Mother's Day, every day

I wrote an essay about my little niece Lily and my beloved mom, Liora. Sadly, they never got to meet. My mom passed away a couple of years before Lily was born, but there’s no doubt in my mind that they would have fallen instantly and forever in love with one another.

I wrote an essay about Lily’s scary birth and my mom’s example of how to cope during hard, scary times. It was her memory which helped all of us get through that terrifying week with bravery and optimism. It’s in this month’s issue of Hadassah Magazine. In case you want to read it, here it is.

Happy mother’s day to all you mothers and all you children. Even if you, like me, no longer have your mother living, I hope you celebrate the gift of having her in your life for as long as you did.

Much love to you all,

Tammar

Brave

Being brave can look really different. You’re brave when you run into a burning building when everyone else is running out. (Thank you, firefighters everywhere!)

You’re brave when you put on a weapon and go out into the dark streets to stop people who have stolen, who have broken laws, who have hurt others. (Thank you, police everywhere!)

You’re brave when you decide it’s okay to accept a lower paying job because it makes the world a better place and you’re willing not only to give your time and energy to make that happen, but also willing to endure a less comfortable life. (Thank you, teachers, social workers, public defenders and every employee at a non-profit!)

And while it looks different from the bravery above: you’re brave when you write. Especially when you write your truth. When you write from your hopes and your dream. When you let your secret fears and your hidden pain out from where they’ve been hiding.

It’s brave to try something hard and new. It’s brave to share it with others.

Some people will like what you write. Some people won’t. That’s where being brave comes in.

It takes courage to keep writing. It takes courage to keep sharing.

So take heart, my dear ones. Be brave. In whatever form that might take. I can’t wait to see what you come up with.

More later,

Tammar

Grateful

Hello dear ones,

I’ve been thinking about the five languages of love and how our society has focused on gift-giving as the most authentic one to show you care. (Have you heard of this theory? There are 5 main ways people show each other that they love them: kind words, acts of service, quality time, physical touch, and giving gifts.) I get that, I mean, no one’s spending their 6-figure marketing budget to tell you to give people back rubs or to put away the laundry. The return on their investment wouldn’t leave their shareholders happy. (Although maybe they would be happier if they were getting back rubs and their boo took the trash without being asked? This bears further thinking…)

Regardless, I love that we have Thanksgiving before launching into the shopping/giving/getting frenzy of December. We can just eat and hang out and maybe even go around the table and say what we’re grateful for before we dig in.

I hope you have a wonderful meal with people you like, and that you remember to use all your languages to show them how much you care.

And since the sixth, previously undiscovered, love language is food, here’s one of my favorite fall recipes to share with you. If you double the recipe and give one away, you’ll be speaking so many languages at one: gift, service, food, and if after you hand it over you also give them a hug and tell them you love them, you’ll be speaking in touch and king words too. A polyglot in love. What a beautiful thing.

Thank you for reading my books!

Tammar

Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread

1 can pumpkin puree

1/2 cup vegetable oil (I’ve used olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, literally whatever I have laying around)

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour (I sometimes swap in 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon ginger

3/4 cup chocolate chips

Heat over to 350. Oil a 9-by-5 inch loaf pan, line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly still the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Add chocolate chips.

Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake 60-70 minutes. Inserted toothpick should come out clean.

This recipe easily doubles. Make one to keep and one to give away to your favorite neighbor.

Enjoy!