Another use for my favorite question!

I was raised by a mom who was utterly convinced that the way to do virtually anything was to do it the way Granny did it.

Granny did lots and lots of amazing things. Things I still do. Or miss doing.

Granny did not, however, live in a world where she was feeding insulin dependent diabetics. Or a couple of gluten free folks. Or people with varying ideas about protein sources.

I do.

And I love them.

Thus, holiday food “traditions” have needed some updating around here. And, instead of relying on the way we’ve always done it, my go-to question comes in really handy.

Yep! What are we trying to accomplish?

The answer for me is simple. I want everybody to belong. To feel like part of the tribe. To be able to help. And to have things that they love without feeling like they’re “cheating” or “making do”.

So, here’s my gift to you… In theory if not in practice. We happen to be fine with chocolate and nuts. I’m so hoping that, in case you and yours are not, you’ll just run with the theory!

Grammy’s Chocolate Almond Bark

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. organic roasted almonds with sea salt, coarsely chopped if desired
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. coconut oil, measured while solid
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped excellent dark chocolate, like Endangered Species 88% cacao strong & velvety dark (about 2/3 of a 3.17 oz. bar) or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 scoop Cacao Bliss or a slightly rounded Tbsp. of organic raw cacao powder
  • 1 good pinch Anthony’s espresso baking powder, if desired (or instant espresso granules)
  • 1 tsp. Maldon flaked sea salt for garnish if using unsalted almonds

Recipe doubles easily!

Line a sheet tray with unbleached parchment paper.

In a heavy saucepan (or double boiler) combine chocolate, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Stir over low heat until completely melted. Add Cacao powder and espresso powder and stir thoroughly. Add almonds and mix until covered.

Pour chocolate mixture onto tray with parchment paper, spreading evenly with a rubber spatula to a thin layer.

If you used salted almonds, you’re done. If you used unsalted nuts, sprinkle evenly with sea salt flakes, or omit if you prefer.

Refrigerate for an hour or until well set. Break into bite sized pieces and store, tightly covered, in fridge or freezer. Allow to warm a few minutes to cool room temp before serving, preferably with roses on the table!

Technically, I suppose, you could call it candy. I call it sustenance. Body. Mind. Spirit.

Or, in the eternal words of Charles M. Schulz…

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. 

ps… If you haven’t seen the Intentional Grandmothers Archetype Quiz yet, you’re in luck! It’s my gift to you… sueboardman.com/archetype

pps… For a fun way to start your New Year, check out FierceArtWithHeart. Original art, archival prints, and Grammy Archetype goodies, plus some to share with the littles! (The elves are still in a holiday mood!)

Don’t Let the Light Go Out!

The Legendary Husband and I opted for a very quiet Thanksgiving weekend.

The blessing of simple food that was also local, sustainably raised food which helps small farmers and businesses we care about.

Space to catch up on some things on the list. Some of them the “Could do” sorts of things that so often get lost in the much louder “Must do” gang.

The happy voices of our girls, having a blast being cousins.

And, underneath it all, rearranging mental space for new adventures.

In the midst of all that… a post I saw on Facebook which kept clamoring for my attention.

Actually, I shared it.

My friend and paint sister, Havi, had posted it on her page Wednesday. Here’s what it said:

The way you alchemize a soulless world into a sacred world is by treating everyone as if they are sacred until the sacred in them remembers.

I agree.

Or, rather, I choose to agree, even though I can think of a few possible exceptions!

Somewhere along the way, I had a new thought.

What if we – you and even I – were part of everyone?

What if we treated ourselves as if we were sacred until the sacred in us remembers?

What if we treated our littles the same way… until they learned that they, too, are sacred?

And, while we’re on a roll here, what if we treated every day as if it were sacred, too, instead of just the ones the calendar calls holidays?

There are, obviously, lots of definitions for the word sacred, from many traditions, and – often – with a fair bit of baggage attached.

Here’s one I like…

Something that is sacred is worthy of honor and reverence.

There’s more, but this gets us out of quite a bit of the your way – my way tug of war.

So what if we did treat ourselves, and everybody, and each day as if it were worthy of honor and reverence?

What might get different?

It’s hard to say for sure. And, since there are, in fact, people out there who play by different rules, it’s not a perfect plan. But, it feels worth a try.

I’m going to start with an excellent bowl of broth and veg. And, Muse willing, a good night’s sleep.

Then, when morning comes, some space on my list for “Could do’s”. There are, blessedly, lots of choices!

And, should you be intrigued, four words: Start where you are!

One of the places I’m starting is with candle light.

In whatever tradition, the light means hope, and that is my hope for you and yours… that we don’t let the light go out!

ps.. two more words… the ones on the mug in the photo! You do! (It comes in grown-up and kid versions!)

Mixed metaphors, a bit more heresy… and a recipe!

My Granny, on my mom’s side of the fam, used to tell a certain story before big holiday meals. Imagine her frown and clenched teeth, please.

It seems Granny and most of the family would work and work and bake and roast and fry and bake some more to spread the table with some really great food for big gatherings.

Except for one particular Aunt. Aunt Madge, I believe, but don’t hold me to it.

It seems she showed up for such events with the same contribution every time.

A pound of butter and a jar of olives.

I’ve got the butter managed. We’ll skip the olives until Christmas!

I’ll also admit that this blog post is feeling a bit like one of those big pot luck events as it hatches in my head.

I spent much of today taking photos and writing descriptions of the kind of art pieces around here that are looking for forever homes.

That, with frequent breaks to count the quarts of bone broth in the freezer – we’ve got to have gravy!

And keeping up with the world.

You can check my Facebook page for a whole bunch of the stuff I related to. Here’s a hint about a favorite, with thanks to my buddy, Lori Knight-Whitehouse…

A reprint of an article the amazing Anne Lamott wrote years ago about Thanksgiving. She was discussing the issue of table grace in her family and lamenting the fact that they were inclined in the direction of Cheers. Bottoms up. Dig in! while wee Annie longed for words she heard around the tables of friends.

And that reminded me of Dave when he was just getting the hang of pronouncing what he heard… you see, he and I did the traditional God is great… thing before meals. This was what my dear, kind boy heard. And repeated with care:

God is great. God is good. And we thank God for our food. Bite God’s hands and all be fed.

Give us, Lord, our gravy bread.

I must add that my little guy was enormously proud of his participation.

And, much to everyone’s dismay, I didn’t correct him. In fact, I cried the first time he managed it in the more usual fashion. I’m still pretty sure the Divine was delighted all along.

Which, in a stream of consciousness sort of fashion, brings us to Iron Chef America. The gang has been keeping me company as I work.

In one of my all time favorite episodes, Iron Chef Guarnaschelli is matched with a challenger who describes himself as a Norwegian Japanese Black guy. The secret ingredient was lamb. The whole critter! As it turned out, Chef Justin Sutherland took the winner’s bow, wearing a hat that read, In Diversity We Trust.

I’m thankful for that!

Now, for the promised main event…

Since I’ve already confessed to the heresy of not doing turkey the way we’ve always done it, it’s time to move on from Wednesday’s brining directions … there’s still time… to the part that smells so good. Actual roasting!

Of course, you’ll need your bird thawed, even if you skipped the dry brining process. (Note: It can take up to 3 days to thaw an 18-20 pound turkey in the fridge!) For Gorgeous Juicy Turkey, you’ll want to plan on roughly 2 hours for roasting and 1/2 hour for resting. See * below for additional info on timing according to turkey size!

A small amount of math is inevitable.

Remove your lovely bird from the fridge about 4 hours before you’re planning to serve your fabulous dinner. Allow it to sit out and come to cool room temp…about an hour. Put it somewhere the dogs really can’t reach it!

Preheat oven to 525 degrees F. 

Pour out any juices from the inside of the turkey and the bottom of the pan and discard. Pat the bird gently dry, inside and out, trying not to disturb any remaining brine mixture on the skin.

If you brined, no additional salt or pepper is needed!

(If you didn’t brine ahead of time, remove any innards, etc. now and generously season the inside of the turkey with good sea salt and freshly ground black or mixed peppercorns. )

Your marvelous dressing goes into a pan to bake. Trust me. (Sorry Granny!)

Fill the cavity with aromatics. Try a mix of your favorites… any combination of these will add to the cooking juices, keeping the turkey moist and making tasty gravy. (This part will take about 1/2 hour of our 4 hour timeline.)

  • Quartered onion, skin on.
  • A whole garlic bulb, cut in half.
  • A quartered, cored, firm organic apple.
  • 3-4 bay leaves, preferably fresh, crushed briefly to release oils.
  • A handful of fresh thyme sprigs. 
  • A fresh lemon, cut in half.
  • Rosemary and sage are good too, but may overtake other flavors. Tread lightly!
  • Any stems from fresh parsley you may have around.

After the cavity is filled, tie the wings and legs, pulling them close to the body with kitchen string so your bird will roast more evenly.

Then, scrub and roughly chop about:

  • 6 small carrots.
  • 3 – 4 peeled onions.
  • 6 ribs of organic celery, including some leaves if desired.

Place chopped veg in your roasting pan, forming a “rack” for the turkey. Place trussed bird, breast side up, on the veg.

Put in 525 degree oven for 11 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 400 degrees and continue to roast. 

(Any yummy veggies you’re roasting for dinner will do well at the same 400 F.)

Baste turkey every 20 minutes or so with good olive oil (or melted, unsalted butter), using a small brush.

* Alice Waters says to figure about 12 minutes per pound for a 15-pound, unstuffed turkey and fewer minutes/pound for larger birds. If you’re roasting our mythical 18-20 pound bird, start checking temp about 1 hour 45 min. after you reduced the oven to 400 F. by inserting an instant read thermometer into the deepest part of the breast, making sure tip does not touch the bone. Check the plump part of the inner thigh the same way. As amazing as this sounds, my 18-pound birds are brown, sexy, and beautifully done 2 hours after I turn the oven down to 400 degrees! Cook to 160 degrees F. on your thermometer.

If you jiggle the ends of the legs, they will move freely and whatever juice comes out when you take out the thermometer will be clear. Remove your gorgeous bird to a deep platter or cutting board with grooves for the juice and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. If you like crispy skin, leave it uncovered!

Remove the string. Carve your masterpiece as desired, adding the juices to your gravy.

Enjoy, with thanks in your own fashion. I’m thankful for you!

ps… save the non-gnawed bones for broth! Dogs don’t get cooked bones!!!

pps…so hoping you’ll resist doing all your Black Friday shopping before Wednesday’s blog! All that work on photos of art I mentioned??? BIG changes coming to Fierce Art With Heart! Details here in 3 days. If you just can’t resist, there are lots of new listings up, and holiday prices, now. I just haven’t finished all the “decorating”! Hint – everything that isn’t an original painting or a giclee print is in the collection called, “Small Things.” The elves appreciate your patience!!!

Heresy… ’tis the season!

In a bit, I’m headed off to a training in something known as IMM. I’ve had this same adventure before. Now – at this moment – it feels even more relevant.

It has to do with letting go of beliefs that hold us back from the things that matter most. With getting free, if you will, of lots of old stuff that more or less got installed in us like computer bugs in our bodies at times when we didn’t know we could choose our beliefs.

If you’ve been reading along for a bit, you may have noticed that I like having choices.

So, my choice for this moment…

It’s about to be the holiday weekend known in the USA as Thanksgiving. (Also as the excuse for Black Friday buying mania.)

Many, many of us are choosing what to do with the culturally growing realization that the fairy tale version of the first Thanksgiving we learned in school was, to say the least, a rather limited viewpoint.

And, if you’re like me, that feels like a call for some more learning.

And, if you’re like me, you have people you love.

One of those people in my world is the Legendary Husband who LOVES turkey!

So, we’re doing the thankful part and the bird part of the holiday.

Here comes the heresy part…

We’re not doing it the way we’ve always done it!

In fact, we’re starting with a whole different question. (Yep… you can probably guess!)

What are we trying to accomplish?

The answer, at our house, is some time to hang out together. A really good bird. Bones for broth. And – this one is important around here – not messing with Bill’s blood sugar!

All while keeping up with other things that matter and looking forward to what I am now calling the likelihood of Christmas with our kids.

So… my heretical recipe for dry brining the bird. And my confidence that my Grandmother is NOT going to disown me, especially not at this point in her adventure, for doing it differently. Dry brined turkey is really, really good and she’d probably have done it this way if she’d known. Wink! Wink!

And, for what it’s worth, a virtual bit of red ink for you. A reminder that all the stories we’ve learned – many, many of them before we reached the age of abstract thought – have been edited through the years and it’s more than okay if we edit for ourselves.

So celebrate if you choose. Or remember. And, maybe, ask some new questions…

In addition to What are we thankful for? how about What might we do to share our thanks and blessings with others? And, What other stories need telling?

And, yes, we want to stay age appropriate for the littles. No good comes of terrifying them!

Just making space for more stories. And the wonder of a world full of stories to learn!

Now for the bird…

Ingredient Notes: Buy the best you can get. It takes some hunting. Local farmers. Whole Foods. Dean & DeLuca, Zingermans, White Oak Pastures. This year, ours is a Heritage breed bird, pasture raised by my local, sustainable farmer friends at Carlton Farms. I like turkeys in the 18-20 pound range because they fit in my oven and I want lots of bones and leftover meat for soup. I can actually feed 75-100 people from one turkey by making bone broth and using it well! (You can, too!) Thaw bird, if needed, in a fridge. It may take up to 72 hours to thaw a turkey this size. Or, scale down, if desired!

Brining: This is optional but I highly recommend it. I’ve tried both wet and dry brines and I like dry the best. It’s easier, often cheaper, a lot less messy, and ultimately, more effective. And it has no sugar! The purpose is to season the bird, while holding juices in the muscle for a moist, tender turkey, with gorgeous, crispy, perfectly seasoned skin. Wash your hands a lot during the process! You’ll need:

Coarse grey Celtic sea salt

Freshly ground pepper (black or mixed colors)

Dried thyme (or other herbs as desired)

A pan large enough to hold the turkey loosely. (ie Eco-foil from your local supermarket. Nobody’s perfect!)

Mix together in a small bowl: 4 Tbsp. coarse sea salt with 2 Tbsp. ground pepper and 1 1/2 Tbsp crushed, dried thyme, etc., if desired. (You can also do this with just salt, in which case you may need an extra Tbsp. for coverage.) Don’t use regular table or fine grind salt! It leaves a bitter taste and you have to reduce the amount significantly so it’s hard to cover the whole bird without making it too salty.

For an 18-20 pound, thawed turkey, remove any neck and innards. Reserve them for other uses as needed. I freeze the neck, heart, and gizzard for soup stock or feed them to the dogs, if that’s the sort of thing yours are used to. The liver is great for dirty rice and may be frozen, separately. (Or added to the dog feast!) Pat bird dry, inside and out, with paper towels and place bird in pan. (If using foil pan, place that on top of a sheet tray or similar pan for stability.)

Working in the pan, season the dried inside and outside of the bird well with salt mix. Get down around the wings and legs and thighs. Pat and rub. Leave uncovered or cover loosely with parchment paper. Place in fridge, preferably the old one in the basement, and just leave it alone for up to 3 days. I like 18-24 hours. It will be fine. What you’re aiming for with the timing is that miraculous moment when the skin is crispy, the meat is juicy and tender, and the bird is perfectly salted.

You’re well on the way to the best Thanksgiving feast ever!

On Sunday I’ll be back here with roasting directions for Gorgeous, Juicy (Easy) Turkey.

ps… the dry-brining thing also works really well for a nice, farm raised chicken, should you be looking for something less huge. Just scale everything, including time, down accordingly. This is art, not science!

pps… the art is my Forest of Grandmothers work-in-progress. The particular bit in the photo is where I’ve pasted images of my teachers in the heart wood of the tree. Squint… you may see some folks you know!

Apple Pie and Miracles!

We’ll start with the miracles. Pie is for dessert!

In a few hours, the Intentional Creativity® adventure known as Vivid will begin. (Well, technically, we began last night with our opening circle and lots of new Sisters!)

This year’s version is called Tapestry, after the miraculous weaving that happens when we gather together and create.

I’m ready! Not just emotionally. Like, actually… in the real world. There’s even a photo! And, yes, this feels like a miracle! (Thanks, Bill!)

You see, there’s been a lot going on. A big part of that is an adventure known as the Get It Done Lab, the brain child of my friend, Sam Bennett and her amazing team. The structure of this adventure – and community – is helping me to, well, get things done!

Here’s what I posted in the group yesterday…

This is, indeed, another miracle! Not simply a free horizontal space – which is amazing enough – but the fact that all the things which were piled on the table have new intentional spaces to be. Spaces where I could, you know, find and use them!

There’s no photo for the next miracle, but there is a story…

An old friend and dear paint peep asked me a question. (You know how I love questions!) And, with some help from the Muse, and very little sleep, I found an answer to that question living deep inside me in the place that’s not quite conscious.

Some paper and markers later, I had a whole lot more conscious awareness AND a visual model of that answer that I could actually share.

And it helped! (Both of us!)

So, why apple pie?

Well, because many of us are planning for Thanksgiving and I come from a family just non-traditional enough to have finally realized we all liked apple better than pumpkin and we got to choose!

So do you! Thus, Mom’s version of apple pie, just in case you’re exploring new choices. It’s really, really good! And, it’s my gift to you.

My Mom’s Apple Pie

This was Dave’s favorite growing up. Great for summer holidays, but also for Thanksgiving, when you can often get superb local apples. Really good fruit pies crack and run a bit when you cut them. This is really good pie!

            MAKES 1 PIE, ABOUT 8 SERVINGS

            [Note on Ingredients: Since pie crust is a very personal thing, I’m going to leave it up to you. You’ll need enough for a 2 crust pie. Organic Granny Smith apples are great, or try local, seasonal, organic apples. You want something crisp and a bit tart.]

            Arrange oven racks so that pie will bake in center of oven.

            Preheat oven to 425 F.

            Prepare pie crust as above or remove purchased crust from fridge to warm.

            Wash, peel, quarter, and core:

                        6-7 organic apples, as above.

            Into large bowl, slice apples into ¼ inch thick slices, so they’ll retain their shape and some texture when cooked. No applesauce, here!

           In separate bowl, mix together:

                        2/3 c. sugar, more or less, depending on sweetness of apples.

                        1 Tbsp. sprouted grain or all purpose flour.

                        1 tsp. ground cinnamon.

            Add dry ingredients to apples and toss to coat.

           Add apple mix to pie pan with bottom crust.

           Dot with small pieces of butter, about 2 Tbsp. total.

           Cover with top crust. Roll and crimp edges to seal.

            With sharp knife, cut 6 slits, about 1 inch long, into top crust to let steam escape. Place pie on a sheet tray to catch any drips. Place in oven and bake 50-60 min. Check after 45 min. or so to see if edges of crust are browning too much. If so, fold strips of foil, about 3 inches wide and curve to arrange over edges. Top should be nicely browned, with bubbles of juice visible at edges of crust and slits in top when done.

            Cool on rack. Serve warm-ish or at room temperature, garnished to taste with:

                      Good vanilla or cinnamon ice cream.

                        Freshly whipped heavy cream.

                        A slice of sharp cheddar cheese.

            Enjoy!

ps… Giving you the gift of Mom’s apple pie also allowed me to Get [this blog] Done a day early so I could be fully present for the gift of Tapestry. I’m so thankful for that. And for you!

pps… The recipe comes from my book, We Gather Together… holiday feasts with the family you have, which has a recipe for pie crust if you need one. OR you could email me and I’ll send you my very best one, from Granny and Mom and me! suesvoice@gmail.com

National Question Day!

I am declaring a holiday. (Everybody else has!) I’m not sure it’ll get a huge following, but it should. And you’re invited!

The name is kind of catchy. National Question Day.

I know… lots of people are more into answers but many, many answers, like the right/left either/or kind, feel – well – limiting.

I’m starting with this question:

What shall I plant in my garden?

The photo is a glimpse of what it used to look like. Fabulous Oakleaf Hydrangeas happily spreading over the the bumpy area under the huge pine tree. Thrilled about the acidic soil, like the azaleas sprinkled here and there among them.

I really had no idea what I was doing when I chose them. They were gorgeous. And mowing in that part of the yard, back when we did that sort of thing, didn’t work. Bill dug holes. Done.

They’re mostly gone, now.

Maybe it was just their time. Or maybe it was a global warming thing, after 2020’s massive drought and heat. A few of them made it, but some of those are dying, now, too.

In any event, it’s time to move on. And it’s complicated by the current reality of my knees and sacroiliac joints. And Bill’s apparent lack of the gardening gene.

So, questions!

What can we manage? What are we trying to accomplish? What do we want to invest? (Feel free to add a few of your own…)

Let’s simplify!

What are we trying to accomplish? pretty much covers it all.

Oddly, the immediate answer is figs!

I adore figs and my garden wizard, Randy, delivered these this morning. Overflow from his garden. About three miles away.

Who knew?

The longer term answers include lots of bang for minimal bucks, no chemicals required, emotionally uplifting, and edible.

Recently, the list got a bit more interesting.

Pollinators. And, natives.

And, yes, I’ve been reading Facebook.

Fortunately Randy can help with the garden answers. The other ones are up to me.

Yes, I was peeved when Facebook went down Monday.

And, hell yes, I’m concerned about the whistleblower revelations. Not really surprised, which is sad. But concerned.

Which means – as you’ve guessed – more questions!

Questions I don’t have answers for yet. Questions people I care about and respect are asking, too.

Questions about relationships and information and inspiration and business.

Questions about dangerous lies and influence.

They’re not new questions. It’s just that I’ve figured – reasonably capable person that I am – that I could protect myself.

The allegations about knowingly promoting content designed to negatively – harmfully – alter the sense young women have of body image was a huge reminder, though, that protecting myself is not enough.

I have two granddaughters growing up in this world.

And, sadly, my magic wand doesn’t seem to cover this. Though, in the long run, my intentional actions as a guide and artist and writer will make an empowering difference!

So, for today, I don’t know what I will do with all the new questions I have about Facebook and its “partners”.

What I do know is that I’ll push a button in a bit and add these words to the conversation – on Facebook, among other places.

I also know that I’m making progress on the plan for the garden.

And on my painting.

But first, figs for lunch. Locally grown, chemically free food. Food that feeds the other critters and gives me huge pleasure. Food that’s actually healthy!

And, drizzled with a bit of the phenomenal, thick, sticky balsamic vinegar that followed me home from Italy three years ago, I will have accomplished quite a bit in terms of a magical moment.

The rest of the questions will still be there.

ps… magical moments like the figs help the rest of the stuff get done!

pps… there’s really only one question! If we believe what we say we believe what, then, shall we do?

We’re going on an adventure!

It began with an email I received a couple of days ago.

“I think of food when I think of you,” it began. “Do you counsel, too?”

My emailed response was simple. “Yes!” (Well, not quite that simple, but you get the drift…)

My internal response was rather more complex.

You see, I’ve been thinking about that very thing a lot, lately.

Specifically, labels for what I do. And how those labels are the same as and different from the tools I use to do what I do.

As you may have noticed, I have a thing for words!

So, fundamentally, I am a Guide. A Coach. A Counselor. Even, according to a quiz I took recently, an Oracle. (Gulp!)

And I have LOTS of tools in my Medicine Basket:

Words. Images. Intentional Creativity®. Flashy stuff like NLP and Enneagram types and Hypnotherapy. Developing Capable People.

And Food. Which is, as I’ve realized in my pondering, one of the most accessible, universal tools in my basket.

Food is an issue for everybody. A different issue, granted, depending on issues like location and culture and degree of privilege.

For today, we’re going with food in families dealing with holiday traditions… not because it’s the only thing, but because it’s often the most emotional thing and a great place for growth.

Awhile back, I wrote a book about this. We Gather Together… holiday feasts with the family you have!

I’ll give you the punchline in a moment. First, a brief story…

The first time I had dinner with Bill’s family, his mom opened a can of green beans and poured them, unheated, into a crystal bowl. She added a silver spoon and set them, with a flourish, on the dining room table.

If I had known, back then, about the ways we filter all the input of our world, I would have been able to explain why it freaked me out so much. At the time, I just began to comprehend Bill’s extreme disinterest in vegetables!

So, tomorrow is the first of October. Food Network is already well into the holiday season. And it’s time, for many of us, to begin to ponder plans for feeding those we love the most in a world that’s gotten a whole lot different since we were kids.

At our house, we start with the food challenges/choices of those who will gather. For us that means two omnivores with strong tendencies toward local, sustainable choices (Dave and me), three pescatarians… fish, yes  – meat, no (Kelly and the girls), and an insulin dependent diabetic (Bill). Plus the varying challenges of gluten and dairy and allergies. And the fact that pretty much everybody wants to help!

All of which should explain why step 2 is so important. It is, as so many of my favorite tools are, a question!

What are we trying to accomplish?

(Here’s where the Guide part starts!)

Using Grandma’s china? Lots of time to play games? Trying something new? (Fill in your answer, here!)

Your real answer! No judgement. It just helps a lot for it to be conscious!

My answer, and my favorite thing about food, is that it’s about belonging and building a sense of capability and significance, especially in the littles.

Hence, the photo of Kenzie, thrilled to be “in charge” of a cheese platter for family game night during a recent holiday visit. She was so proud!

And, yes, my inner Grammy-Guide cried!

There’s an old joke in my family about the Thanksgiving dinner at my folks’ house, with cousins from both sides of the family gathered around the table. We were about 20 minutes into a lovely meal when my Mom suddenly blurted, “I forgot the effing corn! The Pilgrims always had corn!”

Maybe, just maybe, with all due respect, that’s an old story that isn’t quite what we’re trying to accomplish in this moment.

I’m just sayin’…

ps… the book has recipes, too!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach