Delightfully Simple

A batch of rolls and a beautiful boule

Mixed: 9 am

Molded: 10: 40

Baked: 11:45

John Ronan, my littlest, loves words and uses them often (often, often!). He is adventurous and inventive with his speech, and is even learning to use just the right lines to charm the ladies.

“Lylah!” he said, trying to get a new acquaintance’s attention. “Would you be delighted to share one of your buns with me?” Lylah reached into the bag and broke a warm roll in half. John Ronan hesitated. “The whole thing!” he finally said, losing a bit of his charm and a measure of his cool. But he recovered, and he  shared. And I wasn’t surprised at the choice of words. Meeting Lylah was delightful.


Our family has been in Arizona this last week visiting family. We scurry from house to house, eating, playing, loving each other and making up for so much lost time. It’s always a treat to be here (my husband has a gazillion brothers and sisters, plus parents and aunts and uncles and grandmothers!!!). Last visit we were lucky enough to see a blue moon and try out a new way of bringing in the New Year. This visit has been more about walks in the desert, book signings, small gatherings and a visit to The Simple Farm where we met Lylah.

Lylah and her husband Michael have started an urban farm in Scottsdale, near my sister-in-law Val’s house. At The Simple Farm they have hens and goats, and grow herbs and vegetables. Lylah believes in working hard, in tending the plants from start to finish, encouraging lettuce to bolt in order to finish the growing cycle and develop those precious seeds… Val has talked of Lylah to me, and has talked to Lylah about me–seeing something similar in who we are. Maybe it’s that we don’t mind dirt under our fingernails, or that we appreciate many things with a French country twist… Anyway, I was honored to be introduced to this lovely woman and her way of life.

I brought her bread. Rosemary rolls seemed appropriate–and after that initial breaking of bread and sharing together, she gave us a tour. John Ronan really wanted to take home a chicken, and you know what? so did I! A chicken and a goat. Or maybe, five chickens and three goats. This rural way of life, urban or not, appeals to me.

Do you have any folks in your neighborhood making a go of an urban farm?

Maybe give them a visit, take them some bread, invest in their goats or just buy a dozen eggs. I’m guessing they will be a lot like Lylah. And though we didn’t take home a chicken this time around, (just a feather), we did make a new friend who is lovely, giving, and……… delightful!