March was in-sane around here. Every second of the month felt scheduled. It was wonderful and fun and exhausting, and I am so glad it’s over. In contrast, this weekend has been wonderfully peaceful. On Saturday, Brian cleaned the house while I planted the garden. The girls enjoyed the quiet, too, playing with Duplos and reading books. The rest has done wonders to restore my sense of well being. In March, I was drowning. But halfway through April, the beauty of spring and mild weather have gone a long way to restore my sense of optimism. [Read more…]
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Springtime is a time of waiting. Waiting for strawberries and asparagus. Waiting for the first short-sleeve day. Waiting for lamb. Waiting for grill weather. To make all that waiting go faster, our family of four always makes a trip out to local farms to see what we have in store. We love the lambs, calves, and kids, plus all the newly planted summer crops and the spring produce almost ready for the farm stand, such as chives, spring onions, mint, nettles, and fresh lamb. As the first foods of the season are just coming to life, so do the leaves and flowers back in the city. Brian and I make sure the girls take notice of all this , so they’ll understand and appreciate the hard work and patience it takes to grow and produce good food. [Read more…]
Over dinner, she asks, “If you could be anyone, who would it be?” Before she and her sister were born, I might have entertained the idea, but now, I wouldn’t change a thing. Understanding the improbability of it all, she says that I can have them and Brian and still be someone else. I say, “Someone rich, I guess.” But then I can’t think of anyone rich or brilliant I’d really want to be. I can’t think of another life I’d trade for my stressful, messy, chaotic one. (Surely, some more intensive thought might turn up the ideal life – if only based on location; in the moment, though, this is how is was.) [Read more…]
Things have been the usual kind of nuts lately. Our days have been busy, spent juggling deadlines and this and that. Yesterday, we made last minute dinner plans with friends, and sat down to a perfect winter feast that included these roasted chicken legs (my fourth go around on the recipe –– it’s that good), plus a batch of savory cheddar waffles (recipe coming later in the week), and a green apple and spinach salad with shallots and garlic. We made palomas and sampled great tequila. All that revelry has left me a little behind today, but no matter –– it was totally worth it.
I wish I could tell you the night was capped off with a slice of this pretty chocolate layer cake with a kumquat glaze, but we devoured it long ago. [Read more…]
Peanuts were first. I’m not clear on exactly how it was discovered, but as long as I can remember I’ve been allergic. I was also allergic to tree nuts and avoided them, mostly. There was that one time on a plane when I ate that white chocolate almond-studded ice cream number. It was a cross country flight, I was alone, and a kid, so I ate the thing (though I did my best to pick out the almonds). Things turned out fine, but even then I knew I’d made a bad decision. [Read more…]
Holidays in years past have been epic affairs. Thanksgiving practically required a spreadsheet to organize, and Christmas needed Swiss precision as we rushed from this place to that. All that planning and coordinating made it hard to enjoy the holiday as it unfolded.
This year, Brian and I decided to make some changes. Our Thanksgiving featured only the four of us, Brian, me, and our two girls. In typical fashion, we sat down an hour later than we’d wanted to, but it didn’t matter in the least. After dinner, we had pie, put our littlest to bed, while our older daughter got to stay up late to watch It’s a Wonderful Life with us. We had to pause a lot and explain things that don’t come up much in a 7 year-old’s life, like the difference between a building and loan and a bank, World War II, bank runs, the Charleston, and the nature of greed, but still, it was a lovely time. Right after that, our weekend spiraled out of control a little bit with sickness and the like, but nobody had to go to the hospital so we count that as a victory. [Read more…]