’s a mistake I won’t be making again.  That said, if you’re going to catch your death of cold, you might as well have your death of fun in catching it, and that I did.  On what might have been the last really nice day for walking around until autumn (the heat and humidity are on their way to NYC, and they’re going to kick us hard, say the weatherweasels), I went to one of my favorite walking-around spots in the city, Flushing Meadows and Corona Park, where I walked over Robert Moses’s face with great relish (and I don’t mean the stuff on my hot dog [rimshot]) and took about eleven zillion pictures of the Unisphere and the Rocket Thrower before heading into Corona proper for the best ice in the city.  I’d say it was worth sneezing for a week.

But I do not come here to discuss the hideous workings of my sinuses.  I come here because many of you have not yet thrown your hands up in disgust at my slacktacular posting regimen, but rather have asked what our summer looks like.  It’s not boring, I’ll grant you that.  smile

Our original plan for summer—and beyond—was that I would pack only what I needed to sustain myself for ten months of student living in a 330-square-foot apartment, while Lloyd would stay in New York through April, when he would be fully vested in his pension.  We had planned to rent a Matrix and drive it across the country, staying in cheapish hotels and taking regular driving breaks, documenting neat stuff along the way.  It would be our long-awaited Grand Vacation, the kind of road trip we’ve talked about since before we were married, something to give me memories that would bring warmth and solace when I’m ready to drop out of law school and my sweetheart and helpmeet is over 3,000 miles away.  Once Lloyd was vested and I was finished with my first year of school, I would start looking for bigger apartments, sign a lease, fly back to New York and spend the summer of 2009 helping Lloyd close up the apartment and move for good.

Three days later, Lloyd announced that there were several job openings at his level at the company’s office in San Jose.  He might be able to come with me after all.  I spent about a day whooping out of pure euphoria, followed by a day of creeping realization that, should a job come through, we would have less than three months to close up the apartment.  Lloyd suggested that we plan as if he would be moving with me, so that we’d be prepared for any eventuality.  If it turned out that he wouldn’t be able to transfer, he could still keep our stuff in storage and move to a cheaper apartment share for the duration of his time in New York.  He started interviewing, we started packing, and then we waited.  And waited.  And waited.

It’s been a month since Lloyd’s last interview, and while all signs look good for a transfer, we probably won’t know for sure until the middle of July.  Lloyd has decided that regardless of whether or not the transfer comes through, he wants to move with me this summer.  No matter how carefully we plan and how frugally we live, there’s just no getting around the fact that the cost of separate housing in two expensive cities will hurt us economically at a time when I’ll already be socked with student loan debt.  There’s also the small matter of our wanting to be together.  smile So the die is cast.  The moving company picks up our stuff on July 31; it should take them about 10 days to deliver it to us.  Lloyd and I fly to San Jose August 4.  Until then, I pack, I blow my nose, I try not to worry too much, I tell Lloyd, in soothing tones, not to worry so much.

Say, Jen, you know what might take your mind off everything?  Baking, that’s what! It very well might, dear friends, but so far it hasn’t.  One of the unhappiest side effects of the whole packing/moving/contemplating the move process is that our kitchen, which was never the easiest space to navigate in the world, has become a cramped, unwieldy carnival of stress in which to work.  I never, ever, ever thought that these words would ever cross my lips, but I now find the time spent in the kitchen to be almost unbearable.  Baking, once my favorite way to spend a weekend, has now become something to get done as quickly as possible.  The thought of roasting a chicken and some potatoes to eat over salad, normally one of my favorite thoughts on a Friday afternoon, now fills me with vague dread.  A clever student of the psyche might say that I’m separating from the space where I have been cooking and baking for 14 years, pushing away from it the same way that teenagers push away from their parents as they forge new identities.  Or s/he might just say that I’m sick of bumping into things and not having a clear surface on which to put hot pans or cooling racks.  There’s truth in both answers.  I *am* sick of bumping into shit.  I’m also sick of fighting with an oven that won’t maintain a steady temperature to save its life, leaving all of my cakes half overbaked and half underbaked, no matter how carefully I rotate them.  On the other hand, that same unwieldy oven sits underneath a four-burner gas stovetop that works like a dream, and has since the day we moved in.  The odds are high that the new apartment in which we’ll live when we move west will have an electric stove, which is great for baking but not so much for stovetop cookery.  Every time I turn on the stove now, even just to boil water for a cup of tea, I think about how much I’ll miss our homely little stovetop, and the sound of the Amtrak trains bound for Boston roaring over our apartment on their way to the Hell Gate Bridge.  Then I ruin another cake, and I ask Lloyd if it’s time to move yet.

Nevertheless, I have managed to do a little baking that didn’t make me want to gnash my teeth in frustration.  Behold, the cookiepr0n!

chocolate chip cookies...with a difference!

very sirius

Just when I thought I could finally stop bragging about the greatness of the cashew cookies from King Arthur Flour Whole-Grain Baking, along came these little beauties, chocolate chip cookies made from equal weights of whole wheat flour (I used white whole wheat) and barley flour, which I bought from the Union Mills Homestead in Union Mills, Maryland, the weekend that Momerina and I went to Maryland Sheep & Wool.  I have made both chocolate chip cookies and a soft, cakey sugar cookie, both from King Arthur Flour Whole-Grain Baking, using this barley flour, and I am not exaggerating when I say that the scent of barley flour-based goodies as they bake is one of the most gorgeous fragrances I’ve ever been privileged to experience.  If you’ve ever gone into a bakery, inhaled that sweet heady scent, thought “mmmmm,” and then instantly thought, “gee, I hope that isn’t the smell of Creme Bouquet or one of those other nasty artificial flavor compounds,” I’m happy to tell you that barley flour and sugar, baking together, smell just like Bakery, only without the chemical overtones that would make you suspicious.  There’s no other way to describe it:  it is simply gorgeous.  It makes you feel glad for the day you ever learned to bake cookies.

Maybe I do need to bake another batch.  After all, if there is one thing Lloyd and I have been relearning these past few weeks, it’s the lesson that good things rarely come easily, or with peace of mind.  We’re not feeling easy, or peaceful, but we are feeling good.  I sort through a stack of books.  He packs them without an inch of wasted space, the way he did when he was a shipping/receiving manager and I was a buyer at the bookstore where we met.  We eat dinner.  On bad nights we talk about what we’re going to do if he doesn’t have a job, or if my loans don’t come through, or if they do come through but the bursar’s office takes time getting money to us, or the bank sits on the funds for a month before letting us touch them.  On good nights we remember that we are not alone in this venture, that we have friends and family who will not let us fall.  One way or another, we’re on our way to something really, really good.  “We have afters,” I say to Lloyd, thinking of the cookies in the kitchen.  His face lights up.

Posted by Bakerina at 02:52 PM in • (0) Comments
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