Sometimes you get thrown for a loop. Mrs. Culinarian and I were coasting along with relative ease, not entirely certain what lay ahead, but confident enough, and then BLAMMO. A hammer we couldn't imagine was looming overhead dropped with sufficient force that in a seeming instant, pretty much everything we planned for got thrown totally into question. And guess what? Holy crap is it not fun trying to adjust and accomodate for the new normal, though it does provide a certain degree of perspective.
So let's be cheerful at what remains constant: Mrs. Culinarian and I are in perfect health and Baby Culinarian is turning out to be an energetic in utero tenant. Canine Culinarian is in fine fettle as well, even if she has a touch of arthritis in her still-young shoulder. Stacked against us are a whole host of changes and disruptions that have put plenty of stress on our comfortable dynamic. I won't bore with specifics. Some are good, most are not so good, and for them all to crop up in the 45-day window since returning from Australia has been... challenging.
It's also the holidays! And that's been yet another source of stress, but the season also brings with it, hopefully, some relief.
After all, it's Christmas, a time in which we seek out the comforting and comfortable. That means food.
Pulla, for example. It's bread! Braided, spiced, baked to a mahogany brown, best enjoyed toasted with coffee or remade into an excellent French toast. Also, too: cookies. Specifically, oatmeal lace cookies, the stand-by cookie in the Culinarian household during the holiday season. And you know what else? Tarts. Like this custardy tart with caramelized pears and ginger that stacks high among holiday pastries. Foods like these are emotional anchors, and knowing they'll be on the table in the weeks ahead makes any trouble that much easier to endure.