There are lots of little things this week that have reminded me of food's connecting powers.  For our community lunch after church last Sunday, Miriam, an Ethiopian woman in our congregation, made this delicious ingera and lentils. I shoved my way to the front of the line as an example to the children of something Jesus would not do.  And Carroll thought I was strange, but let she me take a photo of her readying the celery for peanut butter.

Ingera at Church Ingera at church

Carroll making celery boats Carroll making celery boats

I've already posted about lunch with Rebecca, but decided I needed to mention it again so I could share this papaya photo. MacPhersons has the most perfect papayas right now, and we had ours with lime, salt, and mint.  I'm going to take a blogging break and go get some more right now.

Perfect papaya Perfect papaya

From my yard From my yard

Emily's sister Jessica was out from Michigan.  We rarely get to see her, but she loves my kids so much, sending them Christmas and birthday presents and caring for us through the miles.  On Monday, we met up at Tutta Bella where the noise level is such that Wyatt and Loretta could have several loud emergencies without anyone noticing.

Pizza chef Loretta Pizza chef Loretta

Mr. Dimples Mr. Dimples

On Tuesday, I had tea with my friend Pat.  Pat was one of my instructors in grad school, and has since become a friend, colleague, and mentor. We shared this beautiful blood orange, which I must have commented on 6 times.  It was juicy with the perfect balance of sweet and tart.  Pat is astounding is so many ways.  One of them is that she is a fabric and yarn artist. While we talked about creativity, she was working on this baby quilt, and I left feeling filled up and remembering that I'd rather share an orange with someone I love than eat an elaborate meal by myself.

Juiciest blood orange Juiciest blood orange

Pat's quilt Pat's quilt

On Wednesday, Priya, Jordan, and I went  for lunch at Oddfellows Cafe to celebrate my new website and all the work they have done designing it (Priya) and promoting it (Jordan).  I gave them some of my favorite kitchen things, and decided Oddfellows is going to be my new office.  We ordered wine, laughed a lot at the ridiculous things going on in our lives, and gave each other a lot of compliments.  This world is too damn competitive not to go overboard in cheerleading your friends. The only way we could resist the incredible baked good case there was to walk around the corner to the new Molly Moon Ice Cream shop.  I got salted black licorice, and I wish I was bathing in it now.  My camera battery had died by then, so you'll just have to go see the shop for yourself.

Oddfellows:  the whole place is as cool as this condiment bar Oddfellows: the whole place is as cool as this condiment bar

Gifts for Jordan and Priya Gifts for Jordan and Priya

Friday was Yancey's graduation from fire school--definitely the biggest, most longed-for event of our household in the last couple years.  It wasn't just that he was gone for 12 weeks in vigorous mental and physical training.  It's that he's been trying 3 years for this, and all of us were just so button-popping proud.  (Should that metaphor only be used for men?)  Yancey looked indescribably official, brave, and handsome in his Class A uniform (he will hate me when he sees this), and I would put a photo of him except that he might hide the computer as punishment.  Afterward, 20 family and almost-family members went to Elliot Bay Brewery in Burien, and Yancey drank two well-earned pints.  

God bless our server God bless our server

It's official It's official

At the end of the day, all of us were bleary-eyed, but in a good way.  My parents stayed for dinner before they headed back to Bellingham.  Believe it or not, the last thing I wanted to do was cook dinner.  Thankfully, my mom gave us an incredible basket of delectables from Slough Food and the Breadfarm in Edison.  We decided to have a graduation picnic under our flowering cherry tree, and of course the whole endeavor had "Photo Shoot!" written all over it.  Yancey says he knows something's up when I wait to eat in order to take a picture.  Normally, I'm halfway through before he takes his first bite.  So everyone indulged me, and then we sat down, cherry blossom petals drifting onto our cheese while we talked about Yancey's Class A uniform yet again.  

Breadfarm Bread Breadfarm Bread

Check out that chorizo Check out that chorizo

Beautiful pile of sunlit artichoke leaves Beautiful pile of sunlit artichoke leaves