Garden decorations

Remember how I mentioned we were eating the arugula blossoms? Now we are also cutting them for vases. They smell a little peppery, a little mustardy, bright and clean and herby.

And Jacob snags one for a snack from time to time when he’s passing by.

Make new friends

It seems funny to post about a mom and a cookie, when I just posted about a mom and a cookie. But there you have it – this one just has to be shared.

There is one mom at our nursery school who always brings the best snacks. For the kids, yes, sure, but more importantly – for the parents. If you have ever been part of a co-op nursery school, you understand how critical the parent-room snacks are. Eleanor regularly provides toast – good toast – and the most amazing homemade jam. She also bakes. On Eleanor’s snack days, I always know my morning break will be completely pleasant. (I’m so glad we have the same work day!)

And then last week we were working in the snack room together, and got to talking. About canning, to begin with – I am anticipating our mini-orchard going into plum-overdrive come July, and was thinking that maybe Eleanor would help me learn how to can things, jam-like things for starters. (Did I mention that her jams are always so good?) She actually thought that was a great idea (yes!! check back in late July … ) and from there we were off, talking about baking and food and food blogs — and, wouldn’t you know, Eleanor has a food blog too! As she should. Her baking deserves every delighted superlative you can come up with, and my only critique of her blog is that she hasn’t yet posted all the recipes of hers that I want to try. But when I went snooping around on KitchenSalt (cute name, right?) I found something that had me heading to the kitchen with my laptop, pulling out my measuring cups along the way.  Continue reading

Love to mothers everywhere

(Before we get started, two mom-related internet pieces well worth reading: I loved this Nation article responding to Hilary Rosin’s remarks on Ann Romney, a terrific look at how we value the work of motherhood. And I fully support this response to the ‘controversial’ breastfeeding mom on Time Magazine’s cover. Take a look!)

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Tummy time

I can remember my mom telling me how, when she was pregnant with me, she would ride the bus into downtown San Francisco for work. For the entire first trimester, she would bring a plastic bag with her, to barf in discretely. I knew this story my whole life, but it was not until I was pregnant the first time – and not so discretely barfing into my office trashcan – that I realized exactly what she meant, exactly how often ‘every day’ was, exactly how exhausting it could be.

When I was pregnant with Lucas, the sick part of things happened in the thick of summer. Almost every morning, we would go to the pool. I would plop Jacob down in the kiddie wading area, lower myself gingerly in next to him, and then attempt to hold still enough that I could keep down whatever bread-ish item I had managed to eat for breakfast. When the heat of mid-day came, we would head out. I kept lunch for him (and plastic bags for me) in the car. We would get home and collapse in our air conditioning, which I shamelessly cranked with not a twinge of guilt, and we would nap. We would eat nut butter sandwiches  for dinner, with fruit salad or just slices of melon. Kyle had to ‘cook’ it all because by late afternoon just the thought of the kitchen made me feel even more wretchedly ill. And then …  Continue reading

No new drummers

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.  ~ Henry David Thoreau, from the conclusion to Walden

I love rhubarb. It is one of those things I would happily eat for three meals a day, plus as my afternoon snack, year round. And so, as rhubarb season has arrived again, I have been thinking carefully about what rhubarb recipe I might share that would blow your mind, or at least make you love it as much as I do. And all around me, there are these remarkable rhubarb concoctions being written about and eaten and thoroughly enjoyed – rhubarb with rosewater, rhubarb with cinnamon and polenta, rhubarb with crystalized ginger crumb – each more delicious-looking than the last.

So it is with a bit of sheepishness and a reminder that I am really not at all hip that I offer my contribution to the great springtime rhubarb jubilee. No exotic spices, flower extracts or crystalized anything, I’m afraid. For me, the song rhubarb is drumming on right now is that old standard about strawberries. There’s just no way around it.  Continue reading

Cinco

(Did anyone else have crazy birds up all night on Cinco de Mayo with that huge full moon? I woke at three am and thought it must be morning – light streaming through the windows and birds going wild with chirping, screeching, chittering and chattering … almost makes you wonder if they broke into the tequila!)

The question of why we in California, and really nation-wide, make such a big deal about Cinco de Mayo is a good one. Here is one response worth reading. Here is another:

J: “Daddy, why are we celebrating Cinco de Mayo?”

K: “Because if the Mexicans hadn’t defeated the French, we would have to eat crepes all the time instead of burritos.”  Continue reading