Raspberry Violet Financiers
The more I try to take steps towards a new normal, the more the past digs its claws in. Next month will be seven years. I’ve tried to have two relationships in the passing years since, and while they didn’t work for reasons now, but clearly not then, very obvious to me, part of me wonders if I’m broken beyond repair.
When my life is in individual compartments, I can micromanage each with the care they require. But that isn’t the way I want to live my life. I need to open the boxes, and connect the puzzle pieces to find some unity. Of course, as I write these words, I’m reminded of the 1,000 piece puzzle I finished working on a few months ago.
It was a scene of an old country kitchen, a field of wild flowers outside the window above the sink. Bounty of fruit and vegetables strewn across the farm table. Wooden planks interconnected to create the floor. Each piece had a subtle, distinct shape, all the while looking the same when laid out on the table for me to search through. I guess that’s what the facets of my life feel like now, as I take steps to blend bit by bit, a little at a time.
The last few days I’ve been carrying a lump of tears nestled in my throat, a delicate burden a soft wind could knock over into a well of tears in my eyes, resulting in salty water streaked cheeks. Grief is exhausting work. People feel the need to say it gets better ALL. THE. TIME.
You know what? It doesn’t.
It gets different, sometimes it gets easier to manage or deflect.
And sometimes, it gets harder.
Oddly enough, when I was on my own between relationships, the weight of my grief felt lighter. I still missed Michael more than you can imagine, but looking back, I realized there was something strengthening in the reality of my surviving it.
My relationship with C, and the one that came after him was so different. Almost so much so that even comparing them to what I’ve found this time around is unfair. Still, I wonder if I know too much to ever have the kind of relationship I crave. Maybe my family needs too much—too much patience, too much understanding, too much self-sacrifice. Too much love.
While reading an essay in Modern Loss, I read something I’ve been feeling a lot lately, regarding my own self confidence, and the never ending struggle to feel comfortable in my own body. On losing her husband of some 40 years, an older widow wrote about the intimacy that comes with time and raising a family together. Your bodies age together, and so many of the insecurities that might arise from physical intimacy or confidence of our appearances simply become part of your story together. I was so much better at accepting my body when Michael was alive because he knew the story of what it was when we met, and everything that literally shaped it during the 16 years we spent together.
Just one of the many thoughts on my mind, of which there are to many to dissect on these pages right now. And so, I do what I do best—retreat to the kitchen. Putting the unknown in pause to reconnect with the stable variables I can control.
We visited a few of my dearest friends in Brooklyn recently, and while I knew they would all appreciate a baked treat, there was one in particular whom I knew would especially love these Raspberry Violet Financiers. Erin almost cried when she tasted a financier at Ble Sucre when we were in Paris together six years ago. Oh, to think six years at this very moment I was in Paris for the very first time…
No need for fancy pans to make these. I used mini muffin tins. You do need violet syrup, though I suppose you can swap in another floral syrup of your liking.
A word about mixing the batter. It will look like too much butter, and very greasy when you first begin to mix it in. Don’t lose faith in me or this recipe. Once the browned butter is completely folded in, it’s a perfect batter.
This recipe is now part of my new site, Simmering. It can be found here.
I just saw you on Food. Curated and really enjoyed it and look forward to following you – hearing your stories and trying your recipes. I love to cook…
The heart wants what the heart wants.
It’s like all those diet recipes that claim “tastes just like rich, chocolate cake!”
And they never do.
Your love and consequently your grief, is full fat, loaded with sugar, and fancy cocoa.
Sending comfort. Annie
7 years in August for me. Totally understand each word you post on grief. I agree on the aging together. It was special to see his grey hairs coming in. He knew each stretch mark on my belly and breast. Things that were special to us, I feel embarrassed to show anyone else. So much I doubt I can share with anyone else.
Thank you for all your wonderful recipes and opening up your heart and mind to us that can totally relate too.
I have been reading your blog for well over 7 years and I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced the loss of a spouse can begin to understand what you are going through. I know I sure couldn’t. I thought oh she is so young she can move on. Now I know what that loss is and how hard it is.
My husband passed away 5 months ago. We we married a long time. I can not imagine my life with anyone else and that is okay for me. I don’t think I will feel any differently no matter how much time passes. We knew each other for 3 weeks when we decided to get married and we made it work. He was my soul mate.
I go to grief counseling but not sure if that makes it any easier. There are days where every little thing makes me sad and teary eyed.
Thanks for sharing.
wow, jennie. your writing is so raw and honest. if you ever decide to give up baking, you surely have writing in your future. I have been following you and your beautiful family for over 7 years now and I FEEL every word that you put down on the screen.
I love your recipes and have enjoyed baking many of them.
thank you for ALL your sharing (recipes and feelings).
I know your words are helping many others who are experiencing similar loss.
sending love and hugs.
Michele, I have no words to share, just understanding. “There are days where every little thing makes me sad and teary eyed.” I know this feeling very well, too. Stop by any time, or feel free to write me any time you like, or need someone to just listen. In my experience, very few people are capable of listening to someone grieving. They want to fix everything (or they say really unhelpful things like “God has a plan”—maybe that provides solace for some, but not for me. -Jennie