Friday, July 23, 2010

Recipe for Summer Diversion

Warning! Danger Ahead!

Your favorite glass filled with ice
A shot of vodka, preferably chilled
Organic peach lemonade (available at Whole Foods)
Top off with a dash of ginger liquor
Be prepared for a bit of heaven:)

Is it really 'just" a tree?

From the road, it looks like a regular tree. Yes, it's a big tree, but still, it's just a tree.

And then you spy the entrance. Or if you're lucky, you're shown the entrance by your favorite 4-year old.
And you discover an eerily wonderful world.

With arms that invite swinging . . .

And arms that look like people to hold your drinks and toys and stuff. . .

And trunks that boast calling cards of all the people who have previously visited.

Some days you never want to leave.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Breakfast at the Park

Lucy and I walked to the park for one of our breakfast picnics yesterday. She strapped on her "safari bag" diagonally (one of my small SAK purses with a short strap) and we were off. She's wanted to be a safari girl her "entire life!" We were barely out the door when OH! a puma needed our help. We stopped, fed it a few berries and continued. OMG! a baby cheetah crying. We unzipped the bag and and the baby fit right in. We added a tiger before we made it to the park. The bag was getting very full. We had tea and crackers for breakfast and after a tour of the fairy's tree house it was time to start home.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The is En-Lightning

The other day Tom was going to play golf and said something like "We'll play if it doesn't lightning." I thought that sounded so odd and I questioned if "lightning" was a verb. We talk about "the lightning" and "lightning bolts" but I never thought of it as a verb. "It is going to lightning" just doesn't sound right.

But it is. I looked it up. Lightning is a word in which the same form is used as a noun, an adjective and a verb. Then I thought, there must be a term for words like this. But in that search, I came up empty. One web site has a list of 150 words which are both nouns and verbs. I just keep thinking there must be a term for these words.


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Dr. Spock Has Left the Building!

A woman I work with is expecting her first grandchild this fall. Her daughter has asked her to go to Grand-parenting class and she is incensed! "I don't need to go to class to know what to do with a runny nose. I raised two kids of my own." At that point, tears began to fill her eyes and I knew she was very upset about her daughter's request. (Do you get how perceptive I am?)

So, being me, I googled "grand-parenting classes" and was pretty surprised by the result (4 million results in .32 seconds). Seems that these classes are a pretty popular thing right now, the primary reason being that so many things have changed since "we" had kids. The way you put a baby in the crib is one, of course. That seems to change every year as more research about SIDS comes out. But one thing was a complete surprise to me. Baby powder. One thing most people say about a baby is "Oh, I love the way they smell." Well, not any more! Turns out it's not good for some babies to breathe baby powder as it can cause breathing difficulties. I have no idea what the substitute is because, you guessed it, I haven't been to grand-parenting class!

Some classes include a section on infant massage and baby CPR, but most seem to be geared toward bridging the gap between new parent and grandparent. Tips on how to keep your mouth shut and back off might be a good starting point for those classes, but it seems to be about bringing the new grand-parent up to speed on what parents are learning in their maternity and parenting classes, just to be sure that everyone is on the same page. If you know why the new parents are making certain choices and decisions about parenting, it seems like it would go a long way in refraining from comments like "When you were a baby, I did such and such."

My advice is not to be offended if your son or daughter suggests a grand-parenting class. No telling what you'll learn and that narrowed communication gap will be priceless. Besides, you can always sneak a peek at Dr. Spock in the privacy of your own home.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Tomato, Goat Cheese, and Onion Tart

We have company visiting; both are vegetarians so in an effort to be the ultimate hostess, I gave considerable thought about what to cook. Last night's late supper is something that has immediately been added to my list of favorites and will reside as part of my current repertoire. And the best part -- it's so simple!

I had never made a tart before, although I've made plenty of pies. The only difference in making a tart as opposed to a pie crust is the way you deal with the edges. For a tart, you fold the excess (a half-inch or so) over inside the pan and press it against the edge to reinforce it. I made my basic pie crust, pricked the bottom and edges and baked it at 375 degrees for 33 minutes -- 20 minutes with weights (I use navy beans on foil instead of purchased pie weights) and 13 minutes without weights.

While the crust cooled, I sliced a large onion into very, very thin slices and cooked them for 25 minutes in 2 T. olive oil, adding salt and pepper to my liking. The onions weren't quite caramelized, but they were very close. I spread them evenly over the prepared crust and then took a heaping cup of goat cheese and spread it over the onions. I sliced small tomatoes as thinly as I could and put them on top of the goat cheese, overlapping the edges and covering every single inch of the cheese. A little olive oil drizzle (about 1 T.) and about 1/3 cup more goat cheese, and ta-da, it's ready for the broiler. Put this under the broiler for about 3-4 minutes until the cheese starts to brown slightly.

I put chopped fresh basil on it before I put it under the broiler, but I would recommend putting the basil on after it comes out of the broiler, just before you serve it. The freshness of the basil was compromised by cooking it.

My daughter suggested when I took it out of the oven, I should "Hot tart coming through . . . and she's got dinner!" I didn't say it, but I thought it was funny.

This was so good, I could make it again tonight and be very happy.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Still Trying to Decide

This outer border is a little bright for me, but this is what I'll live with today. I'm beginning to wonder why I decided to "update" the look.