Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Driving that train

 When the cat is away at a meeting, the mouse will build a train out of chairs and cardboard, for her pet tiger Bianca, and Bianca's children Leona, Leontyne, and Leopolda.

The the signage Freyja is working on here says "Bathroom for tigers and lions and all cats". 
She is a practical girl.


We broke with tradition and headed to early morning coffee at Little T bakery, rather than the Pearl, which has fabulous baked goods and terrible atmosphere.  Very minimalist and stainless steel, and edgy, all things I hate.  They also serve Stumptown coffee, which most people adore, but I find too acid and strong and oily.  We came for the pretzel roll, and Freyja said it was good, so there you go.  I will put up with overly strong coffee for Miss F, any day.

They also have these INSANELY rich chocolate "donuts" which are like chocolate bread, dipped in ganache.

I buy coffee here before work almost everyday, and the staff are always very nice.  They were nice to Freyja too, which goes a long way with me. I will forgive minimalist decor, if it comes with good service.  In addition to the pretzel rolls we purchased a big loaf of olive, rosemary bread for a dinner party we were having later in the day.

A dear friend is leaving town indefinitely, so we were doing a little thing, as a send off.

I imagined a lot of cheese, and some fig dishes.

autumnal fruit chutney over cream cheese. 


and that lentil pate that tastes just like chopped liver, that is pretty good too.  And lots of candles.

candle light

back to school night

Like so many things in our parenting lives, back to school night turned into a divide and conquer affair, with me taking Freyja to her thing, and Mark going with Maxwell to the band orientation.  I never know quite what to do at these things, it isn't like you can really talk to the teacher and the other parents are always busy herding their own children around, so talking to them is out too.  I wound up talking to a parent from my preschool.  Thank goodness she was there, or I would have been lost.
I read in a Facebook post by a woman I went to high school with, that a boy that we went to school with died Saturday. 
He was a man of course, not a boy, but I think of him as the bespectacled, freckled boy that was the consummate nerd. 
A boy I sometimes talked with on the excruciating ride to school on the bus, when I started my new school in 6th grade. 
There was no sensitivity training then, no anti-bullying campaign, no Dan Savage to tell us it would, or might get better. 
I have no idea how he died.  She didn't say, perhaps even made a point not to say, but I may be reading too much into it. 
I do that. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

cupcake envy

I am in awe of this lady, and I covet her miniatures.
This woman is much more highbrow, and I want to be her when I grow up and have a serious cupcake business. 
Oddly enough I am totally unmoved by all of the cupcake shops here in town. 
I have no desire to eat cupcakes, only to bake and decorate them.   
I'm reading reading my father  and loving it, as I tend to do with memoirs dealing with dysfunctional families.  Ms. Stryon manages to convey the otherworldly privilege her family enjoyed due to her mother's family wealth and her father's celebrity, while remaining grounded and approachable.  You don't feel like she is a poor little rich girl a type I loathe, but rather someone you can relate to if you have ever had a holiday spoiled by an alcoholic or mentally ill person in your life.

Homework marathon

Maxwell had homework in three classes, all due Monday. 

We did some Saturday and a fair bit today. 

I am not a huge help with the science and math, but two of the project included making big collages... thank goodness for arts magnet school! 

I can make a pretty mean collage (HA! Mark! for once I get to be the homework resource!) , so we had a gay old time cutting and pasting, while Freyja ransacked the joint with a friend.

Mexican cookery

Freyja chopping nuts (I scored this old fashioned nut chopper, just like the one my Grandma Betty used to have, at Goodwill!) for the mole, first thing in the morning.  Moles are kind of a pain in the ass to make, but you get that smug sense of satisfaction from all the work, so I suppose it is worth it.

I soaked these beans the night before, so they only took about an hour to cook, again with the smug satisfaction, if you don't crave that kind of attention, use canned.  I marinated them with lime and oil, onion and peppers.

Spinach enchiladas with verde sauce (more chopping and blending and mixing),  Salty Mexican cheese on top. 

my go to raw salsa

mashed yams with chile and lime

jicama salad,  black beans, salsa chickpea salad

candlelight in the rain, under our covered deck.

Careful man there's a beverage here

I went a little crazy at the specialty import store, purchasing beverages on Saturday. 

I have no idea why, but the notion of a big bucket of colorful drinks really appealed to me.

The whole thing started when I saw the tiny bottle of bright red Sanbitter on the shelf.      I love that stuff, but never buy it for myself.  My ex used to show up every once in a while with it tucked into his pocket, as a sort consolation prize for his usual bad behavior, so I tend to associate it with that, or with Rome, neither of which really go with my current life.     It tastes just like Campari, except it is alcohol free, so you can drink it in the middle of the day.      Most people hate it, because it is bitter as hell, but I like it a lot, even the freakish color appeals to me.  I also like that it comes in a small bottle, which makes it seem more special, somehow.   Then there were the Mexican sodas, which I just like because of the color and the glass bottles.  You really can't go wrong with those sodas, they pretty much scream- P A R T Y!

While I was rooting around the fancy soda section I found this fermented Elderberry soda, which I had to get for Rolf, naturally.  He is the Elderberry King after all!


Can't stop hearing this in my head.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Nuestra Cocina

It felt like it had been ages since Mark and I had spent any time together, so I suggested we go out to dinner Friday evening.
We went to a place neither of us had been before, which is something of a crapshoot, but this time we won, with Nuestra Cocina and upscale Mexican place, with a sweet outdoor seating area, close to home, not to noisy, good service and a pretty interesting menu.  Mark's mother was good enough to watch Freyja for a couple of hours, so there was no pressure to find something she would eat, and no cutting up to do.  Maxwell was off at a friend's house for the night, so we were feeling pretty lucky.

Finishing up at work for the week

changing, but refusing to iron, thus looking like an unmade bed. Tired  and a little piggy faced by 6:00pm.

Keeping things modest with a sweet, little horseshoe pin from Lily.

How lucky am I?  To find orange, Dansko sandals at Goodwill!

refusing to drive.

so, so margaritas, excellent atmosphere.

soup for Mark

Salad for me, with mango, avocado, pumkin seeds, and jicama

I needed some salt.  Mark said "I hope this isn't one of those places that brings salt in a little dish." Sure enough it was.  "You just never know who's been touching that salt."  Look at me, picking out the tomato skins like a three year old! I really hate skins in my food.  YUCK!

black bean, squash and cactus thing with avacado and fried tortillas.  We both would have been happier with them unfried, but it was good.

nice outdoor seating, that makes you forget you are right on Division!

Mark being very Portlandia, and going to dinner at a fancy place, dressed like a lumber jack, he lacks only a chain dangling from his pocket to hold his wallet in, and an ironic mustache to be totally to type.