D#1 called the other night shortly after having a nice long conversation. She had a funny story to convey. She was attempting to bake something and had forgotten one of the ingredients, even though she had been to a variety of stores a zillion times that day. Her daughter, our biggest (and clearly, smartest) granddaughter, said to her, “Why don’t you just do what Savta (that’s me–grandmother in Hebrew) does and substitute something, like broccoli?”
After we both finished cracking up, I asked her what she was making (perhaps broccoli would actually work?). She told me sheepishly that she could not answer, or I would never let her into my house again.
I don’t think it was lard…
But after all, broccoli is in the news these days, with the idea that a compound in broccoli sprouts can help combat some behaviors in autistic children. But of course, you have to consume so much that it really would be toxic for most people. So what better way to get it than by putting it in your cake–and eating it, too?! Especially when I got this Epicurious link for a cauliflower cake, which easily could be made with broccoli, right?
I could end this here and probably would be better off, but it doesn’t really reflect where I am or who I am. I can substitute a lot of things, but truly there are elements that never go away. Now that it is autumn and the leaf-collecting routine has returned, I go back, like Sisyphus, to that bittersweet spot of my yard. I’ve written about it year after year because it has such a strong gravitational pull. The cycle of the year, particularly with its physicality, the need, for example, to get rid of the leaves in these days, at this time, fixes the memories in the narratives of the years. The cancer that I thought of so long ago reappears as other kinds, for other people, radiating out with new narratives. And yes, cancer appears in many forms in our world.
So I will requote myself again (yes, over-redundancy noted) by quoting Rabbi David Hartman–
“you have to just keep sweeping up your corner of the universe. Don’t worry about anyone else’s.”