It's Saturday morning. My kids are watching the movie Shark Tale and when that's done, we're heading up to the kitchen to make another batch of pancakes. Like last time, there will be half plain, and half flavored somehow. I'll let you know. I'm thinking of keeping "Cooking With My Kids" as a regular weekly feature. I'm sure at some point we'll move onto something besides pancakes.
Not sure what I'm doing this weekend. We've got some snow, but it's very light and fluffy, so I don't think we'll be making snowmen. Honestly, I'm hoping it melts soon. I'm looking forward to Spring. It's pretty, though, this snowfall. Maybe I'll take a few pictures.
Speaking of Spring, don't forget to check in periodically with my gardening blog. If you're interested in gardening stuff, that is. At the moment it's probably just lots of "the (insert plant name here) is up!" but as time rolls along, it should get more interesting.
Last week, whenwewereinMaine, my friend, Ralph, gave me a few little gifts. One was the beautiful Italian-made glass measuring cup you can see Julia displaying in this post. Another was the box in the picture above. Yes. A box of chocolate crème brûlée mix. He gave me that because back when he bought himself a little mini torch, he got the one that comes with the box mix, and I laughed and snorted and snickered about it. So this is how he retaliates. By FORCING the box mix upon me.
I torment him; he torments me. This is why we've been friends for so long.
Here's the story I alluded to at the end of this post.
Bill and I take turns putting the kids to bed, alternating nights, for the most part, and last night was Bill's turn.
I had spent most of my day in the kitchen, baking cookies for the aforementioned post, and baking rosemary garlic bread that smelled soooooo good it made my stomach hurt. Really. I made a lovely pasta-with-red-clam-sauce for dinner, and I did the dishes, ran a bath for Julia, and finally, happily, I gathered my laptop, a couple of cookbooks, a notebook and a pen, and settled myself down on the couch. I reclaimed the tv remote from the kids at 7:30 and switched to the Olympics. I didn't care what sport (or curling) was (sorry, that's a JOKE - please, no rabid curling fans hollering at me here) on, I just wanted a break from whatever the kids wanted.
Okay, Dorie. This was sneaky. I figured I'd probably like these, and I hoped that the kids would. But I really didn't expect to find them instantly addicting. So much so that the first dozen I baked just...kind of...disappeared somewhere. My kids were at school, so they didn't eat them. My husband was at work, so it wasn't him. I think I'm going to blame the cats.
A thin coverlet of snow on the ground when I first got up this morning. It's melted on the roads and driveways, and will probably disappear completely as the day moves along. At 38 degrees (last time I checked), it's too warm to keep snow. We'll be getting rain, though. Rain, rain, rain basically on and off through the rest of the week.
I've got some baking that I want to do today. The cookies for Tuesdays with Dorie that I didn't do yesterday because I was cleaning out the pantry and reorganizing it for the spring/summer portion of the year. I'm a little early, I know. But I was in the mood to do it. I gathered all my empty canning jars and got them all in one spot. I know I'll need more because I gave away jars of jams for gifts at various times. But that's okay.
A few nights ago, after dinner, we were all downstairs, flopped out on the couch and the big chair, watching tv. We were probably either watching the Olympics or some nature show.
Because bedtime was approaching, both my kids were suddenly hungry. It's funny how they are starving to death ten minutes before they are due to go to sleep, despite big meals and maybe a dessert, too. What amazing metabolisms they have.
Bill had Alex's camera during our trip so he could take pictures from the various summits at Sunday River. Alex has a little Nikon point and shoot, which fits better in an inner pocket of a ski jacket than my camera does. And the resolution is better than Bill's cell phone.
So here we go. Here are some of the gorgeous views you get when you go all the way up. (Some are taken from various points along the way up, some were taken near some of the lifts - and I am not labeling them because I don't know where Bill was for each of these, and he's busy painting the repaired wall upstairs, and I don't want to interrupt that.)
It's Wednesday, actually. My "Snapshots from Maine" is not destined to unfold chronologically. I was going to post the Making of the Ice Cream next, but I don't have the recipe itself - only the pictures. The recipe is on a page of the magazine on top of Ralph's microwave. So if you are IN Ralph's house for some reason, go ahead into the kitchen and have a look. Maybe if I stop writing snarkily about him, Ralph will type out the recipe and email it to me so I can post it along with all the lovely pictures I took while he made the ice cream on Monday.
So I'll skip over Monday for the moment, and I'll be talking somewhat about Tuesday now.
Apparently shoveling icy snow is actually GOOD for loosening up stiff, sore muscles.
After my sad and miserable post yesterday, I brought Julia to school - after easing myself, cell by cell, into the car and wincing in pain every time I looked in the side view mirrors - and then came home and promptly slipped on some ice in the driveway. I didn't fall, thank goodness, but it wasn't fun.
Yesterday morning, before we got even a single flake of snow here, I figured I'd put out some birdseed so the birds and squirrels could get a good meal before the storm we were expecting. The storm which, incidentally, failed to materialize, at least to any great degree. But I digress.
Don't be fooled by the white look of things outside the window in the photo above. There's not a lot of snow out there yet - it just looks very white (and snowed-upon) in contrast to the darkness indoors. It was snowing some, when I shot this picture a little while ago, but nothing blizzard-like.
There's no way I could skip Tuesdays with Dorie this week. I mean, just look at that picture up there. And there wasn't even a picture of this in the book to entice me, either. I just read the recipe - "Rick Katz's Brownies for Julia" - chosen by Tanya of Chocolatechic, and immediately decided the only problem with the recipe was that it needed to be doubled.
Sure, it's just the beginning of February, it's below freezing outside, and portions of the country are buried in snow. But it's also the time to order seeds and start planning gardens, and that's just what we've been doing.
Yesterday I rearranged the living room. I washed the windows, too, and the heavy glass insert on the coffee table. Took that whole thing out, too, so I could clean the dust and debris and birdseed (why?) and gunk that has accumulated there for - I admit it - years. All nice and clean now!
When the kids were at home in the morning, I had them moving toys from the basement and the living room back up to their bedrooms. For a whole hour! And, strangely, I didn't have to crack the whip at Julia more than oh...twice or three times. Maybe she had caught some of my infectious energy.
We all have certain dishes that we gravitate toward when we're feeling a little less than 100%. Foods that wrap us up in a big culinary hug and tell us everything will be okay, and we'll feel better soon.