They always begin every meal, every cake, every dish, with the very best ingredients available. They never scrimp because of costs, and this is just one of the many ways the Sugar Nymphs shine above so many others.
On this Christmas Eve, during a holiday season that can bring all sentiments to the fore, may we be gentle with each other and with ourselves. My particular Christmas wish is for an acceptance of our humanness, for our own flaws and mistakes, our missteps and misjudgments.
I live a privileged life up here on the mountain, one made up of many diverse and beautiful experiences: quiet solitude within nature, good friends, good food and good dogs (oh, and yes, I must include the cats if I know what’s good for me)…
I have always felt safe in this vast solitude, living in pastureland cut from the old juniper and pinon forests long ago, out here among the coyotes and other wild things. Perhaps it’s offered something soothing to my own wild nature… On those pitch-black nights when there is no moon, with only the stars offering any sense of proportion, all of my nervous awkwardness falls away because I know who I am in those moments.
On THIS day my friend Kim Moss is busy baking an almond plum cake in the kitchen (here’s the recipe) and in preparation for switching over to my winter bed, I’ve hung new LL Bean flannel sheets out on the line to dry, so today these two things express the season most for me.
The bread turns into a kind of tender cake that sits in the midst of a creamy custard, while the apples and raisins somehow mix all through the whole dish offering sweet little surprises here and there. And the layer of bread on top turns into a crunchy, sweet crust that is making me weak in the knees just thinking about it.
And of course it is moments like these, all knitted together in one fine tapestry, that make me unspeakably grateful to be living this artful life, on this priceless land, in this remarkably rich part of the world.