The Motor Vehicles office is about 45 minutes from our house, and the whole process took a couple of hours. I whiled away the time running various romantic errands. Bank deposit. Look for a new dish-drain. Get the oil changed. Run down the to-do items for our pared-down but still impending holiday. The oil change ("do you want us to change the air filter? grease your sparkplugs? file your jamlocks? overwhelm you with add-ons, upcharges and options for only 39.99 more?") came with a coupon for a free car wash ("do you want to upgrade to the Executive Sparkle Package by scanning your barcode, keying in your ATM pin number and texting us a picture of your left ear? press 1 for yes!") and while I sat in the car as it was splashed and jostled, I enjoyed the curious sense of peace that comes from your inner and outer circumstances lining up perfectly, even if those circumstances are not actually peaceful.
It's hard to take one step without considering the kind of holiday other parents nearby, and not so nearby, are moving through.
We had a lovely dinner with friends the other night, just the sort of thing we were too busy to do, and even more so the sort of thing I feel blessed to have said yes to.
This gorgeous salad became our offering to a meal of great splendor. Other than swap in toasted pecans for the hazelnuts, I changed nothing. It's fabulously tasty, and lush with opportunities to admire and appreciate the bounty before you as you prepare it.
I've been keeping the blender busy with this amazing sauce.
I roasted the peppers (but I think jarred would still give you something fine), and used a slice of preserved lemon in place of the salt, and eliminated the dried chiles as it had just the right heat for me without it. My newly-licensed driver made the labels.
The soundtrack to my thinking this week is right here for you.
Wishing you a peaceful holiday!