Two Kinds of Fire

One batch of rosemary rolls

Mixed: 2:35 pm

Molded: 4:30 pm

Baked: 5:15 pm

Gave to Jim and Jennifer

As I rearranged the rosemary rolls on the hot surface of the baking stone, I pulled my bare hand out of the heat and suddenly remembered that one year ago we were worried about a much bigger flame than the one that bakes bread in my oven… Right above our home near the foothills, a fire had started. It was a hot May day and it was the sound of one fire truck after the other that finally caused my husband and I to peek out our back door.

And there were the flames.

The first days were spent packing and wondering where the wind would push the fire next. When the wind shifted, we evacuated, and waited some more.

The winds blew stronger and we evacuated again. Turn of events–I ended up in the ER, a large ember having flown into my eye. Finally we fled to LA. I passed a birthday away from home, with an eye patch!

What a wild ride. When we returned home, grateful and happily ready to clean the layers of ash from the furniture and patio and plants, we also felt an immense heaviness for those who had lost their homes. There were many.

And all this, after the Tea Fire. And the Gap Fire, and the Zaca Fire before that…

So, on this May day, the first anniversary of last year’s Jesusita Fire, I was in my usual mode of mixing and molding, and baked a batch of rosemary rolls. I wanted to share them with our neighbors, Jim and Jennifer, who moved in more than a year ago. And as I walked to their home, their new home, I realized how it was all fitting together in my mind. Their new house, with the shaded porch and the gorgeous red alstromerias blooming in the front yard, is the replacement for their home that had burned in the Tea Fire 18 months ago…

Here’s to Jim and Jennifer, and to their new home, and to the right kind of fire, the kind that bakes a nice batch of rosemary rolls…