like butter

Sometimes my housekeeping verges on the schizophrenic. Instead of sorting the laundry that's been on my floor for a week, let's make butter!

The rationale behind this decision? The insane amount of cream we bought for Thanksgiving that was subsequently left over. We went to the big box store, of course, and the conversation went something like this:

"So I need three-quarters of a cup per pie, times four pies..."

"That's three cups. And I need a cup and a half"

"And we need enough to whip to top the pies."

"So should we get an extra half-gallon, just in case?"

"...I guess it can't hurt."

Well, yes, it can. Quite a lot, actually, when you can't bear to throw it away. So, this morning I poured some into a mason jar and started shaking. Small Person got into the act, too. Alas, her assistance was short-lived; those wee arms tire quickly.

So I shook and shook and shook and shook and shook. And shook. And then I shook some more. Then, all of a sudden, the frothy whipped cream started to come together. A few more shakes, and it was all one mass of butter floating in sweet buttermilk. Yum!

Butter went into the fridge, buttermilk was added to the Sunday morning waffle breakfast. What went on the waffles? Butter, of course! More yum! The resulting full tummies felt marginally better than slurping the stuff straight from the carton.

We spent the rest of the day working off the dairy fat in the garden. There was a ton of weeding to do, plus the weekly compost rotation, then some green onions and radishes to plant.

We wrapped up the day with a birthday celebration, for which I offered to make a cake. A non-sugar, diabetic-friendly cake. No problem!

Meatloaf cake with mashed potato frosting, garnished with broccoli florets and, the kicker, bacon rosettes. Even more yum! Just what we needed to complete the eating holiday.

At least I didn't have to do any shopping this weekend! 


giving thanks

"Goodnight, sweetie, I'm very thankful to have you for my daughter."

"And I'm very thankful for my pet fish!"

Well, I bought the fish, so I guess that's somewhat reciprocal.


a little work, a little play

I've had an uncharacteristically busy day. Got up at 8:00 (respectable for a Sunday), exercised, turned the compost pile, and made ten pie crusts, all before noon. What, who is this person?

Seriously, the rest of the week I'm my regular lazy self, but I usually have to get some stuff done on Sunday. I'll have limited time this week to fulfill my Thanksgiving pie quota, so I had to get those crusts done. They are hanging out in the freezer, ready to bake a little at a time during the week.

The compost tossing is my usual Sunday chore, when I remember to do it. It's strangely satisfying. Almost as gratifying as growing the garden itself, watching the scraps degrade enough to go right back. And around we go again!

Small Person went off for her overnight visit with Baba, since she has the whole week off from school. When did they start doing this? Anyway, that means that although I did have a productive morning, I spent the rest of the day geeking around on the interwebs. Back to my normal self.


project time!

Every year is the same: I plan fabulously creative home-made gifts for everyone, then end up feverishly knitting my fingers off Christmas eve and everyone gets the same scarf. You'll just have to take my word for the fact that my ideas are fabulously creative, because, of course, I have no proof. I'm sure this holiday will be no different, but I'm eternally optimistic. At least I'm getting started before mid-December this time.

For example, Small Person and I finished a fun project this morning. I found it here, and changed it a little to suit our needs. It's a Hannukah advent calendar! Yes, very odd, but we though our friend Her Tinyness would like it. Follow the link for all the project details; it's basically some paper cups and tissue paper, all glued together, plus eight bitsy surprises inside. Pop the tissue paper each day for a treat!
We had lots of fun picking what to put inside and putting the whole thing together. If I can manage it, and can come up with 25 non-candy prizes, I might make one for us, too.

This project also adheres to my gift-giving strategy since I've become a mom: anything my kid makes is automatically adorable, something any person would be thrilled to receive. I'm sure you'll all agree, right? Or, if not agree, at least put a happy face on when you unwrap a mangled and fingerprinty... something.



Our current bedtime reading is the BFG, by Roald Dahl. One of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors, and I am thrilled to finally be reading it to Small Person. In fact, her copy used to be mine, and it shows. It's the first big kid chapter book I can remember purchasing on my own. My own choice, my own cash, me taking it up to the counter to have it rung up. The poor paperback is falling apart at the seams. We gingerly open it up every night, tuck in the bits that have come unbound, and dig in to a new chapter.

The BFG, in case you're unaware, stands for Big Friendly Giant. It's the usual Dahl specialty; characters and scenarios that are fantastic but oddly acceptable. With kooky vocabulary to match. It's maybe slightly above Small Person's comprehension level, but she's not complaining, so neither am I. There's a little more interrupting for definitions and other questions, but that's part of the whole reason we read, right? This is better for mom's sanity than re-reading Fox in Socks for the eleventy-millionth time, anyway.

Now that we've started on the chapter books, I've unpacked the boxed ones I've been lugging around. All the books I kept from my childhood, plus whatever I could sneak out of the family bookcases. Small Person's shelves are now full of them; the Borrowers, more Dahl, the whole Anne of Green Gables series, Astrid Lindgren. It might be hard for me to trot through them slowly, chapter by chapter. I'll have to sneak a few out for some quick bedtime reading of my own. It's like mac-n-cheese for the brain; perfect comfort.


more mom stuff

Small Person had some good ones this week:

"Why are you wearing just your pants?"
"Because I'm being a man hero and man heros don't wear shirts!" Spoken with serious face and deep voice.

Later, "holy cow-a-moly!"

And, still later, "Mom, do you want to play cards with me? I invented a new game. It's called Card Game X, and you can play it any way you like!"

It's only Thursday, surely there will be more to report. Her regular use of the word "certainly" is bound to produce a good sound byte at some point.


mom stuff

Small Person has been sick with the bronchial funk this week. Aside from the middle of the night coughing fits and the Bonnie Tyler voice, she's pretty game about it. For her, the worst part is having to stay away from her beloved kindergarten.

For me, the worst part is the bed sharing. It was fine when she was a baby; she had the same sleeping habits she has now, but such smaller proportions! She still spends the occasional night in our bed, but it's rare, and usually close to morning by the time she gets there. Five full nights of my long-legged girl in the middle of the bed kicking and rolling and splaying her limbs about all night? Not exactly restful. Even worse, I like to burrow and roll myself up in my covers at night, and she throws them all off. Small Person sleeps like a log, of course. And, like all children, looks like an angel while she's sleeping, so all my midnight frustration dissipates. Until my alarm rings.

In other news, today was our first parent/teacher conference and report card! Nothing big; at this point it's all Satisfactory or Needs Work, basically. Small Person is officially Satisfactory, and a joy to have in class. Whoopee! The only things noted by her teacher to pay attention to I'm already aware of and we both agreed they are not problems. Her meticulous nature, for example, often means she works slowly, to her own standards. When it's time to move on, sometimes she is not ready and worries about it. Mrs. J. is great, though, and reassured me that Small Person is not pressured about it and can work to her own pace. Awesome, since this is one I've been fretting about. I'll probably be fretting about it for the rest of my life, actually, so I'll just concentrate on relaxing Small Person's worry.


Halloween part IV: A New Hope

How can I resist a family costume when we're so height appropriate? Here's our rebel forces:
I rushed home from work on Friday, glued R2's chin strap on and put the costume together over Small Person, then cut a hole in a large white sheet and belted it over my white under layer. It took me longer to bun up my hair than it did for the Young Fellow to casually peruse his closet for the Han Solo outfit. In fact, it was so easy for him, I think I'll have to officially change his blogonym to Han.

It rained most of the day, but tapered off just in time for us to hit the streets. We drove across town to meet friends and wander the good candy neighborhood. Small Person pooped out after barely an hour. She had a school day full of treats and Halloween fun, so I wasn't surprised. Then, trading and sorting and eating, oh my! I've since confiscated and hidden the rest of the candy, to slowly dole it out until she forgets about it. Or until Han empties the cache on the sly.

Now I can start planning for next Halloween. Any suggestions for a good trio?