It’s funny. I was sitting on a little grassy hill in March 2009, on an island in a crater lake in Uganda when I realized this peculiar truth, both big and small: I would always be a person who had lived in Africa.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a baker at heart, not a cook. My favorite things in the kitchen are caught up in the baking side of things: the feel of warm naan dough in my hands, Pippin and Scout’s help rolling molasses spice cookies in Demerara sugar.
But increasingly people I love can’t eat the things I love to make, and I find myself feeling guilty serving them even to people in the clear. Do we ever really need brownies?
“Now the aim of the good woman is to use the by-products, or, in other words, to rummage in the dustbin.” –G. K. Chesterton, “The Romance of Thrift”
First, let me say, there is nothing wrong with just having a meal plan rotation. I have recipes I use over and over and even a homemade cookbook of favorites. But I often find I have things to use up, and wanted to share my strategies for avoiding waste in the kitchen.
When we had this newest baby, someone brought us sourdough bread and J raved, and it got me thinking about dabbling in sourdough, at a time in my life when I should really only be thinking about how to manage to get all of us properly dressed in one day.
You might as well know now I don’t love Latin Mass. It falls somewhere between beer and Bruce Springsteen on the list of things I suspect I should enjoy and don’t especially.
Before I moved to this neck of the woods, my two experiences with Mennonites were a.) spotting the bearded men on bicycles in one neighborhood of my grandparents’ town growing up and b.) a couple of friends in grad school who had gone to a Mennonite church but were currently Baptist.
So, last month I finished On Pilgrimage, the first book I’ve read by Dorothy Day. If you’ve read it, you know it’s a weird experience — like if I printed out a year’s worth of blog posts, interspersed them with my diary entries, stapled it together, and called it a book. But only if I was as insanely interesting as Day, even at her most scattered.
One page struck me especially. We have a new tradition of mother’s blessings here, where we gather to pray for and encourage a friend as her pregnancy comes to its end, and maybe that’s why this passage struck me particularly.