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My son Haru is eighteen years old. In a month he will graduate high school. Just like with my daughter who left the nest exactly three years ago, when I think about my son leaving home in just a few months, I am both in awe and a little heart broken. He has already begun to make fun of me, sometimes teasing, “mama… don’t you dare cry!!” Haru has loved to watch movies since he was so small, when he could barely walk; I cannot even begin to grasp the number of characters, lines and scenes that are branded into his head, that he can recall and recite without faltering. When he got to high school, he began making some of his own short films, and in the wake of this pandemic, I’ve been lucky enough to be one of his actors in some of his movies (it’s not as if he had options in quarantine). It’s difficult to create and to follow through with that creation, but the moment when you produce a thing that has until that moment lived only in your mind is one of life’s great joys. Perhaps Haru will wander down the same path of “making” that I have found myself on.

Haru is the kind of person who doesn’t filter his opinions, and so for him to say that this month’s dessert, a chocolate pound cake, “is pretty good” is something close to a miracle; if you trust anyone’s opinion about food, trust his. This cake is not overly heavy, but it still has that rich chocolate flavor, and it’s dense enough that you can cut a thin slice and it will hold up nicely. I think I have a feeling as to why Haru loves this cake so much. It’s one of my favorites too. I like to keep it in the fridge to make it last and eat it little by little, tiny slice by tiny slice, savoring it. It’s likely any chocolate lover’s vice. In addition to the chocolate pound cake, I have prepared strawberry jam. Many of you have been kind enough to tell me that you love how pretty and delicious my jam is, and so I hope this one lives up to the standard. I think it will, since it’s one of my products that I take a lot of pride in. Please enjoy the spring (“haru” in Japanese, it’s my son’s name!) flavors and the spring season!




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