Years ago, well before the girls were born, Evan and I used to go on long trips. We preferred early September and would usually take two to three weeks for our travels. A full dinner, and often more, was waiting for us when we got home. Our fridge would always have the essentials like milk and juice and the fruit bowl would be newly filled with whatever was in season. All this was my parents’ doing. This was nothing new to me as I grew up this way where coming home from long travels, no matter how exciting, was made better with a delicious homemade meal. This weekend it was finally our turn to welcome my family home from their travels. Evan and I made this homey chicken stew and oatmeal-raisin cookies for my sister and parents. Travels, culinary exploration, and fancy restaurants can all make for a wonderful vacation, but the last thing I want when I get home from vacation is another restaurant-cooked meal.
We spent the rest of the weekend soaking up the last of summer; Saturday morning was spent at the zoo exploring where we saw not-yet-released to the public pictures of a new baby gorilla born on Friday. Neither the gorilla or its baby are on exhibit yet, but the pictures of the two bonding were beautiful.