Saturday, April 25, 2009

High time

It's awful to go without something perfectly good and healthy that you love. I do not enjoy becoming so devoted to one thing that all of life starts to turn in its direction. I can almost sense a funnel-like cascade as the planes that my relationships, my writing, my resting, and my other interests/priorities sit on tilt downward in unison toward a central hole that has swallowed them up. That deep, dark hole isn't so bad on it's own plane, but I've had to bring school to the smack dab center of my life of late.

I don't mean to paint this shift as being pure misery. I'm so grateful that I can say I've kept my sanity and maintained some peace-of-mind. If there wasn't an end in sight (now only two weeks!), you might need to be more worried about me.

As the weeks without finding time to blog slipped by, I resigned myself to waiting till after finals. After all, I've been making other sacrifices to meet my requirements; this seemed fitting too. But, I find myself here on Saturday night -- another weekend night, just me and my computer -- and my mind is whirring and my fingers are itching to type, so I'll watch the clock, but I'll also spill a little something out into the blogosphere. It's high time. I've missed this place.

I'm reading Molly Wizenberg's (a.k.a. Orangette's) book, A Homemade Life, and I'm sure that has something to do with my yearning for good words. She is a phenomenal writer, and I have been, fittingly, gobbling up each chapter that she vividly constructs through stories and recipes.

Whether or not you spend much time in the kitchen, I believe the autobiographical story she weaves through these pages is capable of thorough enjoyment. Her vulnerability is stunning. She does not hold back on the subjects of love and loss.

I received the book as a birthday present and am about halfway through. Surely, if guilt didn't hound me about doing anything but holding a paintbrush in my hand or researching female furniture designers of the mid twentieth century, I would be done with the book and working my way through each recipes by now.

There is one recipe that I already got to try. I brought the book, with a barely creased spine, on a mini vacation to visit my uncle and his family during Easter break. Being that our conversations and activities often fall into the category of food whenever I am there, I knew it would be fitting to share the book. That first night my uncle was scanning through it and spotted Molly's recipe for Custard-Filled Cornbread. Apparently another one of my uncles has a similar recipe that he loads up with raspberries, and so this uncle decided we ought to compare over breakfast the next morning.

It ended up being his comparison more than ours. It would have been too much for our small company to make two batches of cornbread, so we happily ate while he tried to jog his memory at the breakfast table and comment on the results.

I don't know what I'm missing from my uncle Jonathan's recipe, but I can tell you that Molly's is lovely. Surely, a kinder adjective can't be bestowed on creamy, slightly sweet cornbread served up with coffee and a pool of maple syrup while the morning sunlight is still strong. Lovely is just what it ought to be.

custard-filled cornbread

I can't make any promises of when I'll be back, but if I'm lucky, two whole weeks won't go by. If they have, though, you will encounter a different voice. One that is light and free and so ready for long conversations and lounging in the sun. I know the day will come. For now, I'm glad that I'll be able to look back and know that I gave my all in these last weeks of my last semester of undergrad.