December Delights – Day 20!

Christmas is coming fast! In the next few days, make sure to make some time for some enjoyable pondering – read a favorite holiday story, make a batch of sweets or a loaf of bread, refill the feeders so you can enjoy the birds – whatever it takes to allow you at least a few moments to marvel and treasure the good parts of this season. I know for some it’s difficult this year (especially this year!) but we find what we seek, so try – just try – to seek the uplifting things that gladden your heart.

Today, I added a box of crackers to the Reverse Advent Calendar collection. In less than a week, I’ll be dropping that off to ease someone’s burden. If you can’t build the entire box, consider just getting a few extra groceries on that inevitable final before-the-holidays run to the grocery. It’ll be much appreciated by the food bank or Little Free Pantry you drop it off with. 

From the bookshelf today, I selected an old favorite – E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View which I have loved for more than 30 years. (The movie is also top-notch. And my – Helena Bonham Carter was just an angel-faced girl once upon a time, wasn’t she?) The lesson in this lovely book is that we must take responsibility for our own lives, choices, and loves, despite social repercussions if we are to be truly happy. Good advice when it was written in 1908 and still solid advice today. 

Going along with the Italian setting of much of that book, my Diva drill today for you is to consider making pasta with rich, aromatic puttanesca sauce. Now, if your preference is for the sweet, jarred sauces of the grocery, that’s all fine and good. But puttanesca is a revelation. The story behind the naughty name is fun too – click here for some history and a good recipe. (And don’t worry if you don’t care for anchovies – you’re getting the briny flavor here, similar to a good Caesar salad dressing. But leave them out if you like – this is a “kitchen sink” sort of sauce and you’ll probably never make it the same way twice, anyway.)

For holiday prep – time is getting short. Today I delivered some cookies to a few more folks and picked some up as well. Sharing is the heart of the holiday season, isn’t it?

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice – come back then and we’ll talk about the longest night of the year!

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