Blueberry vanilla lava cake (it was supposed to be a cobbler)
Thursday July 26th 2018, 9:29 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Recipes

In their picture, using an iron skillet, the fruit still shows in the center when they took it out of the oven. 

For mine, using an 8×3 (interior measurements) round stoneware pan by Mel and Kris, the last of the blueberries disappeared beneath the waves sometime between the 35 and 40 minute mark, and I probably should have gone to 45 to get it solid like their video. Although note that I didn’t have any whole milk and substituted half 1% and half heavy cream.

We got a crispy-edged vanilla lava cake with blueberries and goodness flowing from the center. Which is setting somewhat as it cools–what there is left of it.

I might tone down the amount of sugar slightly next time, but this is definitely something I’d feed to company.



The friend who always said, “Color is everything”
Monday July 09th 2018, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends,Knitting a Gift

Michelle flew home yesterday, Constance drove the four hours home this afternoon and the house is very very quiet. Gotta give those belly-laugh muscles some time to recuperate–they got a great workout.

Constance had brought me a quart of honey from her hives. Bee barf, one of my kids used to call it after a biology lesson in middle school. Yum.

The green Malabrigo hat that came home with me from the trip to Salt Lake because it just hadn’t found out who it was for?

That shade of green? It found out who it was for.



Well that works
Saturday July 07th 2018, 10:44 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

They bought strawberries and I bought strawberries and the best way to shrink their footprint in the fridge is to puree them. Such a problem to have.

A lemon off the tree, and, strawberry sorbet for the last night of Michelle’s trip!



Andy’s Orchard
Saturday June 30th 2018, 9:10 am
Filed under: Family,Food

Yesterday, the chocolate, today, the peaches!



Oh most definitely
Thursday June 28th 2018, 10:57 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

A quick trip home for both work and the holiday.

She had two requests: Timothy Adams for chocolate and Andy’s for peaches.

Yes. Yes I think we can definitely do those.



Would you could you in a box? Would you could you with a fox? Would you eat them here or there? Would you eat them anywhere?
Thursday June 14th 2018, 11:00 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Friends

The weekly veggie box came.

He saw the bag and asked, Chips? (Why would they sell…? You’re not a corn chip fan, why did you…) He was about to reach for some. I headed him off, shaking my head.

Crickets.

??!

Only later did I see the word Chirps at the top, but yeah, those are chips made from a high protein source that happens to be, um, bird-friendly, other ingredients aside. One bug per chip.

The Imperfect Produce people were trying to close them out because they were getting close to their sell-by date and during the brief weekly glance at the offerings I’d thought, well that sounds curious.

And then spent the week wondering whether that was really such a good idea. It’s easy to be adventuresome when the adventure’s far away. Now that they’re here I…I…

I find that I just do not seem to want to open that bag.

It is safe to say I don’t think he’s in a rush to, either.

We’re going to a potluck dinner next week where I’m sure they could be the talk of the night. Better bring a chocolate torte–no, two! And peaches from Andy’s!–to make sure they forgive us.

“You know what bugs me about you guys?”

*crickets*

The puns, they await. We may never live this down….



Between a rock and a melted place
Tuesday May 29th 2018, 10:30 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

So USGS’s geologists were open to questions.

Leading to the BBC’s best-ever headline: Don’t Toast Marshmallows on Hawaii volcano, says US government.

On the other hand, if you want to go to London with 499 of your closest friends (at the minimum), then you can have basaltic rock melted into your own personal steak-charring lava. With, afterwards, (honeymoon story alert) marshmallows.



You dim sum you lose some you win some
Monday May 28th 2018, 9:27 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life,Lupus

We decided to go out to lunch. She picked out the (allergy-friendly) place. I hadn’t had dim sum in years–I was looking forward to this.

The food was very good, the place fairly formal and even in a long skirt I felt a tad underdressed. Quite a few of the patrons were on the older side, but not all.

There was a dad who picked up his adorable little girl of about 18 months a time or two and walked the aisle with her to keep her from becoming too restless.

There was another family in a corner in the other direction with a daughter of about nine and a boy of about two and I confess to wincing inwardly as he waved his chopstick with enthusiasm. His was blue. When he wanted to jump and down on his seat waving that baton his parents watched him carefully and finally put a stop to it.

Dim sum is not a fast meal, which was fine with us; we wanted time to catch up on things.

Back to the first family: the third time it was the mom that got up with her. By that point I had a bright-striped red/green/blue/white parrot at the ready. It had the most perfect face. (Chosen over the ones shown here.)

It was hard to tell which one of them was more delighted but it was clearly a great success.

It was a goodly while later and the other family’s dishes were still coming out but that little boy was quite done eating. I asked the maitre d’ as he was going by: was it okay to ask him to give these to those two kids over there?

The green and yellow lizard and the banana-eating monkey swooped and giggled in his hands, imagination going full tilt, his parents playing with him, his big sister putting down her phone game to watch him with a grin and their meal transformed. They turned towards our table and we said, Happy Birthday!

And then went back to our conversation so as to try not to intrude overly.

But here’s the thing. The staff were in the middle of lunch rush in a busy downtown location running full tilt on a holiday and were clearly stressed. But now there were smiles all around where there hadn’t been before. At all.

The first family headed out, the little one back in her daddy’s arms. They paused just before our table and she waved bye-bye and thank you so enthusiastically with her whole arm waving side to side as far as she could go that it wiggled her all over, the parrot held out at the ends of her fingertips to show us her new toy, the parents grateful for older couples who remember how cute toddlers are.

Been there!

We were done and headed out.

Almost at the door, seeing the sun outside, I realized I’d left my new hat behind and was suddenly acutely aware of the time I’d done that and in just a few steps away from a restaurant it had been grabbed and vanished and was never seen again–just as today’s maitre d’ came rushing towards us with this one to try to catch us in time, glad to be able to give back.



Lava pie
Thursday May 24th 2018, 10:51 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

The surgeon said to him afterwards, x-ray in hand, Did you know you broke your back? Apparently some time ago. Compression fracture.

Him: I what??

Me: So are you still 6’8″?

Him: As far as I can tell. (I took that as, doorways are still too low.)

To my astonishment he had me drive him in to work today.

I wanted him to have something to come home to to really cheer him on, then: thus this offering towards the mythical Pele of Hawaii. Photos of the first fissure opening up and after all heat broke loose. (Note that that top crust ended up really thin after I dropped half of it on the floor, which was clean but not that clean so I massaged what remained into whatever it could manage.)

Multi-berry pie, and it seems to have helped a little.



Early start
Saturday May 19th 2018, 10:52 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Lupus

We read silly books, we played, we cheered.

Or rather he did, at least during the games. Since I can’t be out in the sun our daughter took me to her favorite dessert place downtown, and after we got back, the big screen got set up to show me some of the boys’ best moves so I could see them in action, too and their daddy could brag on them.

A little later, I pointed out the pretty orange flowers in the tree to Maddy and how the petals were falling on their swingset.

She did a double take at my audacity and corrected me: “Those. Aren’t. Flowers.”

I laughed. For that I had to step outside a moment with her, sun or no sun. “Yes they are!” I held her up high so she could see a cluster from quite close.

Nothing doing. Trees don’t have them. “They’re not flowers. And–they’re BLUE!” and she ran off giggling.

The logic of a three-year-old.

She might figure out now how the jacaranda trees are all purple right now. (In San Diego. Ours haven’t quite yet.)

When the last flight home for the day was coming right up, I explained to her mid-romp that we were going home to our house now.

She looked up at me, stunned, her face begging, WHAT?! NO!!

We got caught up in saying goodbye to Hudson and Parker and hugs and then we were off in their aunt’s car for the airport.

I only later realized I’d forgotten this time to promise them that we would come back. The boys are old enough to take that for granted but their little sister needed that reassurance.

But we will. I promise.



Raspberry cupcakes
Monday May 07th 2018, 10:39 pm
Filed under: Food,Friends,Life

I was short about a teaspoon’s worth of butter and added about that much extra sour cream in tradeoff and they didn’t rise as high as last week’s. Which is fine.

This time, I made homemade lemon curd via my Meyer tree rather than opening a jar of the stuff from Trader Joe’s.

And again, I took four of the finished cupcakes, with a raspberry on top just like in the pictures, over to our friends Phyl and Lee after they affirmed that yes, they would love to taste-test this version, too.

Lee’s brother fell and died of a head injury last month and that was the last thing anyone expected. Coming for dinner that night, yes. But…

I cannot bring him back. But by golly I can make really good raspberry cupcakes to let them know we’re thinking about them, thanks to my daughter Sam’s heads-up on that recipe.

We do what we can.



He’ll help you with that
Tuesday May 01st 2018, 10:32 pm
Filed under: Family,Food

It needed to be snugged up a bit on that velcro but I snapped the picture first: he was holding still and I figured, get’em while you can.

A toolkit for a little boy’s first birthday definitely made his daddy’s day and his. If you’re ever looking for well-designed, engaging, well-made washable fabric toys and books for little ones (the sea creatures is my favorite of the latter), I highly recommend that company’s.

My son-in-law said that the secured board across the fireplace instantly cured the kid of wanting to climb inside and splash in the ashes. Lost all interest. That’s okay, he can make messes in lots of other ways.

Like maybe take a cotton hammer to one of these cupcakes that our daughter made: not terribly sweet and oh so good. And I’m not usually much of a cupcake fan. Raspberries and lemon curd and mascarpone? Yes please. I begged the recipe and made a trip out tonight for the ingredients.



Walked in the door tonight and threw in the first load of laundry
Monday April 30th 2018, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

Five wonderful days.

Every one-year-old needs a picture of them in a high chair making a total mess of their cake. Mathias did not want to give up his carrot at first for this triangular stripey food his mommy had baked but with enough coaxing (here, she said, taste this) decided to humor her.

Oh wait. I think I like this. I do. (Ditches the carrot.)

Plus a random airport picture, just because I’d never seen a plane with a bumper sticker before.



Blessed are the Meeks
Monday April 09th 2018, 10:13 pm
Filed under: Food

For they shall inherit the earth. And what the earth hath wrought, and leave us all better off for it.

Avocado honey? You know that label had to be green, right?

And I had to try it out. It was just too Californian, too different.

It is somehow not as cloyingly sweet as many; more–grown-up, for lack of a better description, and on one of the warmest days we’ve had in awhile it runs easily.

But that variety is not listed on the Meeks page. Whether that means the quantities they were able to produce were too small or that they just haven’t updated their website in awhile, I don’t know (although the line about the 2013/2014 season being upcoming might be a give-away) but I’m thinking I want to go back to Milk Pail and stock up while I can. You never know. I’m always looking for the perfect honey, and this is seriously good stuff.

(Runs and gets a fourth spoonful to try just to make sure. Or was it the fifth.)



We didn’t have any reservations
Thursday April 05th 2018, 10:36 pm
Filed under: Family,Food,Life

So. Monday when our seriously-jet-lagged daughter woke up we offered to take her out to dinner for her birthday a day early (since her old friend wanted to do so the day of.) We asked her where she’d like to go.

The first place she mentioned was Rangoon Ruby. Which is a great place, and dairy-allergy-friendly. Sounds good!

Somehow to my complete surprise we ended up somewhere else altogether that I would not have thought of for her at all, on the other side of town. But it worked out fine. Even if the waiter tried to surprise her with birthday cake and suddenly realized as he was putting it down that she couldn’t touch it and he handed it to us instead with profuse apologies and embarrassment. Oops. But he called himself on it, and that was the important part.

We’d already had dessert so I’d thought it was safe to joke about the outdoor heater making a great birthday candle, but no, they were trying to do that one extra thing because hey, birthdays. I told the guy he’d just given us a funny story–it was all good.

I was reading the local news today and was, for the second time this week, suddenly speechless. At the time we were sitting down eating that dinner in that other restaurant that night, someone showed up for his shift at Rangoon Ruby.

After, on his commute in, he’d shot at a complete stranger in the car next to him at a light, unprovoked. (Missed him, damaged his car.) Who then gave chase, trying to get his license plate for the cops. The guy then shot a 65-year-old woman carrying her groceries (she needs surgery but she lived.) The first victim stopped and ran to her aid. Next he hit a teen on a bicycle (it was wrecked but the kid’s okay) and nearly took out someone else next to him and the guy, no surprise at this point, took off.

He ditched the car downtown, causing a lockdown at a restaurant there, and then casually walked into the one where he worked.

And said, Man, there were a bunch of crazy people chasing me out there.