Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Cook and the Mango Tree: Ordinary Blessings

I need to feel the earth under my bare feet. Just a few hours ago, I was hurtling across the blue Pacific, returning home to Hawaii, my partner, and a houseful of guests. Honestly, I’m feeling more than a little tired and ungrounded. Standing in the kitchen of our Kailua house, preparing dinner for the

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Polenta à la Marlena: Food for the Soul

“Stirring polenta counterclockwise is to flirt with calamity.” Such are the words of author Marlena de Blasi, relaying old Umbrian folklore of kitchen wisdom and superstition in one of her bestselling memoirs. For several years now, ever since reading The Lady in the Palazzo (the first book of hers I discovered, though it actually comes

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Walking the Dogs, encore: Bees and Nature

It is early afternoon on a sunny day and I am walking my dogs through the tranquil, tree-crowded neighborhood of Carmel-by-the-Sea. After several days of guests in my little cottage, the visitors have just this morning departed. I have done the laundry, cleaned the house and swept their presence away, but there is still a new

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Gifts of Mortality: Appreciating Life

My mother died twenty-four years ago. It is odd to realize that she has been absent from my life longer than she was actually in it. Doesn’t seem possible, really. Last month as I rolled past my 47th birthday, it dawned on me that my mom was just a few years older than I am now

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