lately: gumbo, deviled eggs, ginger cookies.

by banannalouise

‘Lately’ has been special, because of Christmas and New Year’s. Lately has been winter salads, peanut butter out of the jar, honey by the spoonful, the dense, almost fudgey chew of chorizo, eaten on the walk home. Lately has been Vietnamese iced coffee and dark-grained bread. But lately has also been family, twinkly-lit trees, and parties with bonfires.

Christmas Eve was spent baking ginger cookies, drinking pumpkin stout, and roasting chicken thighs with tomatoes–a bright, rich sauce stewing as the chicken cooked. The next morning, we started with coffee and citrus; later, we breakfasted (at 1 in the afternoon) on buttermilk pancakes with bananas & pecans, fried eggs & bacon. Christmas dinner, there was dad’s chicken & andouille gumbo. Board games with the cousins, midnight chocolates.

A week of winter salads later, and New Year’s day was mild. My sister and I took a walk, and left black-eyed peas simmering on the stove, and vegetables roasting in the oven, trusting. Later, we had dinner at a wooden table outside with blankets and family friends. Deviled eggs, guacamole, green salad + raisins & toasted pecans, pork loin, mashed potatoes spiked with scallions, black-eyed peas + bacon, roasted winter vegetables, Champagne. Dessert was Blue Bell ice cream sandwiches, the taste of cocoa powder sticking to the roof of my mouth. And all was right with the world.

Lately has been celebratory. Lately has been good.

(photos: alice gao, via nikole herriott; life magazine)