Rain wakes me at 7 a.m., the day before Christmas. I decide to read Joan Didion with coffee. She died yesterday. Later I will read Slouching Toward Bethlehem . This morning I choose her essay on Ernest Hemingway, Last Words.
There will be fried potatoes and green chile for breakfast.
Cowboy ate his kibble and found a warm place in my bed.
“The Doughnuts,” about a boy and a doughnut machine gone wild, has always been my favorite Homer Price story and today I brought it home.
I don’t know how old Homer was when the doughnut machine showed up in his life. I think Robert McCloskey wrote and illustrated the story for publication in 1943. I might have read it eight or so years after my birth in 1949. Homer lived in Centerburg, Ohio. I knew right off the bat that we had something in common. I was born in Newark, Ohio, although we lived in married-student housing on the nearby Denison University campus in Granville, Ohio, right in the middle of that oh-so-settled state. I’m guessing that Robert McCloskey and I had a fondness for doughnuts in common, too. And there was a name thing. My grandfather was Homer Wilbur Robertson. He was from central Ohio and liked anything sweet, in addition to limburger cheese.
At any rate, at age 72, with McCloskey’s story still wafting around my brain and Homer Price collections still on my bookshelf, I just made my first batch of doughnuts here in Placitas.
I’m not sure why I never attempted this before but what sent my into action was discovering a recipe for baked apple cider doughnuts in the New York Times. It might have been the baked rather than fried part that turned the trick. I also like anything with apples. Thank you, Erin Jeanne McDowell.
And this just in. I maybe used a little too much nutmeg but my first batch is pretty darn good.
I rose this morning to listen to the rain. It’s so rare. I went to sleep as the weather came in, soothed by the sound of the wind, knowing it brought a storm. I discovered on rising a little snow on the Sandias to the south, a little more on the Jemez to the north. The clouds pulled away quickly, leaving thirsty hills behind. The creeks between me and the mountains dried years ago. We’re on edge in the West about how much more snow will come. We’ve been warned there will be less and less. These are our times, when we need to see for thousands of years but still pin our hopes on each day. I swung my tiny camera west to Cabezon. A light show played over the old volcano, reminding me how puny I am.