Monthly Archives: December 2014

The Unbaked Pies

  This essay first appeared in the 12/27/96 issue of East Bay Express.  Eighteen years later, on the 5th day of Christmas,  it feels as much a seasonal post as anything new I might write.      A week before Thanksgiving, and I’m making a list. Canned pumpkin. Evaporated milk. Nutmeg, allspice, and – after double-checking the cupboard – cinnamon: spices I won’t use again until next year. I flip through The Joy of Cooking to a page stained with flour and butter, and after reviewing Basic Pie Crust, lift the sack of flour next to the Special K to … Continue reading

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Why Manzanita?

I just spent four days in silence.  Every year, I load up the car with warm comfy clothing, good walking shoes that can get wet, ample reading material, knitting, my rosary beads (the Anglican rosary, which I’ve been carrying around for almost twenty years) and prayer book, and drive up to Healdsburg.  To, specifically, the Bishop’s Ranch on the west side of Healdsburg, in the Russian River valley.  This year, it poured rain pretty much nonstop, a welcome saturation in these years of drought, for those above flood level at least.  I arrived at the Ranch around four o’clock on … Continue reading

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Welcome Back

The holiday cookies are baked and the wreath’s hanging on the door. Sort of. I’ve baked holiday cookies once, maybe twice in my life. It’s not that I don’t like holiday cookies. I love holiday cookies—at least most of them. Gingerbread men are cute, with icing outlining their chubby little feet and hands, even if you crack your teeth on those little silver balls. I adore butter cookies, especially shaped into wreaths. Even typing the words “Pecan Sandies” makes me drool. But if you stop by our house this month, you’re not likely to be offered a plate of home-baked … Continue reading

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