The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook and Cooking through My Grief

Taking it one recipe at a time. 2013 will be mainly focused on "The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook," by Dinah Bucholz, and how doing what I love, cooking, being with my family and reading Harry Potter will help me process my grief associated with loosing my 3 week old daughter, Ruby, on November 18th, 2011.
Join me for a "culinary magical masterpiece" throughout 2013!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Grieving Grandparents/Cherry Bakewell Cake (from Hermoine)

 This week I made my Harry Potter meal at my Mothers. It turned out delicious! It almost tasted like a cherry cobler, but with toasted almonds on it! (thanks to my Mother who knows how to toast almonds to perfection!) My Mom is the whole reason my sister and I love to cook! She has inspired us so much in fact that we look at cook books during our free time and dream about making so many yummy things! I was thinking that this post will be in Memory of Grandparents and their grief. I guess really the people I should have writting this post is Ruby's Grandparents, but I will put things in my perspective and they can add any additional thoughts if they would like.
 I never realized how Grandparents can be so involved and conected to their Grandchildren. Perhaps because I didn't have a close relationship with my Grandparents it hindered my depth of understanding. Ruby's Grandparents were at the hospital with us, every opportunity they got! The strength that Brian and I recieved from them is insurmountably large! We could lean our grief on our parents, and our hope would come from them also. One particularly hard day at the hospital I went home and my Dad put his arm around me and told me that "Ruby isn't giving up, Why am I?" It was true, I was giving up hope and just having his loving arms buoy me up like that refreshed my will to continue to fight for Ruby right along side her. Then, when the time came for her to leave this world I told Brian that the only people I wanted in the room with us when she passed was our parents, I guess somehow Ruby heard that wish, and she passed away in the quite hours of the night with just us, our parents and a few doctors/nurses in the room. We all shared our grief that night, and reminsisced of our fond memories of Ruby's short life. And then we all together started the walk of grief, all 6 of us. I feel that everyone's grief is their own and their stories can be so different, and as time progressed I realized that in some ways my parents grief was deeper then my own. I grieved for my loss of Ruby, but they grieved for the loss of a beautiful Granddaughter and grieved from seeing their children burdened with loss, and not having any way to make it better. It makes sence since as a parent I want to take away all the pain and hurt from my Rose and Clark, and from watching my parents and Brian's parents I realize that that never changes with time.
  It is so wonderful to be able to walk this path of sorrow and sweet memories with my parents and my in-laws. There was a magical connection that happened to us all the night that Ruby passed away, I can't explain what exactly that magical connection is, but it is there. Perhaps we are all just knit tighter together from an immense amount of Love we all share for our little Ruby!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sweet Memory Sunday

We have been trying, and trying, and trying to get Rose to pray. I hate to admit it but I have even offered her coins for her piggy bank if she would...for some reason she just doesn't like to. But Brian and I have faithfully been having her say her prayers before bed-the one prayer we won't let her get out of. Last night she fianlly said her prayer ON HER OWN! It was so sweet and it felt like heaven was in the room with us! Rosie's prayer went like this, "Heavenly Father, Thank you for basketball(she played with her Daddy earlier that day). And Thank you for cookies (we had made cookies). Amen. That was it, and it was beautiful! It reminded me of how complicated my prayers have become when truly all I need to do is thank heavenly father for the little things that I am blessed with every day:)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Filling the Hole/Bourbon(Pinapple) Glazed Pork Loin with Peaches (for Adults)

Yes, this meal was an Adult meal, but I made it kid friendly by substituting the bourbon with Pinapple juice instead. It was super yummy (and I'm not that big of a fan of Pork Loin) You make this meal with peaches, and you marinate the meat in a sweet/not too spicy marinade for 24 hours. The reason I don't like pork loin is because usually there are no flavors that truly excite my pallete while I'm eating it. This meal was an exception. It was so yummy to eat along with the peaches beside it, but I think the real secret was the 24 hour marination. As I was making this meal I was thinking how would I tie this into my blog...when I made a connection to the time it took to prepare this meal, and how much time it takes to fill the hole that Ruby left behind. I have been told, and I believe that the hole will never heal. In fact its a rather strange spot sometimes it seems small, almost like its better, and then in the most unexpected moments it is ripped wide open again. My Chiropractor told me this week that he enjoyed reading my posts when Ruby was fighting for her life, he told me that we used a whole lifetime of Love in 24 short days, and that he truly was amazed at our ability to do that. I never thought of it like that but its true, our little Ruby used up every ounce of Love we could give her while she was here, but it did not end when she passed away. Perhaps that is one reason why having her absent is so hard. We still have many more "lifetimes" of love to give to her!
  As we were grieving Ruby's loss last year I found out I was pregnant with my third baby. We were so excited! There were so many times when my arms and heart would just ACHE for a baby to hold! We weren't sure what to expect when our baby arrived as far as how we would feel emotionally. Clark was welcomed into our hearts and our home the instant he was born! He just fit into his place in our hearts, but he didn't replace Ruby's spot...I think that was what I was unsure of, or perhaps hoped. In fact a few weeks ago I was holding him, rocking him to sleep when my Ruby hole suddenly opened wide and the empty, achyness started to grow with in me. I squeezed Clark up closer to me, gave Ruby a few minutes of remembrance and the emptiness started to subside, and I might of squeezed Clark a little to tight as he woke up a bit and whimpered. Perhaps the secret to the hole is not pushing it away, but maybe it is ackknowledging that it is there, it is real, it exists.  I realize now that each one of my children has an equal portion of my heart and at different times it will ache for each of them. Its just that Ruby's is a constant ache and learning how to live day by day with that ache is just like my marinade. Over time the memories become sweeter, the bitterness seems to subside some but my hole will always be there until we meet again!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

God Be with You Till We Meet Again

"The purpose of mortality is to learn and to grow to be more like our Father (in Heaven), and it is often during the difficult times that we learn the most, as painful as the lessons may be."

—Thomas S. Monson, "God Be with You Till We Meet Again", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

  This quote is so very accurate to every aspect of life! As much as I love to learn and grow, a vacation to the Bahama's is a very nice break every now and then...of course we did that last year, so we probably can't do it again this year...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sweet Memory Sunday/Pumpkin Juice

  On Friday I made Pumpkin Juice from the Harry Potter cookbook on page 40. It was so sweet and super, super yummy! For the pumpkin I cooked and mashed my persoanlly prized homegrown pumpkin! I kind of didn't want to share the juice because it was so delicious, but my husband, parents, and brother were at my house so I had to share with them. The juice was so sweet that I decided to share a sweet memory of my Ruby.
  Ruby was born with multiple heart issues, we like to say she was born with a broken heart, and also down syndrome. My confession with Down syndrome is that my whole life I have been so uncomfortable around people with disabilities like that...not sure why, but I did. So it truly terrified me when we found out that our Ruby was coming with down syndrome. I wasn't sure how to react. Then, she was born, and she was beautiful, and she was a baby, just like any other baby. Perhaps I thought she would be something different, not sure what, but something. She had hiccups, and the tiniest baby cry! She loved to suck on her binky and sleep all the time, and poop in her diaper:) I loved that she was just another beautiful baby born to this earth, but the thing that I absolutly love and miss the most are Ruby's eye's. She had heaven in her eye's, and peace and love and acceptance. She had every quality of heaven and you could see it through her tiny little baby eye's.
 Perhaps if you were like me and totally uncomfortable around people/children with disabilities, perhaps the next chance you get to be around one of them look into their eye's! You might be surprised what you see and how you feel!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


     The other night I was laying in bed, trying to sleep and my mind wandered back to 2011, back to Rosie's surgeries, and the emotional pain for me having to watch her poked again, and again, and again and her screaming. Then it wandered to Ruby and the many times I felt tortured inside having to watch her be poked and poked and poked and unable to scream, because of her weak heart, and also because of the tube's down her throat, but I could see the tears pouring down her cheeks...I found myself cringing inside reliving every minute of pain for my daughters when the thought crossed my mind that its time for me to accept that this happened, and that I can't change it. I have to learn to accept every emotional upheaval in order to find peace. I then refocused my memories. Relived a few of the difficult ones and then told myself that that incident truly happened to my daughters, I really felt the anquish that I still felt that night, but its okay know. Its okay, I can exist with these memories and this pain, but the pain can lighten. With every bitter memory I am learning to accept and move on. In a way I guess I feel that through accepting it I am going to forget what Rose went through, or forget about Ruby. Yet, these memories I have are ones that may dim over time, but will never be forgotten. So, now that it has been a year I am realizing it is time to accept, still love myself and make an effort to move beyond the pain of the moments!
To my readers, who have dealt with painful memories of the past, how do you learn to overcome and live with that memory, but not have it consume you?

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

In Memory of Sandy Brook...

My heart continues to break and ache for the families who lost children and loved ones after the Sandy Brook shootings. I cry for those families as I know they lay their heads down at night, crying tears, wake up in the middle of the night feeling like some invisible rope is wrapped tightly around their hearts and sobbing and wake again in the morning, feeling the same way. Although we did not loose Ruby in that type of tragedy, I feel that loosing any child is a heart wrenching experience for all who are left behind.
  I have found over the last year and 1 1/2 months that even just being in the same room with someone who has lost a child gives me strength, and I feel such a connection to them, an unexplainable connection-perhaps it is because our angels are near us always, and the path of grief we walk as parents and grandparents, though different, is still a path of grief.
  I am wanting to pick up the pieces from where I left off last year...I am going to continue on my culinary masterpiece of cooking out of the Harry Potter cookbook, except this year I will only be doing one recipe a week, as I now have 2 sweet children at home and a Husband to entertain. I hope you will follow along with me as I share the journey we have been on and the journey that is ahead of us!