May 18th, 2013 by Em-i-lis
My parents arrived, we picked the boys up, went to Jack’s baseball game (a sad loss), came home and got the boys in bed by 8, drank wine because we were pooped, went to bed after amusing ourselves with a few of Bill Hader’s best SNL skits. He is a trip -Stefon is my favorite- and I’m so sorry he’s leaving the show.
This morning, we hung low with the boys, all of us tired and eager to laze, by watching an enormous number of Loony Tunes cartoons. They really are so funny. I made some strawberry-thyme sauce to top a cheesecake for Monday’s party, took a proper shower and actually styled my hair as the kids are now with Tom’s parents, my parents are picking up my sister and her husband at Dulles, and then we will all drive to Annapolis for a rehearsal dinner.
Do you know when friends become good friends and then the lines blur beyond besties until you’ve got what is, for all intents and purposes, family? Well, we are so lucky to have such a family in our lives: the Hills. I’ve written about them before: Jim and Marjorie are my second parents; their daughter, Emily, and my sister have been best friends since the age of 4; Emily’s husband, Shafik, is fantastic, as are my T and Elia’s Michele; Chris, the Hills’ son, is like a brother. And he is marrying a wonderful woman tomorrow; we are all thrilled to welcome Lauren into our ever-growing “family.” So this is a special weekend in many ways, and I am grateful for all this time together.
Jack has a final game tomorrow morning, the wedding is at 4, and then we rest briefly before Mom and Dad’s anniversary party (40 years!) on Monday.
May 17th, 2013 by Em-i-lis
My parents! In fact, I am leaving for the airport in five minutes. We are all so excited! And my sister and her husband arrive tomorrow. Yippee!
I have worked like a madwoman today, preparing and cleaning. It’s not like my parents care, but I do. You know? Sitting down for a brief lunch of this lovely caprese salad and some bread from last night. Over and out, friends!
May 16th, 2013 by Em-i-lis
Tomorrow’s One Day Deal at participating Whole Foods is: 4 ounce salmon burgers, $1.49 each (regularly $2.99 each).
And, through May 31, American Plant has all fruit trees and berry bushes marked 40% off.
In the meantime, I’ve got the dough for a loaf of my fennel and sultana bread rising away. Delish!!! Just look at it (from last time, natch)…
fennel and sultana bread
Tags: american plant deal, fennel and sultana bread, whole foods one day deal
May 16th, 2013 by Em-i-lis
Five half-pints of strawberry-rhubarb pie jam are cooling and setting, and with the little extra in the pot, I made this lovely snack before heading off to J’s school.
strawberry-rhubarb pie jam
In canning, there are several ways to tell if your jam has reached the set point or will come to a good set. Temperature is definitely a helpful indicator of doneness as you want most jams to reach and remain at 220° F before filling and processing the jars. You can also run the plates in the freezer test (my least favorite for a number of reasons) and/or the how is it sheeting off the back of my wooden spoon test (a good one!). Experienced canners can also tell when the sound of a spoon run through the hot jam changes to one that alerts you that success is near.
Even with those tests though, some fret that their jam is still too loose: will it ever firm up? This picture of my leftover jam in the pot (the rest was processing in the water bath) shows that this jam will assuredly reach a terrific point of jamminess. Do you see how the jam isn’t filling in the open areas? It’s just sitting there, the sugars nicely crystalline, the pectin chains all back together again.
your jam will firm up in the jars if what remains in the pot does this
Tags: making jam, strawberry rhubarb pie jam, when is my jam done
May 16th, 2013 by Em-i-lis
3:00am: “Mom, I had a tee-tee accident.” “Ok, honey, just change and get in bed with us.”
5:30am: “Mom [from the other one]!!!!!!!!!!!! I am going to go TEE-TEE!!!!!” “OK, just do it and be quiet.”
Why all of us must be involved for one to go to the bathroom is beyond me and seems extraordinarily precious (not meaning cute) and superfluous.
Second kid then attempts to join the all-in-one-bed family circus and whines like a mo-fo when he can’t have the exact spot he wants. Did I mention that Cat has joined the fun and nips my chin for attention?
Second kid is whining and carrying on to such an unbelievably pesty degree that I exile him from our room. He refuses. I insist. He stands his ground. So I frog march him to his bed, get in with him and wonder if my blood is actually boiling, think probably not but do credit the person who coined that term because it feels effing accurate.
Breakfast, coffee!, where’s my backpack?, where’s my library book?, a tantrum that causes us to miss carpool (mortifying and further blood-boil provoking), an extra drive to school with a come to Jesus on the way. In the carpool line, I manage the great misfortune of pulling in behind the parent who, on an entirely too-regular basis, feels it’s OK to literally park in the active drop-off line to chit-chat with the parents and teachers who are opening car doors and unload the kids with such colossal slowness that I truly wonder if it’s possible or if the rest of us are being toyed with. Parking in any in-process carpool line should be a capital offense.
I return home to now-angelic second kid and share looks of WTF/We Are So Tired with hubs before he spirits second kid to school. The mountain of tee-tee-smelling and overall kinda gross laundry appears unscalable but I persevere and am now on load 2. With the help of friend X, I am also making a batch of strawberry-rhubarb pie jam before I must return to school for my last day as library volunteer before this year is out.
May 15th, 2013 by Em-i-lis
Is this not one of the springiest, loveliest things you’ve seen in a while? Hot damn! Toasted bread, Bûcheron, sauteed asparagus, arugula pesta, eggs. Stovetop -> oven -> table. Fab with the wine. And now to Mad Men.