Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Pepper and The Sausage Balls


Sometimes you know exactly what lies ahead.  

”Like on Christmas Eve,” Pepper said (watching me make sausage balls, licking her lips).

“There’s a beautiful Christmas tree

And a wreath

And carolers in period costume

… And you know that Christmas is just ahead,” she concluded cheerfully.

”I guess so, Pep,” I said, taking the first batch out of the oven. “But I’m not sure we ever know exactly what’s ahead, even at Christmas.”

”What do you mean?” she replied, trying to snatch a sausage ball from the counter.

“Christmas isn’t only the manger and sausage balls and merry-making. There’s also the scary elf in the house, working his mischief and sorrow. 

There’s the sadness of those who are coming untethered from time, living in an eternal present when a moment fades as quickly it has come and gone. There’s the sadness of those who are coming untethered from love.

Even if you get through Christmas with your heart mostly intact you’re looking down the gun barrel of the New Year not sure what to expect.

The New Year might hold rainbows and smiley faces in the cross-hairs

Or a rose blooming in December

But dark skies also threaten.

Sometimes the journey ahead seems – long

and the work ahead seems – daunting

when you’re thinking about what you expect

Of course sometimes the sky is all alight

And now that I think of it,

sometimes the road ahead is clear even if it’s rocky

And sometimes there is a cross in the sky

Reminding you to look ahead and move forward with fortitude and courage, generosity and an open heart. A heart that can receive love and grace. The Cross was inside the manger, you know.”

I was finally quiet.

“That was really a lot,” Pepper said. “Could I have a sausage ball now?”

I laughed. “Yes. You are good at receiving with an open heart.”

“And an open mouth,” she replied with a smile.



  1. A thing of beauty, both in word and visuals! Thank you. ❤️

  2. One hates to jump to conclusions, but I sometimes wonder if Pepper is only in it for the breakfast meat. 🙂

  3. Oh my, such a lovely, gentle, and much needed “reset” as the New Year approaches ~ Thank you

  4. Such a lovely reminder of what is important — reflection and courage.
    And sausage balls.

  5. Pepper and her mama continue to be such instruments of grace in its many forms, profoundly simple and infinitely complex. Thank you both for sharing your generous open hearts with your readers. Happy New Year!

  6. Beautiful words, Jen! Thank you, Pep, for keeping us grounded in the present, reminding us to savor that sausage ball and not be so quick to worry. Happy New Year!

  7. Curious about the cross, beautiful.

  8. Such beautiful words to end 2018 and to begin 2019! Thank you.

    A very Happy New Year!

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