19 October 2013

Kindly Yours

Tuesday morning, Lester and I got back from an absolutely loveeeeeeely Canadian Thanksgiving in Toronto. This was mostly due to the arrival of a tiny (TINY) newborn bundle of joy named, Casper. That's right, there is a new babe in the fam, and he is utterly delectable.

We spent much of the long weekend lounging about the house holding Casper, taking a billion pictures of Casper, googling over Casper's little feet and his hands and his nose and his little cheeks, and his teeeeeeensy fingernails! At any given moment someone was either plunging their face in Casper's general direction or hovering over his soft, slightly bumpy, head inhaling his adorable little bebe smell. I do believe that Casper was squeezed and hugged and coddled probably more than he preferred. However, seeing as we complied with his NEVER PUT ME DOWN rule, I am thinking he will forgive us.

I was also reminded this past weekend of the blessing of community. Instead of having a typical Thanksgiving dinner, the family invited their church fellowship group over to break bread. Over thirty people filled the house that Saturday evening, and as we all gathered in the kitchen to pray, I smiled. We were warm, out of the rain, and about to dive into a delectable feast. Yet,  I think our little hearts were actually contented because we were surrounded by one another. I personally did not know many people there that night, but still, to be a part of a meal, a celebration, a Thanksgiving with others, made my little cup runeth-over. My sister-in-law invited two friends who were far from family, and I can only imagine how much of an unspoken gift it was to them. To be welcomed into a home full of yummies and love, when they didn't seem to have much of their own yummies or loves nearby. That is hospitality and kindness in a very basic form.

While watching the news can be scary, downright devastating, I  sometimes find myself thinking about the wonderful blessing that people can be to one another. Experiencing community afresh,  being inspired by creativity, camaraderie, and sincere encouragement causes me to lift up my face to the heavens and thank my God. It is truly true as true can be that, it is not what you have around you, but who you have around you.

I even got to end my little Toronto jaunt with one of my besties from university! I hadn't seen her for a few months and it was so so lovely to see her little face again. We started our meetup off with a cheesy little Danish pastry, (but of course) and walked through the rain, over a huge and beautiful bridge, to attend church together. Simple, but perfect. Love you M!! 

So, with God's help, His abundant love for me, comfort for me, reassurance for me, refining of me, I hope to become a person who offers genuine kindness, relief and comfort to others. Thank You Jesus, that I can know Your Father because of the cross. That has changed everything.

Happy belated Thanksgiving, mes amis!
Kindly yours,
coco xoxo

01 October 2013

A Early Autumn Meal

The wee city of Windsor seems to have no regard for the whole "seasons" idea. The weather man has cheerfully forecasted a high of 76 degrees Fahrenheight or 24 degrees Celcius for today. Ladies and gentlemen, it is October 1st. Now, to clarify, I am not complaining.  I am merely noting that this is not how I understand the concept of fall. Where I come from, the wee leaves do, in fact, fall from the spectacularly colored trees. The breeze does, actually, begin to bite. And I do, indeed, where my delicious knit scarves and buttery leather boots.

Not to worry though, the cheerful weather has allowed me to take (short. very short.) jogs along the river. It has allowed me to meander through farmers markets and enjoy the fruits and produce in the dazzling Mid-Western sunlight. 

BUT. The thing is, my birthday happens to come at the end of this fine month. I have always associated my birthday month with the smells and sights and sounds of autumn!  So, with those thoughts in mind and a few lonesome potatoes on my counter, I found myself making soup a few afternoons ago. 
Even though all I had was potatoes, carrots, onions and a few sparse herbs, I was determined for fall my friends. And so my creamy potato soup began. 

Peeling my little potatoes was difficult, because we have a peeler that does not peel. I did it the old school way with a wee pairing knife. It was kinda cool, because I felt like a wood-carving cowboy. 

Then I diced little baby carrots and tossed them with salt, pepper, and cumin! Into the oven they went for roasting.

What's a soup without the classics? I chopped some onion and minced my garlic.

Carrots roasted and onions sautéed, it was time for some simmering.

The one thing about potato soup is, it screams "Garnish me! Garnish me!" And well, when you hear that call, my friends, you must heed it. I fried up some deliciously crispy bacon and chopped a bit of scallion. Oh, and there may have been be some luscious sour creme in there, as well.

And that is how I managed to simulate fall on a near 80 degree, late September day. No leaves were falling nor were my feet tucked in toasty boots, but there was soup. And where there be soup, there be coziness. After all, that's why we love so much. It's a time of complete coziness. 

Stay cozy and stay classy my friends!