What Was, What Might Be

Archived | December 30, 2014 | By

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was cleaning up after a family Christmas party, a bit tired and nostalgic and quite happy with how the day went. It always starts out organized, with a clean table cloth and a pile of gifts under the tree and full bowls of dips and salads, trays of lovely meats and cheeses and cookies, and then at some point I feel myself kind of letting go and sliding into glorious chaos and at some point I can’t find my apron.

It was like that for nearly a week. After all the shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating, inviting and excitement, it was like a series of explosions — with paper flying, crumbs and dogs spilling about, people kind of piling on each other on the living room carpet, and laughter and half full bottles of wine on the counter and calls for more pie. A lovely time, and after, always, the cleaning up. The music turned down low, the kids all snuggled together with blankets watching a movie in another room, the smells of meatballs and the chocolate layer dessert that didn’t go over so well and pine and spiced cider.

I read through the Christmas cards today, pulling them from the small basket where they go upon first read. Some of them have glitter on them, something of which Mr. S is not a fan. He simply doesn’t like opening a card and having glitter spill all over his lap and brushing it off and most of it sticks and he walks around with red or green or multi-colored glitter on his cheeks and forearms. I rather like it. There’s a sweetness to it, a reminder of delight and happy times. As these days pass and open into this New Year, as I take down and pack away and clear the counter, there will be glitter here and there. Light reflected. Small bright flashes of what was, what might be.

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing in this week of turning the big corner, may you find yourself, somehow, surprised by light. Be it snowflakes in the sun, the headlights of good friends pulling in a bit early, all the grandchildren trying out their new flashlights at once, a glimmer in the eyes of the one you love. A blessed, Happy New Year to you and yours, and may you leave a trail of glitter wherever you go.

Here’s one for the comfort zone. Serve it warm with milk, and bacon, even.

Baked Oatmeal

½ cup oil (or ¼ cup oil and ¼ cup applesauce)
½ cup sugar
3 eggs, beaten
3 cups old-fashioned oats  (not quick)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1-3 tsp cinnamon, to taste
Fruit of your choice, optional

Combine first three ingredients and set aside.  Mix together oats, baking powder and salt. Combine with first three ingredients, and stir in milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. If you desire, add ½ to ¾ cup chopped peaches or blueberries. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.