Today is my birthday, the shortest day, the longest night.
I must have had a reason for being born on this day,
since I arrived 3 weeks early.
Was it the magic of the rounded number 12-20-1950?
Or the proximity to Christmas?
For that my mother Evelyn named me for the songs
sung this time of year.
My father Sam never ceased til his end
to tell me of the snow blizzard we drove
the length of Long Island- from Brooklyn to Lindenhurst-
to bring me home.
Only the size of a chicken I was
as he meaningfully redrew my then size from elbow to palm.

There are really cool computer astonomy programs these days
where you can give your time of birth and coordinates
and see the way the sky looked then.
It was about 4 in the afternoon that day 68 years ago
and the sky was still rosy from the sun
that had already set.
An even cooler astrological measuring device
for the Winter solstice is in Newgrange Ireland
I often said that I was born on an island, with only my big toe in America,
so as to easily leave
as soon as I came of age.
I never fit in there, always different.
I had no sense or connection to the things everybody else did-
sports, football, cheerleaders.
I was taking ballet lessons and dancing to classical music.
My spiritual home was Europe and I soon enough found my way there,
first England, then Germany.

Everybody knows Simon and Garfunkel. They had a song I loved
„Scarborough Fair“. I visited Scarborough because I was
so enthralled with the song,
but how disappointed I was to find it in reality grey and rundown.
Nevertheless since then there is no chicken I have ever roasted
without singing and seasoning with
parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme.
Rub a chicken with them, salt and pepper and roast for an hour.
Easy and delicious.

Before I started writing this blog and was looking for an appropriate name,
Lothar asked what my favorite foods are.
Well, I didn't have to ponder long
tomatoes, chicken and pretzels.
You can get me with them any time.
But this whole thing is really not just about food, is it.
I gather and glean the stories of my past,
along the way
to what comes next.

But it would not be fair to leave out a recipe
so here, in honor of Evelyn this time
without whom I would't be here.
She loved beautiful things.
This is her recipe for cranberry sauce which she served
in this same crystal bowl
together with roast turkey and stuffing.
400 grams of fresh cranberries
100 grams sugar
50 grams water, just enough that the berries don't stick to the pot
Boil gently for 10-15 minutes until it starts to gel.

When it's cooled down, cut an orange into mouthsize pieces and add to the sauce.
Turn into a beautiful bowl.
Easy and delicious.