My 50th Birthday Celebration!

Today I am 50 years of age. Notice I did not say “old”.  I do not feel a day older than yesterday. I had a few minutes to reflect on the things I love about myself and what I have accomplished by age 50.

  • I love how healthy and physically fit I feel. I am in good shape and rarely have illnesses.
  • I love my new job, the people I interact with, the programs I am involved in coordinating, the hours I work and the people I work with.
  • I love that I am able to provide health insurance for my whole family.
  • I love that my daughter is quickly becoming an independent and responsible adult.
  • I love that my son has a sense of confidence and direction for his future.
  • I love that my husband is in good health and enjoying his retirement with fun activities that give him (and me) pleasure.
  • I love that we splurged on the new kitchen. Every day it gives me pleasure to cook healthy, delicious meals for family or friends.
  • I love how productive my garden has been this year. I enjoy harvesting bouquets of flowers, pints of raspberries, armloads of collard greens and bunches of fresh herbs.
  • I love the attention my dogs give me- especially on days when I return from work. Whether they want to go for a walk or just cuddle up for a snuggle, they are loyal companions.
  • I love all the outpouring of love and support from my greater family: parents, sisters, cousins, in-laws, who are always there to encourage my endeavors and cheer me up when I need it.
  • I love having the time to compose my thoughts and share my reflections with everyone who follows my blog.

In thinking about all these positive things that I love about being myself at age 50, all the negative things that I fear or hate- like grey hairs, wrinkles, age spots and reading glasses- seem so shallow and insignificant. Anyone who knows me, sees a much more positive picture. Going into my fifties, I still have the same spunk I had when I was in the single digits. This should be a really good decade.

LAURAS

Thanks to all my family who made me feel special!

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A Sweet Start

L’Shanah Tovah! It’s Rosh Hashanah and time to start the new year. As we cast aside our regrets, apologize for our mistakes and set new goals for the coming year we will celebrate the abundance of the season with sweet treats. Typically this has involved dipping apples, which we picked from a local orchard, into honey we purchased at the farmers market.

This year, however, we have not yet gone apple picking. I am too excited by the organic peaches and plums that the local farms are now selling. For this reason, I was very pleased to read about a new take on the Rosh Hashanah tradition (reprinted from the Chicago Tribune in my hometown newspaper). The author, Laura Frankel, suggested that it was perfectly acceptable to celebrate with another type of sweet fruit. Especially if it was one you could only get at this time of year .

Farm fresh peaches and plums for the new year treat

Farm fresh peaches and plums for the new year treat

Lucky for me then. I had just purchased a quart of what my grandmother called Svechuan plums. I think you would identify them as prune plums. They are oblong and less juicy as well as more tart than regular round plums.They only are available in September and my grandmother used them to bake pies she called Svechuan Kuchen. I fondly remember sitting around the table with my extended family while we each had a slice or two of pie. Of course, my grandma always served it with ice cold freshly whipped  cream.

So, now that I feel affirmed to expand the holiday tradition because of the author’s suggestion, I plan to bake a plum creation of my own – a Svechuan Buckle. I will probably throw in a peach and some raspberries from my own garden to make sure it is moist. And a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top will make it the perfect sweet dessert for our new year celebration.

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If this photo made you wish you could share a piece with us, I included the recipe below. Enjoy!

Svechuan plum buckle   all crisp and golden on top

Svechuan plum buckle all crisp and golden on top

Svechuan Plum Buckle