I woke up to the sound of rain pelting against my windows. A quick glance to the front yard showed that the chalk messages I left for families out walking for some exercise during The Quarantine had all been washed away. An incoming text from the head chef at Bella Cucina read “my early days of reading frontier literature have paid off. I am well-stocked in coffee, butter, flour, sugar, and a side of beef.” My sister-in-law and I are forever linked at heart by a mutual adoration of Laura Ingalls Wilder and stories of pioneers, hardship, and the strength of family.
The smell of freshly baked muffins filled The Scullery this morning. After reviewing bread recipes and sharing thoughts on homemade pizza over text, I set my phone aside and watched out the window. I mulled over some of Laura’s infinite wisdom stored in my mind and in my heart. The neighborhood is so quiet this morning. I imagined the scenes inside each home, hoping they were all filled with the smell of fresh baked muffins, bacon and eggs, or pancakes on the griddle.
“I am beginning to learn it that it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all,” Laura taught me long ago (I am very sure we’d be on a first name basis if she lived in my neighborhood), and I am reminded over and over again…she was right. With all the time in the world right now to count my blessings, the things I treasure most become more and more apparent.
While cleaning my house again and again over the past weeks, I’ve found a pair of socks my husband brought to a campfire one evening because he knew my feet would be cold. The Tweety Bird Pez dispenser my daughter sent in the mail. The old copy of Little Women my son gave me for Christmas after finding it in a used book store. A friendship bracelet my stepdaughter made for me years ago. A recipe for Baked Alaska my stepson brought home from school one day because he knew I’d love to try it.
After being snapped out of my musings by a Facetime call from my brother (sporting a bunch of scruff he’s calling his “Pandemic Beard”), I returned to The Scullery to find only six of the dozen Cranberry Sweet Potato Muffins left. There are only two of us in the house, and I didn’t eat them. My husband tried to pin it on the dogs. I quickly snatched three, packaged them, and raced through the raindrops to drop them on my neighbor’s front step. After ringing the doorbell and dropping them, we maintained the appropriate distance for a quick laugh and kind words.
She sent me a text to give the recipe a two thumbs up, so I thought I would share it with you as well. It is the little things in life which are the real ones after all.
Click here for the Cranberry Sweet Potato Muffin recipe