Thursday, August 20, 2009

My baby is growing up! This morning she woke up at 8:10 (a record for my children). This was the first day ever that she hasn't taken a nap. The past couple of weeks I have been limiting her naps to about 30-45 minutes so that she isn't still awake at 9:30 and now I think she might be changing her sleeping habits herself. Will was 20 months before he stopped taking naps. Maggie isn't yet 17 months yet. I happen to like the non-nap schedule. But it does mean that if we go anywhere after 11 in the morning I have to try hard to keep her awake, even on a short car ride. I have also weaned her pretty much completely. Will was easy to wean at 16 months, but Maggie has been a lot harder. She still cries "bahboo" and pulls at my shirt. Definitely time to be weaned.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The vegetable pushers are out in full force right now. You know them...they stand in the church parking lot and shove bags of zucchini and cucumbers as big as your calf (you know they keep the small ones) and tomatoes that would feed a family in Africa for a week. I used to be one of them until I realized I would let others grow those vegetables for me and I would only grow the ones that I could eat myself. Well, here's a recipe I found that could help you deal with a couple of the giant zucchini you have sitting by your back door.

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta Salad with Parmesan Curls

3-4 medium-large zucchini (2 lbs) (I used two large zucchini but didn't use the seedy parts)
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp salt,divided
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz. cooked fettucine (if you wanted to be a raw foodie, you would omit this and use more zucchini)
1/3 cup julienned fresh basil
1 tbsp grated lemon peel (i didn't use this)
2 oz Parmesan chz, shaved into curls

1. With vegetable peeler, shave zucchini into long ribbons
2. With side of chef's knife, mash garlic and 1/2 tsp salt of the salt on cutting board into paste. Combine zucchini ribbons, garlic paste, oil, lemon juice and pepper in large bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Cook and drain fettucine, cool.
4. Toss zucchini mixture with basil, lemon peel and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. Add fettucini, toss. Add cheese curls.
Last night I went to see the new movie "Julia/Julie". It was about a blogger named Julie who tried every recipe in a Julia Child cookbook during the course of a year and blogged about it. I've often looked in my cupboard full of cookbooks and wondered how many recipes I have. It would take a lifetime to try all of them.

This afternoon at the garden plot as I was racing to the playground set to save Maggie from falling to her death a bee got in my sandal and stung my big toe. I screamed like a baby from fear/disgust/pain until I got the stinger out. That is the last time I ever wear sandals in an area that contains bees. Fortunately, I've entered the stage in my life where my feet need extreme support from tennis shoes. I understand the Mennonite women who boldly wear long skirts with their sneakers. I used to get a chuckle out of them, but now I have only sympathy.

Monday, August 10, 2009

On Saturday we went to the State Fair. The only other time I've gone was in 2005 when we went to see Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion. This trip was a little different since we have kids now. We went first thing in the morning because it was going to be in the 90's that day. It was fun to see all the animals and the other exhibits. The kids had a great time, especially Maggie because she loves to see animals. That morning I made a vow not to eat any fair food, but I promptly broke that vow with a peach drink, then maple sugar candy, tenderloin, and funnel cake. But hey, we only go to fairs twice a year, right? I probably would've eaten more(freshly fried potato chips, chocolate covered bacon?), but Will was getting really cranky so we left.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Ox

Have you ever found a song that could be your own theme song for the particular stage of life you are in? Ever since Pioneer Day when we sang "The Oxcart" in Primary I have felt like that describes my life. The imagery is especially strong when I am pushing the kids in the stroller or pulling them in my bike trailer. "Here comes the oxcart, oh how slow! It's pulled by an ox, of course, you know. The wooden wheels creak as they roll along. Creak, creak, creak, creak is their song." It's one of the very, very few songs in both the hymnal and the children's songbook that ends in a minor key.

Last week I pulled out my fondue kit that I got for Christmas 5 years ago and never used and we did fondue. I made a very pleasant discovery that I can actually use it as a deep fat fryer. So, I made homemade donuts yesterday (perhaps a contributing factor to my ox-i-ness). They were so delicious fresh from the hot oil. I rolled them in cinnamon sugar. I think that fresh homemade donuts must be one of my very favorite things.