Back… with gratitude & vanilla rosemary cherry tomatoes

So there’s this French saying. It was the title of a comedy. La vie n’est pas un long fleuve tranquille. Life is not a long tranquil river.


Sometimes, we are grateful for life’s non linear, unexpected turns. Sometimes we tell ourselves they happen for a reason. Sometimes hindsight shows us the good that came out of the bad. And sometimes, we feel sorrow and mourn that long tranquil river of a life we might have imagined when we were children.

“Life is never as good, or as bad, as we thought.” Une Vie. Guy de Maupassant.

I will spare you the nitty gritty details, but there was a separation, a move, a terrible illness, a hospitalization and hours and days in critical condition, just waiting. For the body and soul to make a move. For the better or for the worse. Crisis mode. Everything else in life fades away to deal with the chaos.

And then, there’s slow improvement. Things are still difficult, still unresolved, and uncertain. The illness is still here. But life and healing are no longer hanging on by a thread. And remains the dire need for life to continue on its course, whatever that may be.

And in the midst of this past month of chaos, sanity had to be maintained. Ways to cope, to be grounded for my sake, for my son’s sake. Life is never one thing. Days have been nerve-wracking, chaotic, driven, juggling. But also joyful, through minutes spent in the present moment with Pablo. Through meals we shared in the midst of boxes, and slowly, in what has begun to feel like our new home. Through seconds of taking in the beauty surrounding us, the San Gabriel mountains, the wild parrots in our tree, the cool morning air.

How beauty and connection matter. How they heal and nourish.

So this feels like such a homecoming. I’m a little nervous. To write here, to come back to this blogging community I had to desert for a month. Resurfacing has been hard. I have been so grateful for all your messages of encouragement and comfort and support. I am so grateful for your patience, that you’re still here to read these words.

I’ve been nervous, I’ve felt stuck and afraid to have too much to express. But I’m starting to write again. To cook again. Some dust has settled on my camera. Soon.

In the meantime, I am sharing this lovely simple recipe I had cooked up before all this whirlwind of a month. A little something to quench that summer nostalgia October might bring.



20 thoughts on “Back… with gratitude & vanilla rosemary cherry tomatoes

  1. I am so thrilled that you are back, and so grateful to you for resurfacing and sharing such intimate things. It's courageous. And your photos above are stunning. It won't matter that the camera has a little dust when you pull it out, it will be just as familiar in your hands.

    Thank you for your words, your blog, and your recipes! Thinking of you & your family.

  2. I've missed your voice here, Helene, and I've wondered how things were looking. Thanks for this little window and thanks for being brave enough to say something. I'm sorry you're going through some unexpected bumps. If you lived nearby, I'd bring you a meal and clean your kitchen or something, whatever you would let me do that would help. Praying for you and your family.

    1. And I would be so grateful to accept your help! I love the idea of meeting you and chatting in my kitchen 🙂 I have given a lot of thought to your post about grace and how hard it is to accept other people's help and support without giving anything in return. It really stayed with me through this whole turmoil. Thank you for that.

  3. What is a blog, if not to share your thoughts and have a community to support you? So glad you're back and discussing life and food. My baby will now have a recipe to go with the tomatoes I purchased for him yesterday!

    1. So true. I never realized that before I started blogging. This community has so enriched my life this way. Let me know how your baby enjoys the tomatoes!

  4. Hi Helene– I'm so happy to hear that things are improving, even slowly. It's wonderful to have you back in the blog world, sharing your lovely voice and recipes. I'm loving the idea of the sweet and savory combination of flavors you've put together here. I'll be bookmarking this one soon!

  5. I'm glad you're back. Every day I have checked, hoping, anticipating. I'm sorry that what kept you away wasn't joyous but awful. But I'm glad you're back.

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