I'm eyeballs-deep in several series, we'll be traveling for a while, and, frankly, I think I've run out of recipes!
So, I've decided to take a step back from the cafe until life is calmer.
I can't express how much I've enjoyed sharing recipes on Yankee Belle Cafe.
The charming successes...
And the fails!
Like double chocolate pound cake with mint ganache.
The pork roast with onions that I think I stole from Ruthy... Or was it Jan?
The never-fail Biscotti recipe from a friend.
The lavender flan recipe from a magazine.
Oh, how I made myself hungry looking at posts like this chocolate cream raspberry pie!
And then there were the photos of family life...
OH MY. All the pictures!
Hilarious photo fails!
brown sugar pound cake with caramel glaze!
I might possibly have cried a little at this "banana phone" picture. All my babies did this. Now they're all too old to pretend to talk on the banana phone!
So many milestones. All the wonderful food, comments, conversations, memories...
I've learned so much about cooking and family and faith in the cafe.
Our posts aren't just about food. They're about all the moments in our lives, good and bad. (Our good things jar. We're in our fifth year and every Jan 1st we open them one by one to read the wonderful things that happened. I don't curate the collection. Anyone can write, or have someone else write, a note. Some of them are hilarious! )
They're about the history of our country...
...and the pioneers who made it what it is. The posts are about our yearning to carry on what was given to us.
The recipes aren't just desserts or dinner or snacks. They're family recipes that are really more about generations of love, than the food.
They're secret recipes passed from friend to friend.
Whether Mardi Gras King's Cake, Ash Wednesday, Easter,
Advent or Christmas, the posts echoed the church calendar in our houses.
The posts are about new babies and beginnings and passing on the Good News in a community of faith.
There are more posts about books than I would have thought possible, dozens between the six of us! It's about work and persistence and perseverance and fellowship. We lift each other up, celebrate writing 'the end' and each contract or book release.
It's about pets, the cats and dogs that are members of our family.
Sleeping in silly positions...
and laughter and growing up.
About noticing the beauty of a fluffy kitten, or a tender touch. The cuddles of sleeping babies, the warmth of a toddler's hand, the hug of a teenager.
These posts tracked five years of my family life, from having six kids under twelve, to having six readers in the house and three (almost four!) teenagers
Lakes and oceans and wheatfields.
I saw five years of vacation photos...
and I felt a rush of gratitude for the freedom to travel and explore this beautiful country.
Freedom to stay in a fancy hotel, or in a yurt on the Oregon coast...
To eat a five star restaurant to catch our own food off the dock.
To see the old and the new.
To buy our food from a farmer's market,
Or buy cactus shipped from far away. (It's grown on me...)
To make ice cream from our own mulberry tree,
To plant the trees we want, how we want, and spray whether we want to or not. (Our organic cherries.)
Or buy from a local farm that can decide whether to grow organically or not.
To tend a forty year old grapevine, and sell or eat the fruit as we wish!
Whether we're in the mountains or at the shore.
delightful it was when I met Mr. Latte. And then foun a delicious copycat Starbucks gingerbread syrup.
We invited our readers into our kitchens, whether sharing our decorations, renovations,
And more flowers (and more and more flowers)! I never knew I posted so many flowers.
And oh, the kid pictures. So many moments of our daily lives.
Blowing bubbles instead of doing dishes.
Finding the world's biggest icicle.
Unhappy faces when their favorite pie pumpkin was sacrificed for pumpkin bread...
That recipe is here! Of course, there were recipes, too.
Can I just say how hungry I got while scrolling through recipes like these homemade calzones??
I smiled to see dear Edna in so many posts.
She's still on my counter, supervising all the new arrivals and making sure their performance is up to par.