Thursday, March 25, 2010

Egg time

Last year I got the best book in the bargain bin at a local used book shop, The Egg Tree. E+E love the story and I love the illustrations. This year we got a bunch of Easter-themed books out the of the library and have fallen for The Birds Gift: A Ukrainian Easter Story.  I picked up a Ukrainian egg kit a while back and brought it out today remembering we won't be here next week and this may be our last chance to decorate eggs. Before reading the directions I had Eli blow out an egg only to realize we'd decorate raw eggs but it was worth seeing a mini-Dizzy in action, don't you agree? He wanted nothing to do with the long involved process but Eva stuck right with it for almost three hours. I still need to get an image of the final egg but the process is almost as interesting.

Shu Shu's late birthday gift

I was inspired by this gift idea on inchmark and thought it perfect for the grandma who's entire house is covered with photos of her grandchildren. I thought about it months ago but of course by the time I got around to ordering the photos and sleeve, I'm was over a week late for the actual day, alas. Two days ago, I filled the sleeves with photos of the children from over the last year and had e+e make the numbers. The last minute, Eva wanted to fill in the five little squares. In 15 minutes she designed the quickest and most meticulous Easter images I've ever seen. The idea of this gift is to provide a count-down for Shu Shu's visit to us on April 11th, the thought being on March 29th Shu Shu will remove two numbers per day until she depart to see us in person. I'm going to two-day mail it tomorrow before we head on our road trip to Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Tucson and Palm Springs. Nothing like pressure to make me perform.

Pallea for eleven

Twice a month I do not have to answer the question, "what's for dinner tonight?" thanks to my new dinner co-op. For years now, Naomi and I have said why don't we double our recipes once a week and share. I look fondly back on those hazy daze we would eat at either our house or theirs once a week and the rule was that the guest did not touch a dish nor pick up a toy that our wild ones spread across the house. I remember sitting at their table in a stooper of sleep deprivation, not moving an inch for a couple of hours while being fed amazing pasta dishes, chicken paprika, chopped radish salads...but we never did follow-up on our plan to cook/share. I was on a walk with a new kindergarten parent in Eli's class that lives five blocks away and she mentioned wanting to start a food co-op with me and Naomi. What do you know, a few days later Nina shows up with an amazing green soup that we paired with a salad and some bread. It was so tasty, served with lemon and olive oil for the parents and heavy cream for the children. Last night I made paella from this month's Savour Magazine. As I was prepping the dinner I lamented the loss of dinner with the Goldner/Katzs since starting this co-op. Moments later Naomi called and gladly accepted our invitation to dine at our house instead of picking up the goods, it was a quick meal with friends. Over Spring break we'll have a pot luck with Nina/Chris/Ella, bringing a social element to our co-op and to meet my goal of HAVING MORE POT LUCKS in 2010. Last night I also pulled out my leftover raw beet salad doctored with feta and pinenuts and a yummy new cold lentil salad I made for two nights with left-over Japanese sweet potatoes, parsley, red peppers with a vinegrette...yummy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

has it really been that long?

I love my fans - all three of you. It was great hearing from all of you that you missed my blog this week. So here I am with promise to back-blog what I've been up to in my absence. I can partly blame this hiatus on two things #1 -Robert, my acupuncturist extraordinaire. He stripped me a bit of my hyper-state that I've lived with for most of my adult life and placed me in a new truly mellow state. The first few visits had me taking a break from a lot and done so with a nonchalance that I'm not used to. The first three days after an appointment all my obsessive behaviors are gone, I walk past the dirty kitchen riddled with dishes, napkins and crusty silverware, step over the socks and clothes strewn along the hallway, crawl in to my unmade bed at night, all this as happy as a clam. Usually this state of my house would haunt me, make me wonder if I can indeed fall asleep with such disarray and wake up crabby at the mere site of this unrest. Well I'm just as happy to report I'm even more balanced after two months of Robert, my house is back in order but done without a frenetic frenziness and I'm getting things done around here so you just wait and see what I've been up to!

#2 a new guilty pleasure. B.R.  (before Robert) I have been suffering insomnia off and on, more on than off, over the last 7 years, since my darling bebes entered my life. I never recovered from the sleep deprivation I suffered after two consecutive years of infants in the house and Eli not sleeping through the night until he was 4. Look back on my early entries and they were all about sleep.  A few months ago in the middle of the night I found a show on Netflix: Watch Instantly (since we do not have T.V. anymore) that could help me fall asleep because it was so bad, McLeods Daughters. After a few weeks of this sleep-inducing boredom, my heart-rate would no longer slow-down but on the contrary, speed-up when I would hear the theme music. All my evenings have been filled with watching these Australian jilleroos run their farm Drovers Run next door to their beefy male neighbors. I've been obsessed with these new friends of mine, sometime I catch myself and my thoughts have an Australian accent. I've only confessed this to a few people until now. At moments watching the show I'd think I'd want to shout my love for this show from a mountain-top, tell all my friends about the great discovery and then an episode would take a turn for the embarrassing and I could not dare confess the time I waste on this show. A few weeks ago I had an epiphany that put this in to perspective for me, I think it's the alternate life I'd like to live, no not in the Australian outback, but in Virginia, on a farm, with good friends. I love my life here in San Francisco, so many days I need to pinch myself to realize I'm not dreaming this good life in this beautiful city but at night I need to escape to the cows escaping the paddock, mucking the stalls, sitting around a farmhouse table with great girlfriends that I've known for a long time.