Parsnip and kale pie

Parsnip almond pie

Parsnip almond pie

Hello again, Ordinary friends! I hope everybody had a peaceful joyful holiday. We did, although my bad cold has turned into something else lingering and painful in my head, which makes me feel like I’m under water. I couldn’t hear or think or smell or taste, and the past few days I’ve had a strange sleepy feeling of not being fully present. I must confess it’s given me the oddest feeling. Sometimes things work in your head but they don’t work in real life. Something you cook or write or draw makes so much sense when you think about it, but upon execution it’s just not quite right. Well, it almost felt that my whole life only worked in my head. My whole world that I’ve created for myself only worked in the isolation of its own little microcosm, everything contained in fragile little bubbles, and upon exposure to reality they *pop* and everything floats away, as insubstantial as you’d always feared it might be. I met a stranger and she asked what I did–she said, “What do you do?” And I panicked! I giggled and yelled “crossword puzzles!” Naw, I didn’t, but I think I might have babbled about how pretty my dog is. Not that it matters, but it’s a big question and I wasn’t ready for it. However, however, this morning Clio and I went for a long walk on the tow path, and it felt good to get back because it’s been so slick and icy it wasn’t walkable. And it’s remarkable how much color there is this time of year, if you really look for it. In the bark of the trees, and the lingering leaves, and the vines and the rocks and the moss and the pale golden green wintery light. In the pretty busy cedar waxwings and robins and cardinals. And we came to a place at the end of the path, where a golden field curved softly before us, all covered in frost, and an arch of pale cobbled clouds curved softly above us, glowing with morning light, and I swear, standing there between them you felt you could breathe it all in, you could inhale this hopeful light. Well, my spirits were elevated, my head cleared and I thought about rebuilding the world in my head. Which is after all a very strong and vivid world, most of the time, built on my very strong love for the boys and David and Clio and the towpath and this town and my new five blank notebooks and my new sea green pen with a small white whale on it and all of the stories I’ll write with it, which are in my head already, waiting to come out. And then I came home and coughed a lot, but minutes later I could actually smell Isaac’s new modeling clay, and I could feel things coming into focus. And this is what I did on my winter vacation.

Plus I made this parsnip pie. It has a filling of almonds, hazelnuts and eggs, seasoned with rosemary, nutmeg and lemon zest and mixed with roasted parsnips and bright kale. I think it probably tasted good. And that’s all I can say about that because I’m late for work!

Here’s Nina Simone with In the Morning, which has been stuck in my head for days.
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