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Posts Tagged ‘Jen Lee’

katie scarf just be true

Snapped yesterday on my new back porch, just before I dove into potting the new herbs (and another geranium) I’d bought at the garden center down the street.

That scarf is my favorite – a gift from my fashionista sister a while back. That glinting silver chain holds the “brave” pendant I adore. And the t-shirt – which says “Just be true” – is an oldie but goodie from Jen Lee’s shop. I bought it back in 2010, after meeting Jen at an incandescent retreat weekend in her Brooklyn neighborhood, and right before I moved to Boston. It, and its message, have stayed with me ever since.

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This year, Valentine’s Day coincided with my first day at a new job. We hadn’t planned a big splash, anyway, since it fell on a Monday, and we’d celebrated early with a yummy dinner date in the North End at the weekend (the best lasagna I’ve ever had, finished off with cannoli from – where else? – Mike’s.)

However, I’d been hankering to make Jen’s Valentine sugar cookies, and I was also brain-tired and longing to do something tactile when I got home on Monday. So I tied on my favorite striped apron and began pulling ingredients out of the pantry.

The first thing I noticed? We had no powdered sugar. So I shed the apron, pulled on my coat, and dashed to Walgreen’s, just up the street. No dice. They had regular sugar, but no powdered. I headed home, and discovered via the Internet that if you don’t have powdered sugar, you can in fact make your own – by whizzing regular sugar and a little cornstarch in the blender. Excellent.

When I opened the flour canister, I realized there was no way I had enough flour to make a whole batch of cookies. So I halved the recipe. (The hubs doesn’t have a raging sweet tooth anyway, although I do.)

Problem #3: Not enough shortening. So I substituted butter, hoping it would work. (It did.) And started to wonder if I should have even bothered – but by then, of course, I’d poured half the ingredients into a bowl. So I pressed on, mixing, chilling, whisking up some pink icing (no sprinkles, but the pink looked properly festive), rolling and baking.

And when J walked in, as I was putting the cookies onto sheets, his face lit up. And – bonus! – he had brought me a Valentine cupcake from their office potluck.

I could have given up on the cookies for lack of flour, sugar, shortening, sprinkles, energy or the will to fuss with it. But I’m so glad I didn’t. Because even with limited, imperfect ingredients, I was still able to make something special for my love. And – true to form – he walked out of the kitchen later, munching on a cookie, and declared, “These are delicious.”

Happy Love Thursday, all. May you find some sweetness today.

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I met these lovelies at the Integrate Retreat last weekend in NYC. Jen (in the front, with the curls) hosted us at the Sofia Inn in Brooklyn, and oh my, the whole weekend was magical. We talked, wrote, laughed, sang, drank tea, ate chocolate, saw Wicked together, did yoga, explored Brooklyn, cried and laughed some more. And that’s just the beginning.

This week I am missing Beth, Sandra, Crystal, Phyllis, Jenna, Annette, Julie, Jen and Amelia. What lovely souls, and what a fabulous time we had together. Until we “reintegrate,” I’ll be thinking of them.

More photos and stories to come…

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