Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cinnamon Buns

Dough is rising before 7:00am, which means it is one of my children's birthday. That is a tradition that I can't remember when it started...but once it did at least 4 times a year the whir of the kitchen-aid and the dust of flour fills the air. I don't think I am particularly good at cinnamon buns...but having 4 kids has made for lots of practice. Before Samee left for Winnipeg I was trying to find a way to celebrate through the tears. Mikee suggested gluten-free cinnamon buns - which was perfect. Samee will be celebrating her birthday in Winnipeg this year....so the Samee version was our last morning. Food connects us....reminds us...satisfies and sometimes feeds something we didn't even know was lacking. I made this for you...I know you love chocolate, seafood, edamame...are all ways to let a person know we consider them...regard them...love them. Food traditions abound around a family table. Formal dinners at are house have had to eliminate corn. There is a long standing joke within that could be construed as rude and uncouth. The joke is still floating around and has eked out in several places....but I do what I can to quash the guffaws when I am trying to have a sense of decorum. People know I love to cook..and love when people eat. I am the Canadian version of a Italian mom that wants others to enjoy the fruit of my labour. JJ Bones cannot come to my house without asking "what's for supper?" and pointing at the dining room. For him, that is where we gather... He actually could care less what I make. For the most part he is drawn to the meat and the buns...but he doesn't like when someone is missing...and he likes to sit at my left hand beside his brother. He connects to the din of the table interjecting silly comments now and then....it is wonderful. The first time a young lad from Australia sat at my table the cacophony was intimidating I am sure. Chicken and rice were passing quickly and I could see he was not used to the pace of the Andersons....nor the protocol. When I let him know it was fine to ask to pass something, in a voice a little louder than he or I expected he asked for food. No one blinked an eye - they just started passing things down. "You'll fit right in" I said....and he has. I miss him at my table. Today the smell of cinnamon is wafting through the air in anticipation of a rising birthday girl. I hope she hears what the food is telling her.

Friday, September 14, 2012

We all need..

..appreciation...respect...to be recognized....some more...some less...but it isn't nearly as egocentric as we might think... At least that is my conclusion to this week. I was dreading it. Dreading having credentials paraded and announced from a too small podium. Afraid of posturing and heads so big they could barely fit through the door. Uncomfortable with dronings from those whose voice was trying ever so hard to be heard amid the din of others...... It wasn't like that. Today. It was completely and utterly negative free. There was sharing, collaboration, humility, laughter, information, opinion, disagreement, spreadsheets, figures, data, tools, analysis, laughter, food, laughter, appreciation, pool, laughter, games, laughter, bonding, laughter, confession, laughter, appreciation, respect, camaraderie, team building, hugs, laughter,respect. We all struggle. Some with ourselves, our demons...some with loss, some with disappointment and sadness... None are immune to the reality of life..changing of seasons happens...even if we hate the winter. Among my comrades I heard their pain and displacement in life....their joy and their success....their anxiety and their hope. I learned some have ridden bulls, jumped from planes and endured needles without doctors. Some are well-traveled while others are travellers who have experienced life in many continents. One has loved the camera while another has quietly created beauty that speaks to souls. A few ride bikes, both motorized and non...and a tattoo was revealed that made us do an elbow pump... The motley crew that have assembled for the business meeting have had a different kind of meeting. The kind that knits hearts and memories together...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

resetting....

That is the mode we are in....warming up to the changes of quieter dinners and the kids flitting in and out of our lives - a few by Skype...one when laundry is necessary and the other, though around is planning her exit in November to Australia... It has been easier than anticipated for me. Not that I don't miss the kids..the bustle...the chaos of Saturday morning breakfasts for ten or twelve...laundry, dishes, shopping, leftovers. For some reason we still play fridge tetris. You would think with a few more out the door we would see the light in our fridge... Sad to say, I have yet to find it...and even after the cull of wilted celery and expired dressings, we are forever shuffling to make room for something. It drove a few of my kids to frustration and a few adoptees to amusement. The cupboards were like that too...me secretly throwing stuff in to get it out of the way and the man following after with a plan of organization. I hated things strewn on the cupboards...he hated it askew inside. hmmmm....I am wondering now if this is an illustration of us, and I am feeling uncomfortable with the thought that it is. We are alone this Saturday. We meandered to a car event with friends...did a Costco run on the motorcycles...(3 items only)...and wound up in the pool splashing and enjoying the refreshment of the water and play. He threw me in. I was plotting the same for him just moments before so indignation would not do. As we swam I realized once again - I really enjoy this...spontaneity, laughter, connection. Resets are sometimes necessary.