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Recipe for Disaster: From Pattie

 As a child, I tried to make fudge for a family surprise. Unwittingly, I used lard instead of butter. It was surprising—but no surprise that nobody would eat it.  I told Marianne about this experience. She chuckled empathetically and said, “Ahhh.” She didn’t invite me to cook with her, but she did invite the then-two-year-old Jenaya to come and make cookies. Later, arriving to pick Jenaya up, I found her clad only in a diaper, perched on the countertop breaking eggs into the cookies with Marianne coaching the endeavor. The two of them were laughing and fishing eggshells out of the dough and licking their fingers. They mixed up dough and slopped cookie dough onto the pan and into the oven. The freshly baked cookies were proudly served on a beautiful platter accompanied by Marianne’s Peter Rabbit tea. It was a heavenly moment; we celebrated with delicious cookies and washed them down with tea.

Photo: From the quilt Marianne made for Jenaya




  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups freshly picked lemon balm leaves 
  • 2 cups freshly picked calendula flowers, chamomile flowers, and rose petals wrapped loosely in cheesecloth
  • Sweetener to taste, optional 
  • Wedge of lemon or orange, or fresh herbs to garnish, optional


  1. Boil water in a pot. Add leaves and flower petals; stir and remove from heat.
  2. Cover and steep 5 minutes.
  3. Strain into a 2-quart pitcher and cool in the refrigerator for 2 hours or more.
  4. Serve, poured over ice garnished with a lemon or orange wedge and sweetened to taste.

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