A roasting chicken gives off her perfume of rosemary, garlic cloves and thyme from the cozy boudoir of the oven. Jacob sits at the counter whisking the eggs brought over to us by a friend. The yolks are nearly fluorescent; such is the difference between the sad little ovals we buy at the store in their styrofoam packages and those given to us from hens that scratch for bugs all day in a sunny back field. I measure the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice. I set them aside in the ramekin while I scoop out the pureed pumpkin into the mixing bowl. Chloe walks by and inhales deeply. Mmmm. Pumpkin bread for dessert.
The door slams, and I notice that our dog has slunk in to hide under the kitchen table on her sleeping pad. The storm has kicked up, and the flashes of lightening are more apparent as the day comes to an end.
We are all hungry. It has been an active day. Jacob had his first soccer game, and we watched with joy as the first child in our family took to the the playing field, gleefully running after the ball full speed, sometimes in the wrong direction, but always with a smile on his face. For twelve years we have been a family that adjusts the ballet tights, or watches as our daughters clap gymnastic chalk from their hands. Sitting on the grassy field with an umbrella and plenty of shouts of "Go Tigers!" just feels right. I'm actually excited about bringing the snacks for next week's game.
I take my time with the food preparation. There is no rush. It's the end of the weekend, and we are all knowingly or unknowingly savoring the last flavors of a day less structured. I slowly roll the basil leaves tight, each slice of the knife releasing fragrant green ribbons to be draped over the tomatoes. My fingers smell of basil for the rest of the night.
We eat late. I watch my kids tuck into their acorn squash with brown sugar and butter, filling their bodies with food that will give them energy for the long Monday ahead. One by one, the kids find their way to bed, and there are no complaints this evening. Each one is showered or bathed, and tucked clean into their blankets with a good book and a soft light to aid the process which doesn't take as long as usual tonight.
After the dishes are done, I sit at the counter with Bob, the candles still lit, the air still fragrant with spicy bread, my wine rewarding my muscles in a way the best massage cannot.
It's a good day.