Sunday, February 26, 2012


today was the kind of day where things either went right or they went wrong. there was not much in-between and at the same time, it wasn't a purely bad or a truly good day.

what went well: we had our first real guest over today. yesterday we had the electrician here, but he didn't sit down for a danish pastry and tea. the priest from the church next door rode her bike over today after the service. she is one of three priests at the church. this was a pre-arranged visit, so she could drop off a burley and high chair for us to use while we're here. she told us the super best was expensive (this too was good... validation... because yesterday the electrician had told us it was a good grocery store, and cheap too, so i was feeling pretty guilty complaining about decent food that we currently have enough money to buy-- can't i find anything better to complain about???). she gave us the name of some cheaper grocery stores. also a thrift store. said she would have us over to her place sometime soon and give us the grand tour of the church, which dates back to the 1100's.

what didn't go well: the subsequent walk to the park. well, it was going well until we realized the rocks william had been digging in for treasure actually contained cat poop instead. one little kid's magical land of buried treasure is another cat's litter box. shucks. then henry had a major fit about being returned to the burley, so we put him in the ergo, which he also screamed in until finally falling asleep about a block from home. but, his ensuing nap went well. during said nap, i decided to make a carrot cake, which had been my plan for a few days. carrots are one of the few things we have stored in our fridge right now and cake is one of the many sweet things i crave pretty much everyday, so it seemed like a perfect plan. but i do not enjoy baking. cooking, yes. baking, no. plus, i'm not very good at it. even when i think i'm following the recipe i feel like i'm always burning it or putting it in the wrong size pan, frosting it too soon or not adding enough cold water to the crust. and when i get it out there's either too little of it or too much, such that it gets gobbled up in a day or sits there for a week getting stale. today's cake, as most food prepared these days, was a joint venture, depending on the needs of the guys at the time something with the food needs to be done. i grated seven carrots, but because greg did most of the mixing, things were going well as it went into the oven. but of course, i burned it. i was in charge of getting it out, but the oven has no timer, and i was paying too much attention to mixing up the granulated sugar frosting (we had no confectioner's sugar or cream cheese) and trying not to burn that, that it took my brain a good 5-7 minutes to realize that because i was smelling a burning cake, i should probably take the initiative to remove it from the oven. at this point it's probably past six o'clock and we've done nothing about dinner. that's another problem with me and baking-- i can't seem to multi-task with it because i feel like i'm always stirring or mixing something. but, what did end up going well was the dinner. we did a bean salad-- a can of white beans, a can of chick peas, thinly sliced onion, grated carrots, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt, and the most successful part of the entire day-- raw kale. a couple of years ago, my sister, becki, told me about preparing kale in this fashion but we had never gotten around to trying it until tonight. so, it's not just: cut-up-kale-and-put-it-in-your-bean-salad. what you do is wash it, trim it, cut it up, however you're going to eat it. put it in a bowl with a few shakes of salt, maybe more... then rub the salt into the kale for about five minutes or so until the kale starts to get really green and lose its toughness. new texture, new flavor, and your kids are just a little more prone to eat it, which makes you feel a little less guilty about the fact that they were doing this while you were trying to break down the integrity of kale:

william scraping the sugar out of pot #1

and this:

william scraping the sugar out of pot #2

you can kind of see the cake in the background there. it wasn't a loss. just burned along the edges. i don't know that it exactly tastes like carrot cake, especially with the frosting, but we're eating it. greg doesn't like carrot cake and he says it's the best carrot cake he's ever had, though he admits that this is because it doesn't really taste like carrot cake. maybe it was the rye flour.

sleep-- william didn't get to bed until about 10. he's been back to his old tricks of not being able to fall asleep-- insisting that we read one more chapter (this time of 'stuart little') and then tossing around trying to get comfortable for half an hour before finally succumbing. and little pavlovian henry screams now at the sight of the blanket greg puts around him to walk him to sleep, so it's back to nursing to sleep-- one of the reasons i'm obsessed with food (have you noticed?)-- the little calorie thief. who will likely be up any second, so it's time to end this and hope for a steadier day tomorrow, but also be thankful that my complaints amount to not much more than burnt cake.

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