full circle in the hundred acre wood

The three-cheese chicken with marinara sauce and whole grain baby penne is assembled and resting in the refrigerator until 5:30 , when it will bake in the oven and fill the house with a primal, comforting, smell of garlic, red wine, fresh basil, and tomatoes. It is one of the scents of well-being; of fortitude. It builds us up.

Family cooks are lucky. We get an early infusion of the raw ingredients. They are stronger than sadness, sweeter than sunshine, amulets and talismans for the mountain climb. I feared the challenge of climbing a mountain until the first time I made it, panting, sweating and bleeding, to a ridgetop. Then, I knew joy beyond joy.

0 thoughts on “The Scent of Well-Being

  1. David Bailey says:

    I like your choice for Christmas Eve dinner. Sure beats turkey and reminds me of Calvin Trilling’s campaign to make spaghetti carbonara the traditional Thanksgiving dish:
    I’m in the lowcountry of SC and an oyster roast is on the horizon.


  2. That’s it isn’t.
    Infused as we are still now , with the joys of knowing it will all be okay when we get to the tops of these long days.
    Enjoy the dinner. The together. The love.
    You so deserve to bask in it.


  3. Gullible says:

    Bleeding and sweating or not, sit down for a few minutes at the top of that mountain. Below you stretches a fifty-mile long fjord called Turnagain Arm by Captain James Cook. Look to your right. Far below the Dall Sheep dancing on their wee hooves is a wall of water a foot or so high, racing up the arm at 15 mph. Following behind this wall is the rest of the tidal waters that can bring tides of 30 feet or more. And just below you, two bald eagles float on an updraft. Merry Christmas to you and Buck.


  4. I can smell it all the way across the Pacific…LOL
    Merry Christmas, Beth, to you and your family.


  5. fletch says:

    very pleasing words to read this morning. I tried to climb to the mountaintop of homemade tiramasu this Christmas. I fell off the cliff (too much liquer), but I’m glad I tried anyway. My friends seemed to enjoy it until the tipsiness set in.


  6. Denny Coates says:

    We had good friends visiting for Christmas. Both were struggling with serious infirmities. It isn’t easy to climb to the ridgetop, but we prepare the feast, we set forth the best we can to sustain our survival.


  7. Zelda P. says:

    I hope you had a merry Christmas. The food must have been divine!
    All the best to you for 2010.


  8. I’m catching up with my blog friends after the holidays. Love this poetry in this post, and it’s all true.


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