Fudgy Flourless Cookies

Hospitality is a strange word.

Strange, at least, for someone like me who has spent a good deal of her childhood in and out of hospitals. Back then, I always thought it seemed strange to associate such an admirable quality with a place that meant sharp needles, stark walls, and cold rooms with a distinct antiseptic smell. Hospitals usually shooed away visitors, sometimes discouraging them from staying too long by rationing the number of extra chairs in a room. Why then, wondered my eight-year-old brain, does “hospitality” mean the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers?

English can be such a curious language sometimes. Or so thinks this non-native English speaker. Continue reading Fudgy Flourless Cookies

A lesson in patience

I learned quite a bit about patience this morning. Patience, heeding warnings, and moving on. All before finishing my first cup of coffee.

Disclaimer: I realize the previous paragraph makes it sound like I experienced a monumental epiphany this morning. On the contrary, this post is not deep, profound, or philosophical in any way. It is about memory cards and coffee. If you manage to extrapolate something more from this, that would be entirely accidental on my part. But yay for you! Continue reading A lesson in patience

Yellow blaze

One gray summer day, in a part of Connecticut I’d never been to before, I took my mom hiking up a mountain.

We drove up to Mt. Tom State Park, saw a sign pointing to a trail, and started walking. It was a cool morning and we explored the woods, happy to be alone together. I gave myself permission to feel and act like a three-year-old, happily going anywhere at all as long as Mama was holding my hand. I may have even skipped a little. Continue reading Yellow blaze


I think I’ve been wanting to write a book since I was six years old.

(I almost said five years old, but I’ve been noticing that five seems to be the default age my memory coughs up when I want to replace the tired “as far as I can remember” phrase with an actual number. Not that nothing ever happened when I was five. I know for a fact that I began playing the piano at five. I probably also told my first lie when I was five. “Yes, Mama, I practiced piano today.” Five is a safe age to use because it feels believable to have been at least marginally self-aware at that age. But if I keep using five for all my “since I was a child” stories, I’m afraid I’ll wear it out. Only so many things could have happened when I was five, I know. No kid could have been that busy. So today, I’ll say that I’ve been wanting to write a book since I was six.) Continue reading Roots

Of Hope and Expectation, and Finding Color Again

Finding color again. It was a phrase I heard Penny De Los Santos utter back in 2010, when she spoke about the darkness that filled her world after a personal loss, and how eventually, a trip to India brought color back into her world. It was a phrase that resonated loudly with me.

For the past 3 years, I’ve been struggling to to re-awaken my motivation for many things that used to bring me great joy: writing, creating recipes, music, and making pictures. I tried many times, failed many times, then eventually stopped trying. Life got too busy, providing me with a convenient (albeit valid) excuse to put everything else on hold while we worked on rebuilding our home. Even when I resolved to try again, everything I did felt forced. There was no flow. Nothing seemed right. I wasn’t looking for anything to come easy; I merely wanted what felt familiar and natural. Continue reading Of Hope and Expectation, and Finding Color Again

Finally (an update)

It’s been a while since I last posted an update about the fire and I thought today would be a good day for that. First, I want to let you know that the generous contributions from everyone helped us buy a used car that Tom and I now share. We lost three cars in the fire and only received compensation for two of them (the third was a historic car that had no fire coverage). Since our other two cars were just about 10 years old, we didn’t receive much from our auto insurance company. Thanks to everyone’s donations, we were able to buy a used Honda sedan. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of my old Honda, but I cherish it so much more because every time I look at it, I know I’m looking at a precious gift from all of you. Continue reading Finally (an update)

Browned Butter Banana Streusel Cake (Gluten-free!)

Banana cake was one of the very first things I ever attempted to bake. I still remember clearly the day. It was sometime in the mid-90s, when my hair was much longer and I still had delusions dreams of being some kind of Melissa Etheridge rock musician. I was at our neighbor’s condo, watching our friend make banana cake without a recipe, simply mixing ingredients together until the consistency looked right to him. I was so amazed you’d think I was watching someone split an atom. Continue reading Browned Butter Banana Streusel Cake (Gluten-free!)

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