The View From Mrs. Sundberg's Window

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Mrs. Sundberg's Recipe Collection - 12 tried-and-true--one for each month of the year--featuring an introduction and tips from Mrs. Sundberg herself

More Biscotti, Please

October 19, 2004

Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I was in one of those autumn moods where you drink hot cider and page through cookbooks and check to make sure there are enough mittens in the box up in the closet and turn on as few lights as possible. The kids were out raking leaves, feeling better after lying in bed much of the week, coughing and falling asleep with books open over their faces. They said they were going to make a leaf mountain and made me promise to come out after the show and let them cover me with leaves.

Mr. Sundberg was away at a motivational speaker pep rally in Atlanta and I had spent the day cleaning and finished early enough to make a batch of apple butter and some cranberry almond biscotti. I took a long hot shower and dug out my favorite pair of Levi's. Someone told me once most adults dress the way they did the year they gave up. Meaning that at some point a person gives up trying to be trendy and fit in with the latest styles and just wears what feels good. I don't know about you, but I've never owned a housedress and, frankly, I'm not one for wearing pearls. Give me a pair of jeans, some hiking boots and a thermal knit shirt and I'm happy as a pie on the porch in May.

So there I was, looking over recipes and munching on toasted pumpkin seeds with three lit candles on the table. Mr. Keillor had a humdinger of a band on the show called "Beausoleil." They sang a couple songs, one about how the person who can make you laugh can also make you cry. Well if that isn't the truth. I got to thinking about the kids and—as Mr. Keillor sang a kind of folksy Irish blessing—I got out my barn coat. No, we don't have a barn. But I like the idea of a barn. And putting on a barn coat implies something good. Like I'm going out to go do something meaningful and I'll be back in a while. I walked on out to where the kids were screaming and throwing leaves, and there it was. A mountain of leaves. I stepped into the middle and fell into those leaves and the kids stood there staring, but just for a moment. Then they gave a rare primal scream and they were on me. Leaves flying, giggling, rolling. We played until the sun had set and the cold came down through the trees. You want some biscotti? I asked. They nodded and we went in, leaving a trail of leaves through the house.

The kids ate and stared at whatever it is they stare at when they're tired. One of them told me I had leaves in my hair, and one of them said, "This is a good day," and the third asked for more biscotti, please.

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