I had what, for me, was a near-to-perfect day. I cooked and I cooked and I baked and I chopped and I made beautiful foods for Molly and Ben.
Here. I had to take pictures. Of my beautiful food.
Doesn't that salad look like something straight out of a 1970's cookbook? Which just pleases the hell out of me. The best thing about this salad is what I call the goop, but which is actually the dressing. It's just so not gourmet. It's so pre-fat-and-sugar phobia times. Here are the ingredients:
1 cup of vegetable oil (not olive- vegetable)
1/2 cup of sugar (yes, white sugar)
3/4 cup of wine vinegar
3/4 cup of chili sauce (Heinz of course)
1 Tablespoon of soy sauce
Take my word for this- it's just the most awesome goop in the world. After you cook the beef, you let it sit in a bowl with a cup of that stuff for an hour or so. The rest you use as dressing. Which you can then sop up with a piece of this bread.
And no, it doesn't have it's egg-yolk wash because believe it or not, I used every one of my eggs in the other recipes. Three in the salad, two in the bread itself and three in the cake.
The cake. Sigh. The cake.
So I just feel so rich in that I could make this food out of my own kitchen. Rich food. Sinfully, lovely rich food for a new mama.
And then I got to drive to Monticello where the new parents live and it's the most beautiful day and when I was driving home, I sort of wanted to just keep on driving until I ran out of gas because the road rose before me and the trees were glowing and there were horses and cows and men putting up fences and little old churches and I felt like I was in a dream.
I got to hold that new baby. I held him and he slept and made those new baby faces as he dreamed his new baby dreams. He smiled and he scrunched up his face and he made all the expressions that humans make, but in his sleep and in a brand-new way. I cried. And I cried talking to the new parents when I heard the story of the birth and I cried telling them to trust their own selves when it came to how to take care of their new baby. I told them what I tell all brand-new parents: No one in this world has ever given birth to this baby. And no one on earth knows how to take care of this new baby the way you do.
The lactation consultant at the hospital had given them strict rules to follow about how often and how long to nurse and all those things that lactation consultants tell new parents which scare the motherfucking shit out of them.
God. I am so grateful that I didn't have a lactation consultant when my babies were born. I only had other hippie moms around who made nursing look so easy. Which, after a few days of getting to know my babies and their ways and them getting to know me and my ways, it was.
See how rich I am?
So that was simply a wonderful and soul-satisfying thing to do, to take food to that couple and tell them how very, very proud I am of them and what a creamy, dreamy peach of a baby boy they have. To see Molly all grown up and so strong- SO STRONG- and to meet her husband, a man I liked tremendously from the first second I met him. To sit in their beautiful, airy home and hold that boy.
My soul. Oh, my soul.
And then that dream of a drive home and there were my chickens whom I love, even if they're not laying very reliably right now, spread out in the light of the setting sun, doing their last scratching in the dirt of the day.
My home, my beautiful home and my garden and my collards are coming up too, and the sun setting the oak trees on fire.
It's going to get chilly tonight and I can already feel that in the air. I have my down comforter already laid out on the bed, just waiting for me to crawl under it with a book. My kitchen is full of clean dishes for me to put away and some waiting to be washed and I have a piece of salmon to cook for my very own supper and a half pound of spinach and portobello mushrooms and quinoa and peppers.
God! I am SO rich!
I have been that new mother and I am now a grandmother and I feel almost a grandmotherly love for this new boy I met today, having known his mother since she was a baby and I have spent my sleepless nights with my babies and now I can have entire nights of rest under a down comforter under a tin roof under the branches of the oak trees under the clear night sky and there is nothing I lack for, nothing at all and my wishes tonight are simply, as always, more of this, and let my husband be safe and my children, too and let us all be this rich with the most profound sweet goodness of this life, at least sometimes.
I can hear the chickens flapping up to their roost, I can hear acorns dropping on the tin roof of the hen house that my husband built, I am content with my riches.
I am aware of their completely simple and miraculous value.