Nov 21, 2006

Thanksgiving: What We're Having

Contributed by my brother:

Turkey (organic, brined by him)

Chestnut Stuffing--yes, he will score and peel the chestnuts, boil them and all that, because he is a little crazed, but in the nicest possible way

Gravy, in the insulated gravy boat I gave him last year (I'm so prescient!)

Contributed by my Dad, but he's not allowed to have any:

One bottle of white Burgundy and one bottle of red Burgundy (a pleasantly parallel coupling suggested by the wine guru at Epicurious)

And provided by yours truly:

Cranberry Sauce

This is my latest recipe, and the best, because it's simple and delicious. You just can't argue with that. I have discovered that leftover homemade cranberry sauce is wonderful heated up and served over vanilla ice cream. Try it.

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes

I don't really use a recipe, but here is one I roughly follow.

Green Salad with Apples and Cider Dressing
Hubby loves blue cheese so that gets sprinkled on top. Dang, I forgot to buy it, though.

Daikon Radish Salad

Remember how our CSA went tragically bankrupt? They have rallied enough to make a delivery! The arugula got lost in the fruit drawer and is now unsalvageable, but I now have responsibility for two hairy mammoth Daikons. Based on a comment someone made on Epicurious (can you tell I use Epicurious?), I'm going to grate these suckers, after peeling the heck out of them, and mix them with Kosher salt, fresh ground pepper, olive oil, and a little lime juice.

Pumpkin Spice Pie

I have made this every year. It's super.

Sweet Potato Pecan Pie, Only with Walnuts Because I Have Tons of Them and No Pecans

This recipe (with pecans) is from my wonderful late friend Richard Sax. I never met him but I love him. It's from the FIRST edition of Classic Home Desserts. They came up with a posthumous second edition, but I have the FIRST, thank you very much. I'm making this because we also got a load of sweet potatoes from the tragically bankrupt CSA. I picture Scarlet holding up the dirt of Tara in her hand and saying "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."

Speaking of which,I'm asking our guests to donate food which we will take to the local food bank after the holiday. Oh, and my brother is also bringing his girlfriend and her three children. But we won't eat them until they've fattened up a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, dear readers.

Nov 20, 2006

Suburban Family Hosts Sucessful Capt. Underpants Birthday Party

Swarthmore, PA: Jack and Will, two brothers about to turn seven and five, reported that their parents gave a Capt. Underpants birthday party on Saturday. "It was great!" they shouted, chocolate cake crumbs on their faces, a trail of popcorn indicating their recent whereabouts. "Everyone we invited came!" reported the dazed mother. There were unconfirmed reports that one attendee out of eleven (including Jack and Will) was a girl. Whatever she was, her basketball and football skills were noteworthy, as was her ability to join in a pickup soccer game with seven-year-olds. Mr. S, the father of Jack and Will, said that his wife forgot whether Talking Toilets were evil or not, leading to confusion regarding the Talking Toilets game. "How could you forget they're evil?" he asked rhetorically. "But 70 percent of U.S. residents think there were weapons of mass destruction, so I guess it's no wonder."

"Thank goodness the weather was fine and they could send them outside to play in the leaves," murmured one mother who stayed to help. "It was getting very loud in their house." One child, reportedly named Fluffy Diaperbrain, hadn't been feeling well and came just in time to eat the cake. He didn't want any, moped around and would not wear his extremely fun nametag or prance about wearing personalized underpants on his head. He said nobody would play with him. The other four-year-old, Slimy Picklebuns, was also out of sorts once the crowd had been banished to the backyard wilderness, but after his mother gave him a pep talk by the shed, where he was hiding, he was decidedly more cheerful. He and Fluffy were completely recovered by the time they received their party favors.

All departed at the prescribed 4:00 ending time, after which point there was rumored to be a late fee of a dollar per minute. No damage worse than cake and popcorn on the floor has been reported as of this time. The Sea Monkeys(TM), a birthday gift from the young Slimy Picklebuns, have yet to hatch.

Nov 14, 2006

Unusual Etiquette Dilemma. Please Do Help.

Thanks to Amishlaw for the no-knead bread link. They are taking Brother Peter's slow rise method about as far as it can go. Sounds great if you want a big round loaf.

Anyway, the other things that have been happening around here, in addition to a spate of weekend guests (which was lovely), is that Will is finishing up, today, his last "loop" of Tomatis therapy, which is intense sensory integration work. From what I hear from the therapists it has made a huge difference in his motor planning and coordination. I don't want to explain it all here, but if you Google "A Total Approach" you will learn about it. Will's teacher thought he had a few "sensory issues," so they directed us to A Total Approach. Some of the kids who do it have pretty significant autism, and one girl I think has a brain injury. That makes me wonder if Will really needed it. But it's good to catch this stuff early I guess.

Instead of waiting in the cramped windowless waiting room with the other parents, which makes me feel claustrophobic, I dash off to Borders and come back just in time to chat with the therapist about how it went. This enforced reading/coffee drinking time is really nice but I can't really afford it, as laundry piles up and dinner is cobbled together from food that's a day away from becoming garbage. But give me credit for not getting take-out from Foodsource, a very pricy store in the shopping center next to A Total Approach.

Now for the birthday party situation, ta-da. Because I know you all have been waiting to hear! Jack and Will want to share a party. Again! Still! And the theme is, I think you know, Captain Underpants. So I'll make some kind of semblance of C.U. on the cake. And the plan is to buy about ten cheap pairs of boys' underpants at Target, write the kids' names in them, and their C.U. names as per this website. With said garments we will have underpants-slinging contests, and kids will wear said underpants on their head during the whole cake-eating stage. And I really hope the other parents won't hate us forever.

Now here's the awkward part: I, of course, thought it would be an all-boy party, but a couple of days ago Will said he really wants Lydia to come. Lydia's parents are very religious, and out of the pop culture loop so much so that the mother never heard of Captain Underpants and got him mixed up with Sponge Bob. Please! Actually, she has no boys, so I guess she gets off the hook. Question for y'all: It seems weird to give Lydia boy's underpants for the games, but then giving her girl's underpants calls attention to anatomical differences, which seems awkward. My thought is to just pretend she's an honorary boy, and the less said the better. Her mom wants to know what Captain Underpants is. I'm supposed to call her. So I have to figure out a way to describe it honestly without using the word "irreverent," although C. U. is not irreverent toward God, it's irreverent towards authority. I should just stop thinking of this as a big dilemma. I'll just use as much Wedgie Woman Power as I can summon, and go forth boldly with no apologies. Unless I hear otherwise from my dear readers.

And please do share your Captain Underpants name if you bothered to look up the link, which I totally know you did.

Nov 12, 2006

Birthday Time Yet Again!

Oh, poor dear blog. It's your birthday. Today. And I've neglected you most sadly for two weeks. That's what comes of having two weekends in a row with house guests. I worked my b*** off cleaning out the guest room, let me tell you. Now I'm going to start some bread, and watch Desparate Housewives (eight minutes after it starts so I can TiVo through the commercials), but here's one for the readers. If there is anyone still out there.

Question from Jack: "Why do they call it an iPod if it's on your ears?"