Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sugar, spice, and everything nice to be followed by a brief sermon

So, as I've said before, I've become the best of friends with my stove, therefore, my primary domestic pursuits lately have been mostly culinary. Each week seems to bring a new quest for various triumphs in cuisine, and this past week has been no exception. From homemade pierogies (dough, filling and all) to my beloved custard tarts, my happy stove and I have been exploring such wondrous adventures (mind you, this has also led to new adventures in exercise equipment for both myself and my husband). My current preoccupation is Madeleines; they're simply so pretty, how can anyone resist? So, today was devoted to my husband's special Valentine's Day cake and tomorrow will be for me and my Madeleines (which I will share with my mother-in-law, Alice, who is perhaps, the most generous, loving, and supportive mother-in-law around). Yes, I have just gotten a shiny new Madeleine pan and I'm most anxious to use it.

Yes, despite my former reservations, I've obviously become quite the blissful wifey. This is where I should proudly confess to belonging to an online retro housewives network and Darla Shine's Happy Housewives Club. I make homemade lavender spray (recipe courtesy of Alison, who inspires me daily), I've just added two more titles to my vintage cookbook collection (Betty Crocker's Hostess Cookbook c.1967 and Setting Your Table: Its Art, Etiquette, and Service c.1941), and yes, I occasionally use aromatherapy oils. Still not modeling the wardrobe of June Cleaver, but perhaps as the seasons change (and warmer weather arrives), I'll start dressing the part. Daniel will love that! This whole being a stay-at-home wife thing was initially his idea, remember? Yes, he's become the blissful hubby.

While I've not yet found ultimate enlightenment with my Singer, I have made peace with the machine. I have some ideas to work on (sans patterns) and have just sewn a nifty full length bistro apron, using an old bedsheet. It was quick and easy, but this bandana apron from Martha must be the absolute easiest apron for anyone to sew. Oh, and regarding sewing, I'm very excited that my new friend, Kerry, is soon forming a sewing circle. Kerry is an extremely talented seamstress and all around creative spirit, with whom I've recently found many mutual commonalities. Spending time with her more often should prove to be creatively challenging, intellectually interesting, and simply fun. (Unless she becomes too cross at me for my lack of patience in the sewing room, lol.)

Years ago, my favorite spice was Saffron. Not because I was cooking a lot, but because it was an inside joke between myself and my coworkers, subsequently becoming one of my many nicknames. These days, Thyme is my favorite spice. Could there be a more powerful and versatile spice? I'm sure there are many of you who would argue that your favorite spice is both powerful and versatile also, but for myself (at least at the moment), Thyme is my personal choice. Why the discussion on spices? It just seemed appropriate, since I've been pondering all sorts of homecrafts that incorporate spices into their construction. Think pomanders, sachets, etc. I realize that neither Saffron, nor Thyme, would be appropriate for these types of domestic niceties, but they are still very interesting. In fact, all spices are historically fascinating. Next time you reach for the Oregano, just remember it's popularly known as, "Mountain Joy", and it's origins date back to the Greeks. However, I suppose not everyone would share my enthusiasm for the historical stories attached to the global spices of the world. So, if all of this talk of spices bores you, then at least patronize me by allowing yourself to let the flavor of the various spices linger on your tongue at bit, before gulping down your next meal.

Finally, I know some of my cubicle dwelling friends mockingly scoff at my new lifestyle, which I've enthusiastically embraced. I will not apologize for my most recent reinvention of self, nor will I defend it to anyone. It is not agenda driven and it isn't intended to demonstrate any artistic statements. I have simply exhanged my expendable jobs working for others with the permanent job of working for my family. Out of all the many different jobs I have held throughout the years, working for the betterment of my household is by far, the most important, reputable, and beneficial (Proverbs 31:10-31) employment. I am equally (in some cases, superiorly) intelligent, capable, and assertive to those who look down their noses at me. The difference is: I know who I am, which makes all the difference in the world.

Until we meet for coffee,

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