While this past year was filled with challenges, it was also filled with many blessings. Friends, family, framily (aka chosen family), and even perfect strangers stepped up for me in ways that I could not have even begun to imagine.
Perhaps I looked like a dazed, fragile bird at times; this is true I am sure. It was a year for the books and was filled with some roller coaster moments. Here are a few of the ways that people stepped up to show me great kindness this year:
- The handyman in the nail aisle at the Home Depot, who offered to help me figure out which screws I would need to fix the guest room closet. When I realized that I would not be able to finish reinforcing the closet rod myself, he showed up to assist me and did not let me pay.
- The framily that has been there for me thru and thru letting me sit on their couch, feeding me, generally loving me and going the extra mile to do things like pitch into do things like let the plumber into my house to fix a residual item from last week’s fiasco.
- The friends that checked in when I went radio silent several times this year just to make sure I was ok.
- The ice cream shop owner that gave Merlin ice cream – for free – just because and made our drive even sweeter.
- The friend that showed up to help make my property more secure.
- The countless times that my final tabs at restaurants that I frequent were way less than what I actually received or I got the leftover from a blended drink.
- The neighbor who helped me fix the locks when I got in over my head trying to change out the deadbolts to not be double-keyed
- Two different clients invited me to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with them. I went for the one that was serving chili.
- The various people that invited me to join them for dinner or going out on my first solo trip
In return for most favors, I enjoy making people good food. Sometimes it is a batch of cookies or this summer, it was baked goods for my BRBG community.
This past week I made a new recipe from my high school friend’s cookbook, Salt, Fat, Heat, Acid, for lunch for their help in making my house more secure.
When I ate at the Joy Bus, they had a bunch of squash from one of their donors. The squash, well, they were rather interestingly shaped.
They are a type of Italian squash that is similar to butternut squash, so I used a recipe from Samin’s cookbook that called for butternut squash. Roasted squash, kale, and onion salad with a browned butter vinaigrette. Isn’t life better with butter? I also swapped the hazelnuts for pecans as that is what I had on hand.
It was delicious!
I also made my famous caramelized onion dip as it is always good to enjoy a snack while I finish cooking.