"My work is loving the world. Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird–equal seeker of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums. Here the calm deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart and these body-clothes, a mouth with which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up calm, telling them all, over and over, how it is that we live forever." Mary Oliver, Messenger
I am grateful that there is love, soul, beauty, art, imagination, peace and good food in my life. Thankful that my legs can dance, my heart can feel and my eyes can see the gifts given to me. All the precious gifts of this generous giving earth. This gorgeous graceful light. Those challenges that take me back to the simplicity of here and now. Hardships that make me value them for the growth of the spirit. Breaths that fill me up with kindness and common sense. Encounters full of wisdom. Lessons that teach me patience and humility. Crossing paths with people and words that help me remember how to fully be human. And the gift of motherhood that fosters devotion and the selfless "I". I am grateful that there is LIFE – simple and complicated, brimming with wonders and ordinaries. I am grateful that I am finally aware enough to understand and practice gratitude.
Happy Thanksgiving Day!
Chocolate – Cinnamon Pear Loaf
(inspired by this recipe in Better Homes and Gardens, I think that this simple, beautiful and really tasty loaf would make for a perfect Thanksgiving dessert)
3 Bartlette pears
2 cup water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp. orange juice
3 sticks cinnamon
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup olive oil
white baking chocolate, melted
finely shredded orange peels
Core the pears from the bottom, leaving the stems intact. In a large saucepan combine the water, 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice, cinnamon sticks and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add pears and reduce heat. Cover and simmer 20-25 minutes until pears are tender. Remove from the hear and drain liquid.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl combine the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together egg, buttermilk and olive oil. Add to flour mixture and whisk until smooth.
Pour batter into pan. In a small, shallow dish combine 1tbs. flour, 1tbs. cocoa powder and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon. Roll each pear in the mixture to lightly coat. Place pears, stems side up , down the center of the batter – pears will exposed at the top, while the batter will rise up around them during baking. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove, cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely.
Drizzle melted white chocolate over loaf. Garnish with orange peel.