I woke up this morning at 5 a.m. It may be early to some for a Sunday morning, but since I wake at 4 a.m. during the week, I actually slept in.
Waking at 5 a.m. gives me a chance to welcome the day slowly. I stretched for a few minutes until I pulled a muscle in my shoulder which gave me a good excuse to head straight to the kitchen and start the coffeemaker.
Sunday is my day to get organized in the kitchen. Sunday is football from 9 a.m. Arizona time until I go to bed. I grew up in Wisconsin knowing my team, the Green Bay Packers, would be on television because their games were always sold out. Our Sunday meals revolved around the game and, of course, unless it was Thanksgiving and the Packers were playing the Detroit Lions, the game was only on Sunday. It might be hard for this generation used to NFL Network, Football Night in America, Monday and Thursday night football to understand how simple our team's schedules were at that time.
There is something in the air that innately changes my perspective after the autumn solstice. Could it be that despite the 100 degree days in Arizona I sense a bit of coolness in the air? Could it be that without the constantly scorching sun I realize I can turn on the oven and not turn my house into a sauna? Could it be that you can take the girl out of Packlerland but you can't take Packerland out of the girl? Despite my team playing on Monday night, the Sunday tradition is too hard to break.
Whatever it is, after making my coffee, I immediately started to make raisin bran muffins. As they bake in the oven, I plan the rest of my cooking schedule: fresh green beans, Brussels sprouts, and butternut squash. Cantaloupe and honey dew melons need to be cut and stored.
It also makes a perfect day to continue revising my first book Value Meals on the Volga. Everything needs a face lift after a few years and now it is this book's turn. Who hasn't seen their first book published and saw a few little flaws? That is part of the business. This second chance to get it right has not been a chore. It has taken effort to review each page, update a few key phrases here and there and put more punch on its front and back covers. It has been a work of joy. And, I know my Mom is still watching over me as I write and cook, adding her two cents to help me get it right.
So as I sit peacefully at my table, I sip Java Time coffee from my Grand Canyon mug. As I type and watch the sky slowly change from black to a pale gray blue with bright white edging out at the horizon, my oven timer beeps and my muffins are ready to come out of the oven.
What a wonderful way to welcome the day of football, family and food.