Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baking Blitz



I've been on a baking frenzy the past two weeks: ciabatta, scones, focaccia, soft pretzels, whole wheat flaxseed bread, pastry dough, pizza dough, hand pies, peanut butter-filled chocolate chocolate chip oatmeal cookies... ACK! The thing is? I. DON'T. BAKE.

No, really. I don't.

I can't say what prompted the change of heart, but I used to be terrified of making yeasted breads. Quick breads? Fine. Cookies? No problem. Roasting, braising, sauteeing? Bring it on. Something about that yeast always scared me into thinking I couldn't handle it. But I started a pottery class a few weeks ago and all of a sudden I was back into the swing of wheel throwing and wedging that clay on a board... and presto, I wanted to knead bread. And lots of it. So I did... and my family has turned cartwheels ever since.

Maybe it's because fall is here. Maybe we all feel like carbo-loading. Who knows - I like spending $0.38 on a beautiful, crusty loaf vs. $4.69. I also like showing my boys that great food doesn't come from a box.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Every so often, the stars align and a moment (or three) of bliss occurs. My moment was around 10:30 Saturday morning and I'd worked my way through most of a fresh pot of coffee from early in the morning. The Husba took Boy1 and Boy2 on an extended errand while I rummaged through the refrigerator for something to eat - when I spotted it: the package of wild Alaskan salmon I impulse-purchased at Whole Foods the night before. This, I thought, is why you don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry. But thank you, oh hungry Friday night stomach(!), I shall enjoy my salmon with every possible pairing available. Red onion? Check. Lemon? Check. Dill? Check. Rye toast and capers? Check check. Even those tiny little cornichon pickles? You got it! A dab of cream cheese and I was transported back to 1988 when I sat in a cafe in Helsinki, desperately pointing to something on the menu in the hopes it wasn't gelatinous fish or pig hearts.

"A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving." ~Lao Tzu

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Nature Walk (with M&Ms)

It was a really nice afternoon when I got home from work a few weeks ago, so I suggested to Boy2 that we take a "Nature Walk". We grabbed his little pail and took a walk around the block looking for "interesting things". It was hilarious - every 30 seconds I'd hear, "Hmmm... THIS is interesting!" and another rock/stick/flower would be plucked from the sidewalk (or neighbor's flower garden - NO!!).

The pail must have weighed 5lbs by the time we got home.(I also think the little snack pack of M&Ms I stuck in his pail was a nice touch... although now he asks for "an M&M snack" each time we go on a nature walk.) haha...

I think we'll make this a regular thing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Goodbye, Grandma

*sigh* OK, I should be happy we just saw my Grandma. And I am. I'm also sad that she died on Sunday. She led a wonderful life and was my FAVORITE PERSON EVER. That said, I will miss her terribly - we're leaving for NY tonight for her funeral.

I plan to leave her a letter - I considered sharing it, but I'm not sure right now. We'll see. She touched so many lives and she missed my Grandpa a lot - 90 is a pretty great run for anyone. Love you, Grandma.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Grandma!

What do you get for someone who's turning 90? Yes, NINETY.
Answer = nothing.

And so Boy2, the Husba3000(TM) and I are getting on a plane tomorrow to fly back to NY for my Grandma's birthday. I think that's a pretty awesome present. I can't wait to see her - she just got out of the hospital yesterday where she was being treated for pneumonia, so we're pretty happy that she's doing better.

It's also my nephew's 5th birthday (wow!) and they're having a bowling party where my friends and I used to be in a league as a kid... how much fun is that? Of course, the Husba and I will be decked out in our finest bowling duds - we *do* live in Milwaukee, you know. I'm lucky enough to have acquired one of my Grandpa's bowling shirts - purely by accident - when I asked for their 1950s aluminum Christmas tree as a teenager. Sure enough, there was an old bowling shirt stuffed inside the box (go figure, right?) and when I asked if I could keep it... my Grandfather couldn't "...understand why on earth I'd want something like that...".

...'Cuz it's cool, gramps. 'Cuz it's cool.

To this day, it's one of my favorite shirts - I even ran into someone who recognized his name and the Fire Department maltese cross on the shirt when I was on a "corporate team building trip" in California. Funny. (talking to the person... not the team building exercise.)

Should be a good trip. I am, however, printing out the new DOT airline "tarmac delay" rules that went into effect today.

Just in case. :-)

Tempus Fugit

Whew! No posts since December? What's up with that?!?

Let's just say things have been a little crazy the past few months and we'll move on... our family is currently in the midst of a kitchen remodel and I spent all of last weekend (alone, mind you) busting out a truckload of spackle, wood putty and a whopping 4 coats of paint/primer on every conceivable surface in the place. Looks really nice, though... however, the contents of our entire kitchen are now in the living room - microwave, toaster oven, shelves, plants, EVERYTHING. We've been reduced to eating in the den (not good) and all the "training" I did to keep people from eating in there is unraveling as we speak.

I should rephrase the term "remodel". This is essentially a lipstick job so I can have a kitchen that functions and doesn't have cabinets falling off the wall (and so we can actually SELL the house). Our contractor is building us some custom open shelving and I'm hoping it will make the tiny kitchen feel more open. We're going for a simple white-beadboard-chunky-craftsman-bracket-shelving-1920s-look. Trust me, I'll take some before/after photos because I know that description makes little sense.

I can't wait to get my pans out from behind the sofa...