Thursday, September 30, 2010

Cooking + Reading + Apology Pie

So, my friend Lisa lent me these books from a series called The Hunger Games. I cracked the first one Tuesday morning and by today at about noon I had finished the second one, Catching Fire.

A leetle addictive. Just a smidge.
This is how I got cooking done over the last two days:

(Also, when I am caught up in a book like this, I don't really cook, per se. It's, you know, pasta and sandwiches. That sort of thing.)
This is me stirring the filling for a Coconut Cream Apology Pie. It's a little different from a regular coconut cream pie in that one only makes this particular pie when one has been really obnoxious to one's dear husband for no good reason at all and then that husband is gone for the day without a cell phone and the obnoxious wife feels really bad because she can't call to apologize so she makes his favorite pie instead.

And the dear husband forgives the obnoxious wife even BEFORE he sees the Coconut Cream Apology Pie. That's love.

It was good pie. Still is. It's in the fridge and calling to me, so I'm thinking the neighbors might be getting a few slices of pie. No need to make myself sick on top of it all.

(p.s. I know it looks like the book was pretty close to the burners, but I was careful. No worries.)


This is my 100th post of the year! Who the heck is reading this blog? I know who some of you are, but sometimes I get 30 or 40 people visiting this site a day (I know! Eat your heart out, Perez Hilton.) and I don't know who you are. If you are so inclined, leave me a comment so I know who's reading. I'm just curious.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dear Grandma,

Remember us? Your grandchildren? Maybe not. Mom's been busy (lazy?) lately and hasn't posted any of the pictures she promised you.

So, Mom was feeling guilty enough about the bad case of Blog Neglect she came down with that she is actually posting stuff today. Go Mom.

We love you, Grandma and Grandpa, even if Mom can't get it together sometimes!

Kathryn Vivian, Dexter and Betty


Saturday morning German pancakes, Grandma's recipe.

First time making them. They turned out pretty well.

With the exception of the applesauce, the report was that they were just like yours, Lorna.

According to the resident German Pancake Expert, they are more properly made with Mott's applesauce, but I think mine was acceptable.

Monday morning...all four kids had doctor appointments. And SHOTS.

Everything was great in the waiting room. I mean, they have pictures to color, crayons, books and a TV.
And a WATER COOLER. Everyone knows that water that comes out of a cooler is, well, cooler.

Once we got into the exam room, the camera went away. It was all I could do to keep the littlest ones from climbing on the counters and playing with the doc's computer.
We left the doctor's office with seven bandaids covering up TWELVE shot spots. Yep, four kids and TWELVE SHOTS, and Curtis was in court so he couldn't come with me. That was...interesting. There were tears all around but the children were somewhat mollified by the promise of treats. Candy always helps. (Oh, yes, I used refined sugar as a reward.)
Viv's fourth birthday was on Tuesday. She jumped into bed with us in the a.m., cheerfully reminding us that she was the birthday girl. Grandma, she LOVES her Tinkerbell music box (or Tinkrabell, as she calls it).

For her birthday dinner I told her she could choose whatever she wanted. Pizza? Nachos? Hot dogs? MCDONALD'S????
Um, no. Her very specific birthday menu was Cheerios, broccoli, carrots, deli turkey and colby jack cheese. She would not be moved.
Well, ok. Let's celebrate.
Since we were at Nain and Taid's for the weekend (it was the weekend of the Common Ground Fair, post forthcoming), we had a family party there on Sunday afternoon.
The kids all made crowns:

and there were delicious cupcakes.

Sunday night, as we were getting ready to leave, Betty threw up all over the place. After a quick bath and a change into her brother's pjs (we had no more clean ones for Betty), she still wasn't too happy. Luckily, she slept all the way home. Unluckily, she threw up again the second we walked through the door. So, that was fun.

She actually slept well last night, and with the exception of a low fever (kept under control with Tylenol) she's doing better today. Fingers crossed.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Kind of awesome in the kitchen

Some days I go into the kitchen and put a bunch of stuff together and make something totally delicious, like this soup, and I think to myself, "Self, you are kind of awesome in the kitchen."

This is a corn chowder that I kept putting more stuff in - onions, potatoes, carrots, sausage, fresh corn, a little Velveeta (again with the Velveeta!), milk, chicken broth. It was officially Yum. Curtis is eating his third bowl as I type this.

Note: This is not every day. Some days I give my kids fish sticks and I think to myself, "Self, you are kind of lame in the kitchen."

Applesauce recipe

Ask and ye shall receive, Dawnelle!

Here's how to make the applesauce:

Quarter apples, removing any "icky" spots. I usually remove all of the core but I know several people who do not. Do not peel apples. Put in a big pot with an inch or so of water in the bottom. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until apples are tender and mushy, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick/burn on bottom. Add more H2O if needed.

When apples are done (20 minutes? Half an hour? It depends on your apples and how many you have in your pot), remove from heat and let it cool a little bit. Put through a food mill - I use a Foley Food Mill like this:

(Just Google Foley Food mill - it'll run you about $25-ish.)

I sometimes add sugar, sometimes not, depending on how sweet the apples are. Brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of salt is all nice, to taste. (You won't taste the salt, it just brings out the flavor.)

If you want to can it, ladle it into clean jars and process like you would anything you are canning. I usually just let it cool and freeze it. That is, if there is any left after your kids get to it...

Good luck!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This year I used a combination of apples from my parents' trees and some from other local orchards.

The apples from my parents' trees required a little more work - more cutting out of spots, etc., but I think the combo of all the different types of apples made for a more interesting-flavored applesauce.
It was a little tart but some brown sugar and cinnamon made it just super.

Love it.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


No cohesive post here, just some photos of what's been going on around here.
Betty is working on her utensil skills. It's a good, but messy thing. She really won't let me feed her anymore.

Our friends Bill and Marie brought over a whole truckload of perennial plants from their garden for our landscaping efforts. Iris, balloon flowers, wild carnations, lupin, a big peony bush and a bunch of other stuff I can't remember. (Marie is going to have to come over in the spring and help me remember what's what!)

Curtis spent several hours putting the bulbs/plants in, "assisted" by the children. Actually, true to form, Vivian got really focused and actually dug a hole big enough for a bulb. Way to go, Viv.

Here's a shot of Vivian after she had a little fun with the dress-up basket. Rachel Zoe's got nothing on you, kid.

And finally, here's what happens nearly every time Curtis thinks he'll sit down on the couch after dinner to relax a little. Ha! Good luck with that!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Why My Kids Had Cookies For Breakfast

...or, What Happens Every Time I Put A Bagel In The Vintage Toaster.

You'd think I'd learn.

p.s. They were whole-wheat pumpkin cookies, so please don't report me to Child Protective Services.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I do

Here's what I feel I do a lot of:

* getting drinks of water or milk

* stepping in to avert WWIII

* picking up stuff - legos, jackets, dress up clothes

* reading...the same picture book...14 times in a row

* saying "what's wrong?" or "what happened?" or "be NICE" or "careful!"

* figuring out what to make for dinner that they will eat, will be good for them and will not require getting out the vacuum to clean up (not a lot fits into this category...)

* hugging the kiddos and being continually amazed at how darn cute they are

* wiping noses (currently - three out of four with colds)

* contemplating another go at Weight Watchers

* justifying ignoring the laundry...though this cannot go on forever (or can it...? hmmmm)

* resorting to Blues Clues or Dora or Dinosaur Train when the screeching gets to be too much

* reminding myself how lucky I am to be able to be at home with all of this insanity - no, I really do think so, just have to remember to be grateful

Still, sometimes it's enough to make me want to do this:

p.s. I am not digging the new format I've got going on here. It looks funky and I can't figure out how to get the old one back. I guess I'll say the blog is undergoing a half-hearted renovation.