It's getting dark earlier

I almost need to turn on the light in the kitchen to cook dinner. Almost, but not quite.

on the windowsill

The eyelet curtains suck against the screen as the kids run in and out, asking permission for this or that, dropping off and picking up whatever it is they need for their adventures: beach towels, goggles, fishing poles, shoes, water bottles.

There's a lukewarm bottle of porter poured into a chilled Ball pint jar sitting next to the book which I steal moments to read, in between chopping and sauteing. Have you read The Passage? Did you love it? Could you put it down? Will my husband mind if I read it before I give it to him, even though he was the one who told me about it and asked me to get it for him from the library?

Grandma Dunham's enchiladas are in the oven (Grandma Dunham as in my husband's grandma). To call them enchiladas seems an insult to Mexican cuisine. Ground beef, onions, and black olives rolled in flour tortillas, smothered with a can of tomato sauce, topped with shredded sharp cheddar. No one complains when I make this for dinner. There will be no leftovers to heat up for tomorrow's lunch.

It's a dinner made from memory, not written on any recipe card. I never knew Grandma Dunham, never tasted her own enchiladas (apparently made with homemade flour tortillas), but I've tasted her descendent's versions of the enchiladas, and committed their verbal instructions for making them to memory. I've received and passed on the memory of Grandma Dunham through the taste buds. It occurs to me that one day I might be known as Grandma Dunham, and I'll probably serve my grandchildren Grandma Dunham's enchiladas.

There's nothing quite as ho-hum or homey, as ordinary or comforting, as the dinner we will eat tonight, outside on the patio, as the kitchen's too dark and I don't want to turn on the lights. Not quite yet. Not until it's too dark to read.


  1. I just commented to DH that it wasn't even 8 o'clock and it was pretty much dark out...we both groaned at that thought...summer is really so fleeting. I have recipes that my grandma and mom made, nothing fancy, just homey comfort food...doing my best to pass down the traditions...I love your photo and post today; they're comfy, too =-)

  2. Can I invite myself over for leftovers at lunch tomorrow? Please?

    I didn't pick up The Passage when I had the chance because I made a vampire connection when I saw the author's name - did you love it? Does the girl get hurt in any way?

    I wish I could say I'll be there tomorrow and we can discuss over GD enchiladas. I'm hungry now. For food and good reads.

    xoxo michele

  3. Oh dear, I'd managed to be in denial about the close of summer until now. :-)

  4. love this photo. and enchiladas with flour tortillas - this makes me smile to know i'm not the only that doesn't fry the corn tortillas and roll the goodness up inside. my kids do not like corn tortillas so we've adapted to flour. hope y'all enjoy your leftovers today!

  5. Food memories can be so strong and so abiding, can't they?
    I thought I was the only one who read while cooking!
    Loved this post, thanks.

  6. beautifully written.
    I was also noticing last night that the peak of summer is behind us. Sigh. C'est la vie.

  7. Sounds like an interesting read. I don't think he'll mind at all if you read it first. I love the connection that you have made to Grandma Dunham.

  8. I had not heard of this novel. Will check it out. Just now in the middle of book 2 of The Hunger Games.

    dinner sounds pretty good to me.

    and yes. the light she is changing. I sat out on the deck and waited for the sun to set. It was our very first warm summer night; and it might have been the last.

  9. Oh I love how you've 'written' down this recipe on your memory. It's a perfect way to store recipes, I think, because it allows each next person's slightly own 'flavor' to be added to the recipe.

  10. I just read the title of the post and I go: what? say it isn't sooo!!

  11. You had my attention the entire post (as usual)! Love the connection to family and the new recipe for my family! Enjoy your changing season.

  12. I love when it gets dark earlier, means fall is here and all the loveliness that it possesses. I am inspired by your blog.

  13. yes, those simple family recipes that are committed to memory are life savers. There's always a night when something goes wrong but then the "Grandma" saves the day. Or night. or the in between.

  14. Oh that is the best; recipes passed down through telling stories about family. I love it! Sometimes I think the history of my ancestors' favorite recipes would be more interesting and more insightful than a family tree with dates and pictures. Keep the tradition alive!



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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