Our family of four relies heavily on a delicate balance of personalities. Brian, whether by nature or force of will, is stoic and patient almost all of the time. I strive for the same, but most days just holding it together feels like an accomplishment. If there’s one thing you don’t have a lot of as a parent of two, it’s space, both personal and mental, and I need a lot of it. I thought, now that our littlest one is in school five days a week, I’d have plenty of time to recharge and conquer the world, but it seems the more space I have, the more I need. Making up for lost time, no doubt. We had thought our girls each took after one of us –– the oldest being sensitive and prone to the same types of high highs and low lows that her mother experiences. Until recently, our youngest seemed to have inherited her father’s quiet introspection and mellow exterior. I say until recently because just a couple weeks after she turned three, something changed. All of a sudden, there were tantrums, as well the intense desires and a stubbornness that you might expect from any other toddler turned preschooler. We just really didn’t think it would happen to us. read more »
The best bit of parenting advice I ever received is this: don’t listen to anyone. My friend Patrick told my friend Lucas that when he had his daughter, and then Lucas told me. Shouldn’t all advice be so simple? You already know what’s up, just do it.
This is my way of telling you that both my daughters had birthdays this week and I’ve spent too much time scrolling through old pictures and crying. Not necessarily ugly crying, but still. This parenting stuff is real.
And where there are birthdays, there is cake. read more »
Our life has been all stops and starts lately. Good things (really good things!) will happen and then a moment later there’s an avalanche of annoyances and frustrations. If I could make a blanket fort and wait out spring’s real arrival, I would, but there’s just so much to do. So, I’m starting with the little things. Trying to get right whatever I can. Mostly, this means cleaning and organizing. But also cooking. The cooking has been a good thing. Mostly. read more »
Observing a person’s cake preferences is akin to peering into the very depths of their soul. Some people, for instance, appear to be impressed by a cake that is covered in impenetrable layers of marzipan has had the hands of about twenty bakers on it and looks very much like a 2013 Chevrolet Camaro. Some people will spend thousands of dollars on a cake like this and others will watch television shows about bakers who make such cakes. Those people–people who prefer the artifice of a well-decorated cake to the taste–are alien to me, not the least for the amount of time they have to waste. Spending hours making a cake look like a golf bag makes as much sense as spending the same time trying to make a golf bag taste like a cake. A cake is for eating, people! read more »
People, it’s time. The season of decadent foodstuffs has begun. Even though in the past few weeks I’ve tested new dessert recipes, whipped up a Thanksgiving pie, and attended a cookie party, I decided that a recent weeknight birthday celebration for five called for a three-layer chocolate stout cake. I know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, because I lightened things up with a whipped cream frosting. Instead of ganache. It’s called restraint. read more »
Weeks, and perhaps a lifetime, ago we went apple picking. It was one of those chilly, perfect fall days with clear blue skies. We were late in getting to apples this year, and found only Mutsus left on the trees. No matter, we happily filled up our bag with these crisp, bright, mildly sweet apples. read more »