Ninepatch is the monthly publication of a non-profit organization by the same name. In the pages of this Ninepatch magazine, women – and the men who support them – share their spiritual journeys and life experiences through letters, essays, poetry, book reviews and more. Ninepatch offers a forum where contributors can be heard and enjoy an atmosphere of sharing and acceptance. Such sharing is vital in helping everyone find their place in an eternal spiritual circle where all know and are known.
A COOKING LESSON
My husband, JK, is well-known among family and friends for his “healthy” blueberry-pecan pancakes. Whenever we plan a breakfast or brunch with others, “JK’s Pancakes” with maple syrup are number one on the menu.
I took a cold one to my little 93-year-old aunt. Grinning she later announced, “I nibbled on it … ate it like a cookie!”
Last week I wanted to give new friends, who had treated us, a thank you gift. I immediately thought of Jim’s pancakes. Often, we freeze extras and microwave them to eat later. While not quite like the hot-from- the- pan taste, they remain delicious. Jim isn’t always with me. I need to learn how to make the pancakes myself!
Soon, I discovered JK cooks like my mother did: by feel, look and taste. Mother mixed up meatloaf with her hands, looked at it critically and often offered me a raw tidbit asking, “What does this need?”
Leaning away from the spoon, I always shook my head. Not raw meat! Ugh!
The consequences of her sight-taste-feel cooking left me not knowing how to cook. Looking back, I am sorry for my first husband. He liked to cook and was good at it, but meal-making was “the wife’s job.”
Over years of raising a family, I taught myself to follow recipe cards and cookbooks, but learning was a long tedious process. I gave up on piecrust long ago.
Over the twelve years of marriage, JK always ate what I cooked and thanked me for the meal. Sometimes, he said “Thank you for a delicious meal.” Others he nodded his approval and said, “You put a lot of effort of preparing this meal.” Still other times he added to our meal’s prayer, “Bless the hands that made this meal.”
Meal-by meal, I gained confidence. At last I was ready to step beyond soups, casseroles and stir-fry and try to learn his blueberry pancake-making.
JK stood with me as I translated his “one big spoon” into “three tablespoons,” continuing on with translating other ingredients for myself. Then he counseled me on mixing and developing the batter texture. Last he oversaw frying and turning, translating timing into approximate minutes per side.
Finally, we ate one pancake apiece. After chewing several bites, JK asked “Do you notice any difference?”
I stopped and studied the bite on my fork, then pushed my tongue around the pancake I was chewing. “No. What’s different?”
He nodded and replied. “If you don’t see or taste anything different, then it’s all good.”
And it was: all good!
I am blessed.
CALLING ALL WRITERS
Ninepatch is updating our web site and looking for additional writers. We want weekly bloggers, monthly comments and occasional small pieces. We are even thinking about short stories!
Contact Editor, Frances.
Ninepatch is a non-profit. Every person who works for us– including Frances—is a volunteer. No one is paid. However, we do have business expenses. Paper, ink, software, labels, and Internet connections, are a few.
While e- readers see color, our paper readers seldom do. It’s too expensive. Yet, due to mailing costs and postage, they bear the brunt of “donation-for-service.” (Financially speaking, E- readers ride their coat-tails.)
If you enjoy reading our magazine and have not already made a donation for 2016, kindly consider making one. $5 is not too small.
We have a Paypal account, or you can send a check to our mailing address:
1014 NW 52nd Ter.
Gainesville, Fl. 32605
Thanks to those of you who support our outreach though coin-of-the-realm, service and prayers. Special thanks to our Board of Directors: Christa and Georgene, our membership coordinator: Dottie, our proofreaders: June and James and the sticky note writers: Leigh, James and Georgene. We appreciate their service.
Of course, you who contribute letters, stories, poems and drawings are the lifeblood of the newsletter and we are especially thankful for you!
Those who give in any way know the greatest return. Hence the old saying, “You reap what you sow.”