a gift

You have no idea how hard I’ve looked
for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to
the gold mine, or water to the ocean.
Everything I came up with was like
taking spices to the Orient.
It’s no good giving my heart and my
soul because you already have these.
So I’ve brought you a mirror.
Look at yourself and remember me.

RUMI

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baked goodness

butterheart

“Baker of food gifts” has somehow become my second job this holiday season. If you’re still looking for last-minute ideas, here are some of the goods I’ve been giving out. (Baking while listening to Beyoncé helps, too.)

Slice-and-Bake Cookies:
Plain, lemon and chocolate sables

Loaves:
Ina’s Perfect Pound Cake
Bacon and Cheese Quick Bread
Chocolate Chip Banana Coconut Bread

+ Always a winner: Martha’s gingerbread blondies (sans white chocolate) with Sprinkles cinnamon cream cheese frosting

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insist

Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation; but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession. … Do that which is assigned to you, and you cannot hope too much or dare too much.

RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Self-Reliance

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