Monday, September 28, 2009
Grandma Bopsie's Peach and Raspberry Pavlova Birthday Cake:
Beat three egg whites, 1/4 t. cream of tartar til frothy, slowly add 1/2 c. sugar. (I thought this would be delicious with some ground pistachios, but I was at Grandma's house, and she didn't have any....) When it is stiff and glossy spread the sticky mixture out in a circle, or several little ones, or a heart shape, or bone shape for Halloween, or whatever takes your fancy, on parchment paper, bake in a 275 degree oven for 60 minutes, and then let cool in the oven.
Top with sliced fruit, sprinkle with powdered sugar, serve with whipped cream or ice cream. Or top with whipped cream (or ice cream) and put the fruit over that. That's what I would do, normally- we were just trying to keep calories and fat lower, and served the cream on the side.
It was a hit. Miles thought it was like eating a cloud. Grandma Bopsie was very happy with her pretty, light birthday dessert. Yay!
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
In the spirit of using the harvest, enjoying the last summer sunshine, making do and making at home, Miles and I created a little homemade marigold salve.
He went out and picked marigolds himself, and washed them, took the petals off, and put the stems and heads in the compost, all by himself. I wanted to use beeswax, and almond oil, but we were out, so we raided the cupboards and came up with nearly a pint: unpetroleum, shea butter, coconut oil, Weleda baby oil, honey. Miles dumped all this stuff in a pan.
Next in the saucepan: all those lovely, sunshiney marigold petals. Miles picked, washed, and plucked petals himself. We brought our concoction to a boil, then simmered for half an hour. Marigold and honey scent filled the house. Then we strained the mixture into a jar, and let it cool. It is a lovely orangey-golden color, smelling flowery and a little bit sweet. The salve itself is soft-ish and melts right in to Miles' eczema-raw arms. Oh! How he hates having lotion rubbed into his skin! This is just perfect for after baths, and Miles is certain it is full of goodness, sunshine, "strongness" and bravery, perfect for Michaelmas coming up, the waning of the sun's season, and all of the things little boys need extra courage to face. "It's like a sunshine hug!"
Saturday, September 19, 2009
1) We camped out, with COLD nights and warm days.
2) We met a lot of people from all over the world.
3)We hiked around lots of clear, cold lakes, with colors ranging from milky white, all the blues, even jade green.
4)Everywhere you look are rocks in red, green, and white, exactly matching all the mountainsides around.
Friday, September 11, 2009
We're off on a grand adventure this afternoon. I'll tell you all about it later!
Hopefully I won't forget the camera, OR batteries!
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Just take a moment of grace for you friends, old and new, and appreciate their many talents, would you? Even burping.
Friday, September 4, 2009
I sort of jumped and yelped, "Don't read that!" and tried to exit as fast as possible. Although, I suppose, the damage was already done. And shouting didn't help the situation.
His big eyes filled with water, threatening, just threatening to spill. He didn't know it was a bad word. I reassured him I wasn't angry at him, I wasn't angry at all. Just shocked to hear it from his mouth, surprised it was there in the first place for him to see. He still felt bad, all afternoon, from the unexpected encounter with ugliness, the bad taste in his mouth. The loss of innocence, I suppose. He couldn't quite articulate, except to wonder why people would say something that makes them feel so bad.
Remember being a kid? Being curious about all things grown up and forbidden, but also how raw and terrible those nibbles can be, when we're nowhere near ready for the taste of them? 'Cause, darn it, I do, and it's just as painful on the grown up side, watching the little injuries, watching childhood tear away, bit by bit.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
The first spring after we bought this house there were some sunflower self-sown starts in the garden, and a little problem of the big low deck needing something around it to keep a new toddler from thinking he could walk off the edge. Perfect! Our deck is surrounded now by sunflowers, self-sown, and they grow around the sand pit, too, making it a shady little hidden place all summer. Along side the driveway, where nothing was growing and I never water? Sunflowers, cheerful sunshine faces bobbing along in the breeze, peeking over the fence, saying hello to all who pass. There's always one or two who make it through in the veggie patch, and they are always mammoths, with stems I can't get a hand around, and huge flowers, bobbing over everything like massive, benevolent scarecrows (and at least as effective as the straw and overalls variety!).
Their charm doesn't end with summer, either. As the seeds ripen they become a forest of standing, waving, living bird feeders. Even after we pull them from the ground the fallen seeds attract birds, all winter long. And somehow, beyond amazement, there are always still way too many popping up again in the spring, pushing eager heads up and out, searching out the sun with us winter weary citizens. Because of sunflowers we've been able to delay rebuilding the deck, installing irrigation, rebuilding the fence, doing all kinds of more expensive landscape fixes!
Unfortunately my efforts to harvest the seeds have ended poorly, but still there is hope, and my own nest full of hungry birdie-mouths eager for "homemade" sunflower seeds. Maybe this year!