sweet smell of spice and other things nice

Tonight we got back into the monday-baking swing of things. Elena and Alejandra brought laughter as a friend to fill all the lonely spaces in my kitchen (only recently vacated after Christmas left). We detoured from our normal crowded kitchen routine because there was just simply too much catching up to do. I baked and they talked - anything else would have resulted in a disaster on all sides. I promise I would admit it if I resented their un-helpfulness, but I'll tell you what I told them, "Just having you in my house makes me so happy."

I felt like a 26 year-old version of my own cheesy mother... and, well, I don't mind a bit! I realize now that all those times we were crowding my mom probably made her feel pretty popular. I don't think it was just the smell of spaghetti or casserole or chicken... I think it was a kind of home-baked smell she had that invited us in to chat. It could be wishful thinking, but I hope I inherited that fragrance!

It doesn't hurt that just the sight of this beautiful apron (thanks, sister!) brings culinary inspiration!