She writes about quilting and yoga and architecture and design. She lives in LA, as do a handful of our writers, and originally planned to write us an essay about mindful eating. Cooking rice would be a focus of the essay, she proposed; she would write about what she’d learned from the meditative practice of swirling a pot of rice in water before cooking.

But, as often happens — in life, and cooking, and maybe especially in writing — that essay didn’t turn out as expected. Stacie wrote to us before submitting her draft and said the focus had shifted. Her mother kept inserting herself into the piece, and Stacie realized she just needed to follow along, to write about her mother and her cookbooks, and see where that essay led her.

It led her to a piece that’s even more meaningful and moving than we could have hoped. There’s still a pot of rice in the essay, but there’s brisket, too (one a bit different from Barbara Rushkoff’s brisket), and a fabulous manicure, and a killer recipe for Meyer lemon tart. I plan to make her tart this week and eat it very mindfully.