Sunday, August 29, 2010

Breakfast at Pappy's

This morning, my dad blessed us with a marvelous brunch. One of his favorite new kitchen hobbies is ebelskivers, or filled pancakes. What before I only heard described via Skype, I've now experienced. And wow! Are they yummy! We had our choice between strawberry jam-filled and apple-filled. Of course, I had both. I'm really thankful, too, that we left our stash of Vermont maple syrup with my parents, although I opted for agave nectar on mine.

The males in our family were especially pleased to have both bacon AND sausage with our brunch, as well as Pappy's perfect scrambled eggs. I added kefir to my ensemble, and a good time was had by all.

After refusing to follow my advice about using the Bosch to magically whip up the egg whites, Daddy called on me to finish fluffing them with the hand mixer. (sigh) He knows now. Anyway, after folding them in, the batter foretold of tasty times ahead.

Daddy whipped up this apple filling.

The anticipation was killing us!

I love my dad. And I love his love of working in the kitchen.

From the Archives

This photo was taken about a year and a half ago -- before my seven-pound African weight gain, when my tummy was actually flat -- while we were staying with my parents. When I began my apron frenzy, I was keeping a different blog and posted about it there. My mom brought out this beautiful specimen to show me that I'm not the first woman in our family to take an interest in apron making.

My great-grandmother, Jesse, used to busy herself crocheting useful items for the extended family, and this beauty is one of her creations. Mom says that this apron is about my age. Today it became my own. Woo-Hoo!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ready to Nest

It won't be long now, although it feels like it'll never come. We should be in a home in just over two weeks. Oh, what fun it'll be to unpack all of our trappings that have been in storage for over a year now. Two years ago when we moved from our ("sweet") home in Alabama, I had been thinking that I wanted to replace some things and redecorate. Redecorating is SO not in our budget, nor will it be for a little while. The good thing about being away from our household goods for a period of time is that it'll all seem new.

I've been daydreaming about arranging furniture and envisioning my daily routine, which I'm just itching to resume (especially the sewing part). The girls and I really look forward to busying ourselves in the new kitchen. Sadly, Caelyn will have to wait until December, since she'll be heading to Alaska just days before we move.

This morning, Caelyn shared with me a link that made me laugh so hard, although I thought for a moment that I should perhaps be offended. It pokes fun at those of us catalog shoppers who continually look for new home decor ideas. I appreciate this light-hearted approach at putting all of the "stuff" into its proper perspective. Still, I look forward to creating a homey space of ministry where friends and family may gather and be loved, fed, entertained, and edified.

Click. Laugh. Decorate. :-)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Call Me "Heroine"

I sew. I cook. I bake. I teach. I love. And... I rescue cats from trees. Especially when it's my dog that treed her. And when I'm one of two in our family who isn't allergic to cats. So, when Rhodes terrorized one of my dad's cats this afternoon, I cast aside my cautious ways and climbed the ladder.

I reeeeeeally trust this man!

Of course, Jill had to pick a tree with NO lower branches to run from Rhodes.

When I almost had her, Rhodes showed up again. When I turned to look at him, I heard from Jill the most unnerving sound I've ever heard from any creature. She meant business! I won't identify the individuals who let Rhodes loose, but my daughters quickly put him in his pen. ;-)

I finally got her down, but she wanted some time alone. So, we gave it to her. I'm pretty sure that I'll forever be her favorite family member. I'm also pretty sure that the next time Rhodes gets any ideas about Jill, he'll have the reminder on his nose that he should keep his distance from her.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Getting Older

Is anyone still reading my blog? I hope so! I'm sure that I should be posting about our recent transition from Africa to America, but I have several excuses for continuing to procrastinate. (And oh! How I miss the Sew & Tell group!) In the meantime, I keep getting ideas for other, non-travel-related posts, but I end up not writing about them, since I feel guilty for neglecting the topic of our move. In the end, I do nothing; so today, I'm going with my inspiration.

Today, I'm faced with the reality that I'm getting older. It's really OK with me. I don't think too much about my age. I'm actually rather young; but, by God's goodness, I've crammed a whole lot of life into these (just under) four decades. Very often, people mistake me for one of our daughters' sisters, which cracks me up. After all, I was there for every birth, so I know that I'm the mom. Still, with the way things change all the time, I'm starting to feel older than I actually am.

In my childhood, I actually held an 8-track in my hand. My Aunt Suzie used to take me to buy penny candy. I can recall seeing the space shuttle disaster, carrying the school teacher, Christa McCauliffe, although I'm not sure why I was at home watching it on TV rather than in school. I can remember the very first CD I ever saw. I can recall my mother's face when my brother first played a rap song for her. When Craig and I got married and moved away, we were amazed to return two years later and learn about a handy little tool called email. Our children find it odd that we never had cell phones in our youth. So, in their eyes, we're pretty old.

These days, I still measure my age by the improvement of products. When I first nursed my babies, I wore a nursing cover that was basically a receiving blanket with a velcro strap. Now, I make the fancy "foo-foo" kind with D-rings, a pocket for the nursing pad, and other unique details, depending on the fabric and my mood. Maternity clothes were quite un-hip when I was still bearing children, too. (Or maybe I was too poor to shop in the cute mommy boutiques in those days.) I've been a mother long enough now to see my daughters shop for the same kinds of fashion that I wore in the 1980s. (That's really rather cruel.)

With the advent of blogging, there's plenty of practical advice at everyone's fingertips for organizing a home, feeding a baby, eating healthful food, disciplining children, and every other aspect of stay-at-home life. When our children were small, I had to order books on these subjects or ask one of the (very few) experienced women in my life for advice.

It has been 366 days since we landed in Maputo, Moçambique, and 11 days since arriving back in Pittsburgh. Lots of things have changed in that time, including our perspective on some things. One small improvement that we've noticed is that we no longer lose our XM radio signal traveling through the Fort Pitt tunnel on our way into the city. Another insignificant change is in the Williams-Sonoma catalog. A new copy arrived in the mail at my parents' house -- where we're staying until we find a house -- and it was a bit disappointing. Perhaps it's because the layout just isn't as good as it used to be, or perhaps it's because I'm not as thrilled with those things as I was before spending a year in a developing country... Naaaaaahhh!

A few years ago, after about 14 years of marriage, I was finally able to buy the food processor of my choice. When I used it once or twice, I marveled at how I had been able to manage without it for so long! We use it nearly every day. I'm so thankful for this machine, as I am all of my fun kitchen gadgets. I was a bit shaken, though, when I spied the latest version of it in the catalog. I bought this a few years ago...

But the catalog now offers this...

The same is true of my Bosch Universal Mixer. I sold my Kitchen Aid in order to get this about ten years ago, and many loaves of fresh, whole wheat bread have been produced as a result...

The next generation of whole grain users will have this lovely model to enjoy...

Even my lovely (red!) Vita-Mix now comes in a gorgeous brushed stainless steel option that wasn't available two years ago when I made my purchase. Am I bitter? Of course not! I should hope that by the time my daughters' husbands buy these very useful gadgets for them, they'll have something that doesn't look like it came out before the iPod.