Nov 29, 2007

High Birthday Season in the Dream Kitchen

Jack turned eight, EIGHT! on the 23rd, and Will turns six, SIX! tomorrow. How did this happen so fast? I made Jack and the inlaws Spice Layer Cake with prunes simmered in brandy, out of my Mom's Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook. It was scarfed down by all except Will, who doesn't like any annoying things like fruits or nuts in his cake. Since Will's birthday is on a school day, I made banana chocolate chip muffins for him to share with his classmates. He doesn't find chocolate chips annoying.

This year we are outsourcing their joint party for the first time ever. With last year's Captain Underpants party, I felt that I was just yelling all the time and no one did anything I said. So this year it's at a local gymnastics center, with a "Survival Island," trampolines, foam pit, and climbing wall. We'll bring our own food, which is the way I prefer it. I must say, it's a relief to have a bunch of boys romping around NOT in our house. We don't have a finished basement or any indoor place appropriate for such a party. And they just won't agree to settle for a dainty afternoon tea.

Random Quote of the Day
At the dinner table today we talked about how sometimes we act our age and sometimes we don't. Will said he would act Daddy's age and he yelled in anguish, "I hate this car insurance!!! And see how my butt's sticking out!!"

Next: The Greening of the Laundry

Nov 21, 2007

Thanksgiving, the Latest Iteration

I'm taking a break after making the Cranberry Sauce and Herbed Stuffing. Next? The brine. Then we, meaning I, pick up the fresh turkey and start the brining. Later this evening? The Spiced Pumpkin Pie and the Orleans Sweet-Potato Pecan Pie.

Tomorrow morning? Stage 1 of the gravy-making. Tablecloth-ironing and silver polishing will ensue. This stuff gets delegated to my mother in law or anyone else who will do it and is old enough. John will put the leaves in the table and be the brinemaster. The boys will play and run around. Zane will look endlessly for tasty bits on the floor. Kato the cat will torture Zane by sitting six feet beyond the pet gate and looking pleased with himself. Finally I'll be making the gravy at the very end and ordering everyone the heck out of the kitchen. We'll eat the meal in no time flat, but cleanup will take two hours.

My brother isn't coming, but he wanted to. His girlfriend wasn't granted custody of her children for this holiday and she's sad, and she thinks she would be more sad spending the holiday with us than if they spent it alone, at the Shore.

My Dad will be here, eating way more than he should and watching everyone else do the work. He has again broken up with his lady friend who I love so much. Since she moved to Seattle, it makes sense, but he didn't have to do it so harshly. It must be hard, after being married for decades in an "old-school" marriage, to negotiate the difficult terrain of courtship, or dating, or romance, whatever you call it--with someone who has grown children and who has seen enough in her two marriages to know she doesn't want another husband.

Jack has a tooth, an upper incisor, that is crooked and sticking out. Right behind it you can see the new tooth shoving the front one out. I want to pull this tooth out so bad. So bad.

Happy Thanksgiving to the world, in all its brokenness and incompleteness.