Category Archives: Food


Apple cider donuts, gritty with granulated sugar, crisp outside, soft and warm on the inside.

It’s Uncommon Grace’s fault.

From here would be best (sniffle: October = Blue Ridge Mountains homesickness), but I bet we could find some in Julian.

Aha. I knew it.

Can you believe we’ve been in California for two years now?

(Almost. This date two years ago was the day the kids and I reached
Phoenix, thirteen days after we left Virginia in a minivan stuffed to
the gills—mostly with children—and picked up Scott at the Phoenix
airport for the last short leg of the trip to our new home. The next
day, October 18th, was the day we rolled into San Diego to begin our new life.)

Phoenix ahead. Carter Mountain apple cider donuts behind us.

Our Traditional Birthday Breakfast

…my dad’s family recipe. Biscuits with chocolate gravy. Mmm. There is nothing finer, let me tell you. Hot biscuits dripping with butter and covered with a thick, warm, rich chocolate sauce. Just cocoa, flour, milk, and sugar* brought to a boil over low heat. So good.

The picture does not do it justice.


Now back to my birthday boys.

(*Thanks, Dad, for permission to share the recipe. 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/4 cup flour, 1 cup sugar (hush), 1 1/2 cups milk. Mix dry ingredients first, right in your saucepan, then stir in the milk. Heat slowly, stirring constantly. You want to bring it just to a bubble but you don’t want to let it scorch. Take it off the heat, keep stirring. It will thicken upon standing. Spoon over hot buttery biscuits. The butter is vital—the magic of this dish is in the delectable combination of warm chocolate and melted butter. Trust me.)

(As I understand it, this was an inexpensive way to fill little bellies in times when cash was tight.)

(And yes, we are starting the day with my dad’s chocolate gravy and finishing with my mom’s famous cake. Two birthdays = double pigging out.)


I have been wishing this confection into existence for, oh, some twenty-five years. I think I hear my Easter basket snickering with glee already.

P.S. If I start blogging about candy, will I get put on the free sample lists? Because I really think I could wax poetic about all manner of sweets…

Quickie About Chickie

This week, in our ongoing efforts toward Getting Settled, I resumed my old (sporadic) practice of jotting down quick notes about what we did/read/discussed/made each day. I do this in blog form* because that works better for me than paper. Yesterday I added the new chores & meals schedule the girls and I drew up. Chicken is a staple for us, and it’s on the menu twice a week. Tonight, Friday, is grilled chicken night. I have a big bag of frozen boneless chicken breasts, and I’ll thaw a few, slather them with Tastfefully Simple Raspberry Chipotle sauce and cook them on my trusty George Foreman grill.

(Have I gushed about my George Foreman here? I love him. He is my friend. He makes my life much easier. He feeds me panini sandwiches, and there’s pretty much no faster way to my heart.)

Anyway, I was reading Genevieve‘s delightful blog this morning and saw that she has linked to an article full of recipes for grilled chicken.  Very useful. I’ll have to give some of these a try, especially the nut-crusted recipe. Yum.

*As blogs go, my daily journal is nothing special. I ignore it sometimes for months at a stretch. It isn’t really fit for public viewing, but I share the link in the spirit of putting people at ease. It’s so easy to read people’s blogs (real blogs, I mean) and feel overwhelmed by how much Great Stuff everyone is doing. I think it’s useful, once in a while, to see how much (or as is often the case, how little) REALLY happens in the course of a real live day. And what I love is that even on the days when I have comparatively little to record, there is always, always, some great conversation or moment of discovery to remember.