Sunday, March 31, 2013

Freakishly warm weather, made eating outside possible!

Not feeling terribly festive

Easter decorations

window sill looking springy

Vegan banana bunt cake with apples and pears

another cheap-o Chinese foot massage place I like to go to

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Rainbow Gathering

Moonshadow feels underrepresented on this blog.

My serious 14 year old

Freyja having a croissant bigger than her head at Crema on 28th.  I love this place, my family feels sort of Meh about it.  We snuck out early on Saturday to let Mark rest.

For a second birthday celebration at Mark's mom's house I made the rainbow cake that is the toast of the internet right now, Martha Stewart even has a version.  I also put a fruit rainbow on top of mine, just to be fancier than Martha.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Birthday Boy

I can't even write about my son without getting totally emotional. 
I suppose that is the way of mothers, to be sentimental about their children.  
This year he chose to go to a comic convention here in town, instead of having friends over. 
He went with his friend Zach, who is also interested in comics, it was a simple solution to what to do for the kid's birthday.  I feel like he is much loved and celebrated everyday, so I am not terribly worried about not doing a big party.  I am making dinner for just us, and we will eat a lot of cake and call it good. 
Maxwell on his birthday and as a five year old in the photo

He asks for the same cake every year.

This year he wants the Swedish dinner, the meatballs, noodles, stuffed eggs, bay shrimp, salad, beets.  He is easy. 

Rolf left for Germany on Monday, on Sunday he said "why don't we cook something?" So we did.  He made his mashed potatoes and I pretended not to notice the amount of butter he added.

I made stuffed mushrooms with shallots.

And this handsome spargel

The buttery, buttery potatoes

Freyja played with her goat and stayed out of the way
And helped me make this giant apple pie, and an apple crisp.  There was a LOT of pastry.

Monday, March 4, 2013

It must skip a generation

A friend was lamenting the old "what to make for dinner" question on Facebook today.
Boy can I relate.  My children eat about six thing a piece, and not the same six, so dinner can be a real hair ripper.
Add in all of Mark's finickiness and his allergies and sensitivities and you really find yourself running a short order cafe. People, usually the ones without kids, will say "you control what they eat", these people have never had their evening spoiled by a fight with a five year old over dinner.
Maxwell could sometimes be successfully bullied into eating what I demanded he eat, but Freyja would rather die than give in, so you may as well just save your breath and our patience and make her a grilled cheese, not even a grilled cheese, no that would be too mixed up for the Princess and the Pea girl.
She would require cheese on a tiny plate, and a slice of bread, dry, on another.
Oddly enough she will chow down on some hardcore stinky cheese, just as long as it's plain.
Maxwell is a much more adventurous eater than Freyja,  but he has the annoying habit of changing his likes and dislikes with an irrational frequency.
Freyja is rather steadfast in her opinions on food.
My father hates vegetables, or so he says.  He and his sister have both lambasted my poor Grandma Betty's cooking more than once.
I, on the other hand have only the most fond memories of her cooking, and would forgo most restaurant meals for some of her dumplings, or stewed tomatoes, or even green salad, there was just something really nice about the way she put a salad together, that I rarely find anymore.
Growing up, I hated my mother's cooking, which I realize now was more a result of poverty and lack of time, than anything else.
She had a terrible habit of making soup, by putting in way too many things that in my opinion do not go together.  I hate soup as a rule to this day.
If it has corn in it, I will not be eating it, no matter what.  I even offended a co-worker recently by stating innocently enough, that hominy is the ONE, the one thing I will never eat, only to learn that she had chosen the posole for lunch. Rolf once bought be one of those industrial cans of hominy as a joke, and it sits, mocking me in our cupboard, a memory of too much nasty soup.
She also tries to sneak old lettuce in. catsup
You really have to watch her.
She was so pleased when she first went to Belgium, to find that putting lettuce in soup and pureeing it was perfectly normal.
She tried to pass off some old lettuce soup to me just last week.
My mother's mother was also guilty of tying to camouflage old left-overs, but she typically did it with meatloaf, which is somehow less disgusting than limp soup.
My uncle has a revulsion of gravy, for the same reason I hate soup, it is just a stretched out liquid reminder to him that you don't have enough money for a proper meal.  I personally love gravy, but I respect his boundary, despite the fact that he puts ketchup on eggs, which is just wrong.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

getting my socialist on

A few days ago my friend with breast cancer sent me a  text saying that her hair has all fallen out. 
I wasn't quite sure what to say, since there doesn't really seem to be an up side to the whole situation, so I asked her the question that I have had for a long time, but never had the appropriate person to ask, which is  "does all your hair fall out, or just the hair on your head?"
She said that all you hair can fall out, but so far her's is just on her head. 
I was wondering this because most people look really lousy without eyebrows. 
Now, it might seem like a bad thing to ask a sort of personal hair question to a person going through chemo, but I know my friend well enough to know that she would find my question funny and that it would please her to have me say something funny, rather than pile on a lot more concern, which I have already done and has sort of been done to death to her.
Everyone is super concerned, but no once can do a damn thing, so there we are all, sitting around being concerned and serious, doing nothing. 
Baking muffins, that is what I have done.  
Baking muffins and making silly cracks to make her laugh.  
That is just about all I can think of to do.
We found out recently that another mutual friend of ours has thyroid cancer.  She is a nice lady, one of the nicest people I can imagine. 
One of those nice people with a nice life. 
She is a lesbian, and has a nice wife, and two nice children and chickens. 
And nice dogs. 
And cancer. 
It made me really outraged when I heard about it. 
I feel that cancer should be reserved for the rich and horrible. 
They deserve to be sick and can afford the care that comes along with sickness.  they can afford to be off work and nauseated.
My newly bald friend is a social worker.  She is poor, with shitty insurance that only covers the crappiest of care. She is a single mother, with a daughter that needs her.  It makes me livid to think of her being sick while some smug asshole with lots of money gets to be well. Mark tells me that my feeling that way is irrational.  I felt exactly the same way when Maxwell was sick as a baby, and when Mark was diagnosed with cancer last year. 
It just isn't right. 
I hold a grudge, the injustice of it all makes me crazy. 
I wish there was someone to complain to. 
I wish there was some kind of cosmic customer service counter, where I could fill out one of those comment cards.  Boy do I love those cards!
Mark had his cancer screen on Friday and it was clear. 
It has been 15 months since his surgery and he is doing well.  He is also a nice person, who had no business getting sick and making his wife nervous. 
He is a person who, despite annoying me frequently, has not ever done anything bad in his whole life. 
One of those sickeningly honest and righteous people, that vote, floss and pay attention to current affairs. 
He doesn't even eat cheese for god sake.
We had lunch at "shut up and eat",  today, and the food was generally very good, high quality and HUGE.  I am not a super fan of bar seating, which is what is mostly available, but we lucked out and got a small table.  This would not be a good place to come with a large party, which is sort of a shame, since it is the kind of place to take out of town guests. Very Portlandia, with lots of organic options and pickled thing appearing in unusual combinations on sandwiches made with really stellar bread. I am a fan of Pearl Bakery bread, so that makes it a double win.  Mark is usually not a big friend of bread and sandwiches, but he enjoyed his meatball sandwich and liked the bread, which was a big relief, I always feel guilty for suggesting a place, and then having it turn out to displease him; he is a bit of a picky eater.  I would say this place is wayyyy better than the much lauded Lardo.