Twelfth Night, or As I Would Like It

This is an edited repost from my previous blog ars culinaria. It originally appeared in January 2010 but still captures my feelings about Twelfth Night and midwinter. The old winter season of merrymaking kicked off on All Saints’ Day in November and lasted straight through to the largest, most extravagant feasts held on January 6th, Twelfth Night. Industrialization ended the extensive celebration of Yuletide, though Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans tried to stamp it out earlier by…

Harvest Festival

Thanksgiving is in two days as I write this. I’ve ordered the turkey and braved the grocery. I’ll start cooking tomorrow with a batch of my mom’s cornbread – without the sugar – for her Down South dressing from the 1940s edition of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook. I substitute red, orange, and yellow  for the green peppers in the Trinity because in my forties I’ve accepted that I don’t care much for…

On Being a Professional Stress Monkey

My husband and son would be the first to let you know that I am not the placidly calm human I am often mistaken for. I don’t think I have a very good poker face, which makes me think what people take for an even-keeled visage is actually my panic and/or conflict avoidant face of fear. Maybe that’s an accomplishment in itself, being able to come off as together when you are…

Living with Ghosts

I’ve been back in Knoxville over a year. That year mark is usually where I start to feel like I live somewhere, a new space, a new place. The transition here has been different than my last few moves which were all just to new rentals in Nashville. Moving back to Knoxville is as close as I will ever get to moving home again. I grew up in Kingston on Watts Bar…