Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My new cook book

I told you that I loved cook books! This is my latest acquisition. I made the Little Stars with Butter and Parmesan for Sammy yesterday. This is really just pasta with parmesan and butter, but I know there are more exciting pasta dishes to try in this book.

Winding down

This morning I woke up to snow. Yes, it is May 30th! However, after a small accumulation of about one inch, the storm moved on and now it is sunny and the snow is melting quickly. This is good news because Luke and I have planted a variety of sunflowers, Alaska shasta daisies, marigolds and pumpkins. We still have some purple dragon carrots and columbines we want to plant sometime this week.

Tomorrow is our official last day of school and we are ready to move into a more relaxed mode. Tomorrow, we plan to go to the Denver Botanic Gardens to enjoy the beauty of God's creation.

We've had some adventures lately, but I haven't downloaded the pictures yet. Look for pictures from both The Cheyenne Moutain Zoo and the Littleton Historical Museum soon.

For now, it's time to clear off Luke's desk and put away all the books. He's listening to The Hobbit on CD right now and he hopes to finish it up by the end of the week. I like tying up all the loose ends and I'm definitely looking forward to clearing away all the school stuff for the summer. It's time to slow down and savor the joys of summer. I have a real love of summer here in Colorado. I think I have mentioned that I used to take Summer for granted when I lived in California. The weather was always beautiful there, but especially after this past winter here, I've been looking forward to Spring and Summer more than I ever have. I realy enjoyed California winters where it rained, but did not snow. At this moment, I'm a little less enchanted with snow. It's time for summer storms and sunny days! Anyway, I've gotten a little off-track here. For now, it is time to clear away the school books and get organized. Now, learning never ends and we do have some plans for this summer which includes a lot of bird-watching, nature study and of course lots of trips to the library!!

Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


You're Adventures of Huckleberry Finn!

by Mark Twain

With an affinity for floating down the river, you see things in black
and white. The world is strange and new to you and the more you learn about it, the less
it makes sense. You probably speak with an accent and others have a hard time
understanding you and an even harder time taking you seriously. Nevertheless, your
adventurous spirit is admirable. You really like straw hats.

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Hmmm...I'm not really sure about this one, but you know, it's fun taking these little internet quizzes and no, I do not speak with an accent!

More thoughts on the kitchen

In my last post, I mentioned that I'm not a natural cook. It's taken years for me to feel comfortable in the kitchen, but I keep reflecting on the past and I still marvel at how I somehow managed to grow up and learn all kinds of things except how to find my way around a kitchen. Well, I've been reading Plenty: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally and one of the authors, Alisa Smith hit on something that I thought pertained to my recent thoughts.
Here's what she says, "...she had us wash dishes, vacuum, tidy, take out the garbage, clean the bathroom- but never peel potatoes, slice carrots, or knead dough...Wherever I go now, I am surrounded by women like me who did not learn the household arts. It may have been a feminist act by our mothers to save us from a life of drudgery..." Now, I don't think my mother did not teach me to cook because of some feminist rebellion. My sister and I just did the household work. I have certainly no gaps in my education when it comes to a clean house. Maybe my mom just preferred being in the kitchen alone. I really don't know. Sometimes, she would say that we needed to learn to cook, but it was always half-hearted and we never really took her that seriously. At least I didn't. I had more important things to accomplish. Somehow, I had gotten the idea that cooking skills were just not a priority. It wasn't political, but, I do live in a post-feminist world where pretty much any other skill is more praise-worthy than being a good cook, but I think the tide is slowly starting to change.

I do believe that there is something of a revival of the home arts today. Why would Martha Stewart be so popular? Why have the Food Network chefs become celebrities? Well, for one thing, they portray cooking as exciting and not as drudgery.

By the way, the orange cake was delicious!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

So, I'm not the best cook in the world, but...

I am sure better than I used to be. Tonight, I whipped out an orange cake with buttercream filling and an orange glaze for Mother's Day. I got to thinking about how far I've come in the past ten years. I remember when I first got married I didn't know how to cook and strangely, this didn't bother me all that much. I grew up thinking that learning to cook was an unimportant skill. I figured, if you could read a recipe, then it would follow that you could also cook. I think when I was engaged I asked my husband-to-be for a cookbook for Christmas. Perhaps, deep down I knew I was in big trouble. He gave me the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. Well, If had a cookbook, I was set. Right? Okay, well, I learned the hard way that cooking was hard. Well, at least for me it was.

In college, I ate dorm food, but the year my roommate and I moved into an apartment, we really struggled in the kitchen. Our two other roommates were constantly making lasagna, cookies, bread (They had a bread maker), salads, casseroles, etc. It's hard to imagine how I managed to survive that year. My non-cooking roommate and I microwaved a lot of potatoes, ate canned soup, toast and probably cold cereal. I once tried to broil hamburgers, but forgot to put the pan underneath to catch the grease. My roommate still reminds me that she had to "drop and roll" out of the kitchen.

Today, I own a lot of cookbooks and I love looking at them. I can't go to the bookstore without checking out what's new in cooking and food. I love planning meals even those I don't actually make. I don't have to think so hard when I'm cooking anymore. I've learned to feel more at ease in the kitchen. So, tonight, I enjoyed the process of making the orange cake with the butter cream filling. Sometimes, it is surprisingly relaxing to cook. I've learned that life is meals and I better be planning for the next one. I've learned that cooking is so much more than making a meal. It's putting a little plate of love on the table.

So, no, I'm not going to be getting my own show on the Food Network any time soon and if I were, it would be a comedy, but it's nice to reflect on where I've been and nice to know that I won't be serving cold cereal or a microwaved potato with canned chili on top.

Still under construction

I'm still learning! I'm editing and re-sizing photos and playing with the background colors. I'm not sure if I'll stay with the photo on the banner, but oh, am I learning so much!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Now that the snow is finally melting...

We can spend some time outside drawing in our sketch books.

You can still see a little snow in the background, but it didn't hinder us from spending time in the back yard. I drew one of our evergreen trees while Luke drew a pine cone. Luke definitely enjoyed this activity!

Something delicious

Luke and I made these cream scones on Monday. They really aren't scone-shaped, but they sure were delicious with butter and jam.

May Crowning to First Holy Communion

Isn't Luke handsome in his suit? It was a snowy, but joyful day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

As you can see...

my blog is under construction. I'm playing around with the header and trying to learn how to make pictures fit. Thanks to the Moms Who Blog blog, I'm learning more how to make my blog unique. I've got a long way to go.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sam's new words

Suddenly, today, Sam's vocabulary expanded. He said, "taco", "love mama", "more", "please" and something that sounds like "hop on" (as in hop on my little rocket). I've been trying to get him to say "love mama" forever. Today, he was in his high chair and I said to him, "love mama."
I didn't really expect anything and that's why it was so exciting. He had never put two words together before today. So, it's wonderful to hear that he does in fact "love mama".