It's May; and I know this is your middle name J., and our Nanny's name.
I'm not jealous that you have this lovely middle name and that I don't even have one!...ok I'm a little jealous...but how did that happen?...did our parents run out of names?
Anyway...it's May and Mother's Day is coming up.. and there is so much to be grateful for. Which brings me to talk about one of my most precious books...
A Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
It was given to me by one of my most favourite people...Eileen, a magnificent 85 yr old Irish woman, a mother of 11 children, whom I keep asking to adopt me to make the perfect number of children - 12!
She gave me this gift many years ago and I read it daily. Simple Abundance...A DayBook of Comfort and Joy...It is a book of 366 evocative essays - one for every day of the year.
It says... 'This written for woman who wish to live by their own lights. In the past a woman's spirituality has been separated from her lifestyle. Simple Abundance shows you how your daily life can be an expression of your authentic self...as you choose the tastiest vegetables from your garden, search for treasures at flea markets, establish a sacred space in your home for meditation and follow the rhythm of the seasons and the year...'
I have given this book as gifts nearly as many times as I have opened my own copy.
It reminds me to say thank you to this wonderful women who delivered it into my life.
Thank you Eileen... I love you dearly.
Sarah writes in her book about the 'Search of Soul Food'. .. Soul Food is our personal passport to the past. It's Grandma's beaten biscuits or Nana's borscht. Sheila Fergurson tells us in her cookbook 'Soul Food: Classic Cuisine from the Deep South' that it's 'a legacy clearly steeped in tradition; a way of life that has been handed down from generation to generation'.
She continues on to reaffirm that...'real soul food only knows the borders of the heart. Soul food is universal culinary memories, stories, and recipes...when preparing Soul Food we can't cook by the book but rather by instinct, by using our senses. You learn to hear the by the crackling sound when it's time to turn over the fried chicken, and to feel when a pastry's just right to the touch.
Sarah encourages us this summer to collect soulful recipes, or have someone you love but don't see very often cook for you. Better still, try taking a personal cooking lesson. You might think you know how to make jam cake with caramel icing....but do you?