Earlier in the week a call went out for "small and light" snacks for the Symphony to have available. I emailed back that I would bring something, something at that time being pretty undefined in my mind.
As I told Warren, I was leaning towards brownie bites, which are uninspiring but easy. I knew it was something I could knock off in under 30 minutes. It would fill the bill fine. On the other hand, for me, it felt like a low road through an obligation I had willingly undertaken.
Then I received an email from my son Sam. In it, he mentioned he had been doing a lot of cooking. Sam wrote: I've also been cooking huge meals for my housemates which is incredibly enjoyable; preparing and cooking and sharing food with people is one of the finer points in life for me as of late...Cooking for/with large groups is wonderful.
Sam is right. The act of cooking (or baking) and sharing food is one the finer points of life. Just reading his email stirred my enthusiasm and interest in the communion of eating for the first time in a long time.
I thought about "small and light." I thought about small. I thought about something that would make a little bite, a little bit of a snack.
A little nosh.
What about empanadas? Little, tiny empanadas?
What about little empanadas with my own apple pie filling?
What about little apple pie empanadas with a sugar glaze on them?
It is Friday afternoon and the empanadas are out and glazed, drying while I finish this.
Okay, I admit it. They look great. I hope they are a hit tonight. (Okay, I confess. I ate one. Yes, they are incredible.)
2012 has been a more difficult year than I had hoped for, so far. Don't get me wrong. It has been full of blessings, full of love. There are still seven months of it to spend, one of which will bring Ramona Dawn into our midst. But there have been some moments and some issues that I have had to struggle through, or watch Warren struggle through, or struggle through with him. As a result, 2012 has been exhausting, and it is only half over.
I didn't want to make the apple pie empanadas with exhaustion in my heart and my hands. I wanted to make them in the spirit of community, in the spirit of sharing.
As I cooked down the apples for the empanadas, as I rolled out the pie dough and filled and crimped each one, as I dipped each baked one into a glaze, I tried hard to stay in the moment. I was baking to feed the guests who will come through the office tonight. I was baking to give those who came and noshed a taste of sweetness, a taste of community.
I was baking to share.
As I moved further into the process, I set my spoon down and filled them with my fingers. I need to touch and shape them myself. By the time the last tray hit the oven, my heart was full.
They are just little bits. They are just little bites of apple and dough. Just little noshes.
Just little bits that have filled my heart today.