This morning I woke up, walked the pups in the cloudy cool morning and then set to work in enjoying my Saturday morning.
As you know, dear reader, I have been on a fall recipe making kick that included my grandmother’s carrot cake recipe which the actual cake brought lots of joy to multiple neighbors, a few friends and our household. Our neighbor who was here yesterday, the woman locked out and then I took cake to yesterday to celebrate her entry, brought our plate back today and could not tell me enough how good the last piece of cake was. I was thrilled to share and that she enjoyed.
The day of carrot cake also brought an amazing mushroom soup to our table that I have been wanting to try and make. Last night, per Ana’s request, I tried my hand at Shepherd’s Pie. I have never made it before but it turned out warm, comforting and delicious as well. I didn’t make it with lamb, I chose a pork ground meat, but it was full of peas, carrots, a tasty sauce and topped with potatoes as it should.
This morning I decided the flavors of fall should continue with Cinnamon Apple muffins. When Ana bit into one she looked up with a smile and said, “well, good morning cinnamon!” I smiled back and said, “and nutmeg too!” They came out sweet but not too sweet and perfect with a black cup of hot coffee.
These small pleasures are helping to reduce the melancholy and nest into our home. Yesterday, a friend texted and we went to coffee. I walked the 10 minutes to our chosen spot and we sat outside bundled but comfortable and ordered our Americanos while we settled in to catch up. This is one of my favorite people here, my good friend Eva. While German, Eva has lived in the US and in Jerusalem. She knows what it is like to be from all over but also what it is like to live between German and US cultures even more specifically, growing up in both locations. We met because she was my first German teacher and we started to hang out after the class was finished because we just knew we would be fast friends. We are close in age and similar in experience. She is working on her phd in ancient Hebrew texts and linguistics. But most of all, when we get together, we tend to lose hours. I always say to Ana when I head out to see her, “See you soon.” And she usually replies, “You are hanging out with Eva? See you much later!” with a great big grin because she knows what happens when we meet.
So yesterday we huddled around our coffees and started laughing at everything we could imagine. At one point we both were wiping our eyes from something absurd we came up with, laughing until my face hurt and that was oh so good. I will say, that living in Europe means coffeetimes take longer, are expected to last without an hour timeline, and it is something I really want to bring back with me when we return to the US. Coffees aren’t hurried and the connection is sustained in a non urgent way. I never feel as though the other person can’t wait to get to the next thing or is planning the countdown starting now to move on to the next task.
So we laughed and chatted and caught up like it has been forever when really we had breakfast together just a week and a half or two ago. And it was just what I needed with the smell of hot coffee lingering around me in the chill of Autumn.
Let the tastes and flavors of Fall continue with cinnamon and nutmeg, apples and earthy flavors, leaves falling and damp grass and may these flavors lift our spirits to find the hope in what is to come rather than get mired in the things we cannot change.