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I’ve been suffering a mild bout of homesickness. It’s only been minor suffering and it has a lot to do with being stir crazy from the Siberian cold front that is currently pummeling Europe. We even had snow flurries on Thursday morning, reminiscent of a scene from an especially freezing Alabama winter day. There was ample speculation about school being closed for the day, dreams of staying in bed with a good book and hot chocolate and wild snow manic 12 year olds with their noses glued to the window, breathing their hot kid breath onto the frigid glass. What a sight it would’ve been to see the snow sticking to the sand on the beach! Needless to say, learning was at a real low and my need for Vitamin D and a way to stretch my twitchy legs was soaring. So, what did I do? I made macaroni and cheese, steamed broccoli, a big green crunchy salad and chocolate pudding. And we stayed inside and feasted, ate cheesy pasta noodles for five consecutive meals, watched movies, combated the homesickness and enjoyed the downtime.

Now the sun is streaming in the kitchen window, refracting off my thick glasses and I’m squinting and typing. The air in our apartment has got a certain nip to it and I’m still missing a fresh French pressed coffee from Urban Standard. Today would be perfect to spend an hour or two in a calm coffee shop with artsy folks traipsing in and out, a place where the lattés are a work of art, the foam swirled into hearts and flowers. But, since a place like this has never been thought of in Laredo, I did the only thing I knew to do and made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  They weren’t anything like what my mom has described my great grandma Berndt used to lovingly knead and bake and they weren’t as sticky or as gooey as the Pillsbury dough boy’s, but they hit the spot. If only I could find powdered sugar in this foreign land utterly devoid in its hankering for a sweet treat (where it’s customary to eat a piece of fruit for dessert) then they would have been even better, coated in a blanket of runny sugar and milk. What we devoured instead were far from perfect. They were ill-formed, overly-doughy, lacking in gooey cinnamon-sugar butter filling and utterly divine to the homesick.  And, there was zero yeast and rising time involved.

To complete the weather update, the sun is back hidden behind a purple-gray fog and the sky is showering a mess of freezing rain and snow. It looks like we’ll enjoy another day inside.

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