Sunday, November 29

Crafty Holiday

Speaking of holiday projects, I make these ornament gift tags for my non-Jewish friends; I'm trying to think what I could do with them so I could give them to Jewish friends. Someone suggested putting a magnet on them, but I'm not sure that would work well. Any ideas? I can't show you the cutest one, because it's for someone who might read this blog (I really have no idea who reads this blog anymore, but better safe than sorry).

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Let the Holiday Season Commence

Our weekend of butter winds down as we prepare for a week of oil.

Dust covers the floor of the basement exercise room. A set of tools is in the middle of the upstairs bathroom. A flashlight is lying on the bedroom floor. A random set of shelves is in the hallway. Lumber is scattered everywhere. Storm doors are leaning against the exercise equipment. Doodles is randomly running from room to room carrying odd tools. Yes, that's right. Adam's gone handy on us. He's decided to not only tackle the to-do list, but to expand on it. And the best thing one can do at this time is just stand out of the way. So far both the bathroom sinks no longer leak. The storm doors have been painted, as has the upstairs linen closet door. A new workbench is sitting in the utility closet. He's currently off to the hardware store for more provisions.

And me? I'm just compounding the mess, with boxes of Hanukkah decorations waiting to be put up. Piles of presents that need to be wrapped. Half-done craft projects litter the house, waiting to be finished (oh, sewing machine! How much longer till you return from the great repair shop in Somerville?) Basically, our house is a minefield of ribbons, needles, and nails. Enter at your own risk.

I'm sorry that Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end. It's my favorite weekend of the year. Don't get me wrong--I'm an absolute sucker for the Hanukkah/Christmas/New Year's season. I'm starting to work on the holiday cards. I'm figuring out fun craft projects for the kids to do at our Hanukkah party. I'm planning menus. Spending too much money. Getting out my Martha.

But there's something about the coziness of Thanksgiving weekend--just hanging out, watching too much TV, reading books (we made an emergency run to Barnes & Noble yesterday for its last copy of Pippi on Board; we finished the first Pippi and Doodles couldn't wait to start the next one), playing games. Nice and mellow. We had friends over for brunch on Friday morning. Friday night was a lovely Shabbat at Jasmine's house. Saturday was hockey, the B&N run, and then an evening watching Up (which I loved! It was a little intense for the kids, but Doodles managed nicely and seemed to like it; too many late nights for Pie had her asleep about 2/3 of the way through it). Today has been the getting things done day. I love the feel of this long weekend. I love the food, the parade on TV, the chill in the air. I love an excuse to make hot chocolate and popcorn. But alas, it's just about over. Now I'll put up those Hanukkah decorations and move on to holiday projects.

And I'll console myself that Thanksgiving will be back again next year. I already can't wait!


Wednesday, November 25

Tis the Night Before Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving. I love turkey and pumpkins and cranberry sauce. I love having a holiday that I celebrate the same as everyone else. I love the holiday cheer and the start of the full-fledged holiday season. I love the parade and the fall weather. I love Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving also brings out the difference in my kids. Pie was so excited about her preschool's Thanksgiving feast. She insisted on wearing her summery party dress. I volunteered to come in to help out, and she said to me as we were leaving, "Maybe you should put on some lipstick." For what it's worth, I didn't. She loved the feast--the stone soup, the pumpkin bread, the apple crisp. Pie made a card at school for us. It read, "I'm thankful for Momma, Daddy, Doodles, and me!"

Doodles did not want to go to school. Not today nor yesterday. In fact he got downright upset about it. I couldn't figure it out. His class was doing a little "reader's theater" and he'd been practicing his lines for two weeks now ("I am a Native American bold. About me, many tales are told. I taught the pilgrims to plant and fish. Our three-day meal was delish!"). Turns out, he was completely stressed out by the idea of cranberries. The first graders were going to be making cranberry relish and doing activities with cranberries, and he despises cranberries. Not that he's ever had one. But he throws up at the smell of blueberries and strawberries, so I was willing to back him up on this. So I spoke to his teacher and he was excused from all fruit activities. And he was happy. Doodles also did a worksheet on which he had to draw pictures of what he was thankful for. Can you guess? I didn't think so. "My toys. My circuit boards. My inventions."

My cooking for the night is done. My in-laws are at friends in Nantucket, my brother-in-law and his wife are in Belize, my parents are in Miami for Art Basel, so it's a small affair. We have friends coming over and my sister is here, so it's a mere party of ten, which is just perfect. Although I keep trying to add more dishes to the menu, only to be reminded that we don't need more food on the menu.

Desserts are made. My pumpkin cake is cooling. Pumpkin made with fresh pumpkin, mind you. None of this canned stuff for us. My pilgrim hats are chilling in the fridge. (When I explained to my sister what I was making, she said, "Wow, when you decided to not be Mom, you really took it to an extreme.")

Tweedle Twirp made the apple pie.

This year we decided to brine the turkey. I don't eat much meat, so I definitely have a little guilt over the turkey. It looks so... turkey-ish. I told the turkey it was at the turkey spa, getting a special herbal bath.

We then put the turkey in an isolation chamber for a soothing night of introspection. It's also the only place in the house with the proper temperature for a turkey in a ziplock in a cooler: The old entrance to the basement, unheated, cold, and just right. Originally I said to just leave it out on the side steps, but that was quickly nixed when Adam told me that my little cooler wouldn't keep out the neighborhood raccoons and coyote.

What else have we done? I've spiced the pecans for the salad. The bread is on the counter drying out for stuffing. I made the crescent dough. The once-a-year crescent rolls that are made of butter. And a touch of flour. But really, butter. Mmmm, butter. Apple cider is in the fridge. I have all the stuff for kids' appetizers and grown-up appetizers. Tomorrow I make the thyme rolls, the sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, the stuffing. Toss together the salad. Obviously I need to roast the turkey and prepare the gravy. Our friends are bringing the cranberry sauce and the green beans. A complete meal! Of which Pie will eat the potatoes and Doodles will eat the turkey.

In the morning I hope to make muffins with more of my fresh pumpkin puree, but I do have a Turkey Trot to run, so I'm not sure I'll have the time. Ah, Thanksgiving. Have I mentioned I love Thanksgiving?


Sunday, November 22

From the Mouths of Babes

After dance class last Thursday:
Me: Doodles, as soon as we get home, you need to do your homework.
Doodles: Mom, do you know what I hear you say? [Puts up one hand and makes a quacking motion]. "Doodles. Blah, blah, blah, homework. Blah, blah, blah, homework. Blah, blah, blah, homework." [Puts up other hand and makes same talking motion] "Mom, can we stop talking about homework?" [Back to other hand] "Blah blah blah homework."

In the car, the kids were comparing notes:
Doodles: Do you know what Dad says all the time?
Me: No, what?
Doodles: Cheeses crises! [Say it outloud and you'll understand it]
Me, laughing: Yes, he does.
Pie: And dammit!

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I have this freakin' cold that just will not die. I ran yesterday for the first time in a week and a half--a week and a half!!--and the run itself felt fabulous but the hour-long coughing fit that followed it was not so much. Luckily all major training for the time being is over. I have my yearly Thanksgiving race this Thursday, which I'm very much looking forward to, cough or no cough, but I have no other real races planned (4 miles, of course, not counting as a "real" race). I've committed to doing one of those 24-hour relay races, but it's not till May. I figure for the next month, I can do bare minimum training (meaning about 15 miles a week) and then get back into the swing of things in December in Miami. Then, when I get back home, the light will start to return to the morning and I can give more of a push then. I'd like to do at least one marathon next year--a friend promised to do Chicago with me, and then there's a spring marathon in New York that I'm considering. We'll see how it all goes. Depends on how fast I can outrun this cold. (Ha ha ha ha! Okay, this is why I don't do puns.)


Saturday, November 14

The End of the Trip as We Know It

Ah. I'd like to say that with the help of Dayquil, sugar, and a few well-placed threats, we made it successfully through our NYC trip. But we still have the return trip and Pie is nearing the end of her happy-trip attitude. With all the "surprises" over, she's d-u-n-n (which is our family's version of the word, a la "r-u-n-n o-f-t"). Tonight she got a little sad, missing her big brother. She insisted on calling him, and then after talking realized she forgot to tell him she'd see him tomorrow, so she demanded I give her the phone back to tell him. Meanwhile, Doodles is showing his innate guyness--when I said to him, "I miss you!" he simply responded, "Me too."

My cold is somewhat fierce (and, yes, it's still a cold. I have a lovely--but productive!--hack), but it's well medicated, so I'm good. As you've seen, we've had a most lovely and busy day. Pie was so happy with the Plaza that she overcame her disappoint that Eloise wasn't there. Although as she left, she asked if we could come back later in the day to see if Eloise was back, but I pointed out we'd be a little busy to come all the way back.

My mom's show (will I ever remember? Exhibit!) at the Nohra Haime Gallery (in the Fuller building on 57th street--visit it if you're in the area!) was the second stop, and Pie was fascinated by Nana's latest work, which is intriguing.

But, oh, the light in her eyes when we showed up at Dashing Divas. She took right to her mani/pedi. And then the excitement at the cupcake store. So many cupcakes! How to choose! But nothing, nothing! compared with the thrill of Pinkalicious. There was actual squealing involved. And she sat, rapt, the entire time, mouth slightly agape, moving only to see around the woman in front of us (I let her sit on my lap for a better view). The musical was cute--and quite tolerable at just an hour long. I've never seen so many ecstatic little girls in one place: Bleeker Street, the preschool version. That was a first for me. Pie waited patiently at the end for an autograph and to have her picture taken with Pinkalicious afterward. Definitely worth harassing the ticket guy to get Pie in.

Lunch was good, but Pie was definitely fading. I was glad we made it to Benny's--one of my favorite places from my East Village days. I ordered the same thing I've ordered all these years--a quesadilla grande. I don't think I'll ever venture to anything else.

Our only downer--other than the occasional "I can't walk anymore!"--was when we finally trekked to the F train (in the rain!), we waited and waited. An announcement would come on, and I'd ask around, "What did he say? Did you understand that?" The crowd grew and grew and the announcement played and played "Garble garble...Broadway/Lafeyette...garble garble...J Street... garble garble." Finally I found someone who understood it. "Train's not running here. Walk to the next stop and take the D train." So we trekked over to the next stop. I did look for a cab, but on a rainy day, no surprise that not a cab was to be found.

So after that slow shuffle to the next subway station, Pie's collapse was no surprise. The walking for the entire day was fairly substantial. From the apartment to the subway to the Plaza, from the Plaza to the gallery, from the gallery to the subway at 60th St., from the subway on Broadway to 8th and University to Bleeker and Lafeyette to Avenue A and 6th Street to Houston and First to Broadway and Lafeyette to... well, that's when she fell asleep. Sitting on the subway. She had a seat and I was standing in front of her and all of a sudden, her little head leaned forward into my legs. I asked the person next to her, "Is she really asleep?" She looked down and said, "Yep!"

Of course, this was the day I decided to wear nicer shoes, so in my heels, I picked Pie up on the moving subway, made my way to the doors, and then carried 40 pounds of dead weight back to the apartment. She woke up and that's when she started pining for her big brother.

And me? My Nyquil has started to take effect. So I'm off to bed. The ride home will be nightmarish, but at sometime tomorrow, Pie will be reunited with her Doodles, and all will be right in the world again.

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One Too Many Activities

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Stop #6: Lunch

Can't miss the quesadilla grande at Benny's Burritos.

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Surprise #3: Pink, Pink, Pink!

...Pinkalicious, The Musical!

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Surprise #2: Crumbs

Nothing controversial about this stop! A trip to Crumbs, for a cupcake
extraordinaire. She ordered the Reeses cupcake. Too bad she didn't
order a pink cupcake because our next stop is...

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Surprise #1: The Little Diva

When searching for this online, I discovered that little girl mani/
pedis are a very controversial topic. I don't wish to debate it. The
girl loved it. And we now have matching nails.

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Stop #2: Nana's Show

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Stop #1: Anyone Home?

The first stop on our whirlwind day is to the Plaza, Plaza, Plaza to
see, of course, if Eloise was home. We were rawther disappointed to
learn she was running errands with Nanny, but we did get to see her
picture and she was kind enough to leave Pie a postcard.

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Friday, November 13

The Artist in Her Museum

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Flashbacks, Flashforwards

Note to self: When telling a four-year-old that you're going to an art show, be sure to emphasize the art part and perhaps use the word "exhibit" instead of "show." Because, otherwise, after entering an extremely crowded museum (luckily for free through the passes of my mother), you will have a sad child looking for "the people doing a show."

Today was another trip down memory lane. I recently got back in touch with a former roommate, a woman I met at my first post-college job at Saatchi and Saatchi. We lived together in a one-bedroom apartment in Alphabet City, back when Alphabet City was a scarier part of town, about a year after the riots in Tompkins Square Park. Our apartment was one block north and one block east of the park. I know I've written about it before. It was the fifth floor of a walk-up, where the front door didn't lock, and the light on the third floor landing was out so you'd have to step over the homeless guys sleeping there. She slept in the living room and I slept in the bedroom because, well, I whine loudly and she's a nicer person than I am. The only closet, though, was in the bedroom so she'd tiptoe in to get her shoes, which was fine except when my sort-of boyfriend was there and when the psycho cat was having flashbacks (we had a cat passed on to us named Motorhead. A female cat named Motorhead. This cat had done more drugs than Flower, myself, the sort of boyfriend, and the rest of the apartment building including the guy sleeping on the third-floor landing put together. This cat was not normal but she did do a thorough job on the mice, of which there were a few). This was the apartment that taught me it is easier to buy more underwear than to cart my clothes down five flights and four blocks away to be cleaned. Hence why Adam does laundry today (no one--I mean no one--can outlast my supply of underwear, so I never, ever need to do laundry). I could continue with this little history for a long, long time, so let's move on to today.

My roommate, Flower (the name I actually call her, but not her real name), found me online and I got to meet her for breakfast this morning at City Bakery. Pie came with us, got a muffin, met Flower ("Her name is really Flower? I can call her 'Flower'?"), and then got picked up by my father so Flower and I could catch up. I haven't seen her since I moved out of New York in 1994. So, you know, it had been a while. It was amazing seeing her--it brought back memories I had long, long forgotten (or repressed?), including a week-long stay in the hospital. How do you forget things like that? I had.

See? The magic of the Internet. I have Flower back! We had a nosh, we did a little shopping (I'm almost good on all my Hanukkah shopping), roaming the Union Square area (more memories--my NYU dorm was on Union Square).

After I said good-bye to Flower, I retrieved Pie and my mother, and we headed to the "art show" that had no "show." The afternoon was saved, though, because the Guggenheim has a ramp. Oh! What a ramp! She climbed up and up and up! Occasionally we tried to point out the art work ("What do you see here? Aren't these interesting colors?") and she'd look for a second and then head back to the ramp. She had some interest in the Anish Kapoor piece and the gold of the beads. But, worryingly, the thing that most interested her was the Kitty Kraus, a room that basically had melted ink all over the floor. And us with those beautiful new floors at home. Oh well.

She became interested in the Kadinsky "bubble" painting after we suggested that when she got back to the apartment she could make her own Kadinsky-inspired art work.

We were hoping to meet the Tweedle Twirp for a late lunch, but Pie pooped, so we headed back to the apartment. Tweedles and I went out for some Japanese food and a trip to the Strand, and Pie stayed back at the apartment to create an art museum with my mom. I listened to Tweedles's life of academia and woes about bedbugs (yes, she had bedbugs! And did you know a bedbug registry exists? Awesome! She had to heat everything in her apartment to above 120 degrees using some special machine and everything the owned was put in ziplock bags. She also had to buy new furniture. Fun times!), but apparently it's too soon to joke about the bedbugs, so no snide comments here. We came back to a wonderful art museum in the apartment--Pie spent quite a while making wonderful drawings.

Tomorrow is the day of Pie surprises. I'll try to post as we do them so you can be surprised along with her. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow and hope the girl can keep her stamina up. We start the day with a breakfast at the gallery that's having her show, which Pie knows about, and then we continue with the ultimate girl day.

The only thing marring this trip so far is I've developed a rather bad cold. I keep checking in with myself ("No fever. Good. Oh, that cough is in my chest and phlegmy. Check. Stuffy nose. Yep.") just to make sure it's really a cold and not H1N1. One of my favorite things to do in NYC is of course running. I love going down the West Side, in Henry Hudson park, around the tip of Manhattan. But with this cold, that's not happening. Luckily race season is over and I'm not training for anything, so I can allow myself to be a slug for a few days.

So for now, I'm off to take my Nyquil. Good night, everyone! Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite.

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Thursday, November 12

City Mice

My daughter is definitely a City Mouse. And I am not nearly as organized as I'd like to be. My plans to leave home for the Big City at 6 a.m. kinda petered out as we finally left at 7. And by 7, I mean 7:38. But we made great time right up to the point where we weren't making great time, and Pie only asked seven times in the first hour, "When are we going to be in New York?"

The drive was painless right up to Westchester, when the powers that be decided to make the three-lane highway and one-lane highway, extending out trip by a full hour. But we made it to my parents' apartment just in time for lunch and then we headed out for our adventures.

Our first stop was my old office. Well, not really my old office, but yes really my old office. Once upon a time, in a decade far far away, I worked for the book publishing company Putnam Berkley, which has since become Penguin Putnam. Our offices were in the Murray Hill area. The offices have since moved to a swank building in SoHo. So I never worked there. Except that I have because my very first short-lived job out of college was working in advertising. In the very same swank building.

Visiting the office really made me miss those days of having a place to go and work to do. The woman I visited is now the head of the whole department, and she was the also the woman who replaced me when I left the job in 1994. A lifetime ago. It's hard not to think what ifs. What if I had stayed in New York. What if I had stayed in publishing. What if, what if, what if. But really, I remember finding my job rather dull, and I was near the end when I applied for grad school. New York was grating on my nerves--I spent way too much time working (I had to do freelance after work to make enough money to pay my rent) and not enough time doing the things that one moves to New York to do. So I left.

But it's still fun visiting them, hearing what everyone is up to. But after I got my grown-up time in, it was on to kid stuff. We hooked up with the Nana and headed to Milk and Cookies for, surprise! Milk and cookies. Yummy, decadent cookies. And then off to Porto Rico for superdark coffee. (Note to anyone else whose husband says, "Buy me superdark coffee." That's not actually a coffee name. Just a description. And you'll look like an idiot if you just walk up and say, "A pound of the Superdark, please." Just sayin'.) And finally to that shopping mecca, the destination that one litle girl has been pining for lo these years: LittleMissMatched. That girl of mine is obsessed with socks and MissMatched socks at that. I think we pretty much bought the store out. We walked a bit. Pie is a great people watcher and she sat happily for a bit at the ice rink at Rockefeller Center. She wanted to go see if Eloise was home, but she started to fade so we headed back to my parents apartment ("Yea!! Subway, subway, subway!" [sung to the tune of "The Bundle Dance").

Next few days are full. I've already called my boy twice--I miss him like crazy, but know he's going to have a good guys weekend, which apparently includes eating copious amounts of steak. And we're going to have a great girls weekend, which includes... Well, I can't tell you. Because when I told Pie on Wednesday, "I made some fabulous plans for us," she squealed, clapped, and said, "Don't tell me! I want to be surprised!"

So we'll have surprises all around!

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Monday, November 9

Why (I Wish) Johnny Can't Read

We subscribe to The Week magazine, and this week's came today, with a picture of Obama and Karzai on the cover, emblazoned with the headline "Shotgun wedding."

With nary a stumble, the boy took a look at it. "What's a shotgun wedding?"

I started up with a brilliant move. "Um.... Um.... Um.... What?"

Doodles: "What's a shotgun wedding?"

Me: "Um. It's... Well... Um..."

Doodles: "Yes?"

Me: "You know how today all sorts of people have babies? Women by themselves, two women, two men?"

Doodles: "Yeah."

Me: "Well, it was different in the old days. In the old days, there was this idea that if a woman got pregnant without being married, that it was a bad thing. So if a woman got pregnant and she wasn't married, the idea goes, the woman's dad would make the man who got the woman pregnant marry her. It was like he took a shotgun and pointed it to the guy and said, 'Marry my daughter or I'll shoot you.' That's a shotgun wedding."

Doodles: "Well, what if there wasn't a guy? What if she had just gone to the sperm bank?"

Me: "Um, that's a good point."

Doodles: "And I don't understand what that has to do with Obama! Why is Obama going to have a shotgun wedding to that guy?"

Me: "Well, it means that he's being forced into a relationship he may not want with that guy, Karzai, the president of Afghanistan."

Doodles, thinks a moment. "So why is Obama having a wedding?"

To which I give the age-old response: "Who wants dinner?" And I hid the magazine.

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Friday, November 6

A Faux Post

I want to start tonight with my faux-pumpkin bars. They were fabulous, and highly unappreciated in this house, although when I went to give a bunch of the leftovers to our neighbors, my boy did panic and say, "You're not going to give all of it away are you?" They were spectacular faux-pumpkin bars. Once a week, we get a delivery from Boston Organics, a box full of organic fruits and veggies, and I'm on a quest to actually use all the items we get. (Never fear--it never goes to waste. I fondly call Beetle, my neighbor, our human garbage disposal, as she's always game to take any food that will be uneaten in our household.) I'm also trying to cook as many meatless meals as possible, something which is not going over that well with the rest of my household members (read: Adam). For instance, on Wednesday we had a lovely cauliflower and tomato curry-like dish that I enjoyed and Adam tolerated. And today we had my lovely bars, a recipe I found online and then tweaked to perfection, replacing the pumpkin with organic delicata squash (hence the faux), mixing up the sugars, removing the chocolate chips and adding a cream cheese frosting. Mmmmm!

And now let's move on to my faux-healthy daughter. She fools me every day, acting healthy and chipper and happy and then--wham!--at night, she has aches and pains that keep her for hours on end. Last night she awoke at 2 a.m., saying her "brain hurt." Uh oh,, I thought. Here it comes. Piggy flu. Sudden onset. Headaches. But then she woke up with a lovely 98.7 degree temperature and an upbeat attitude. She went to school. On Friday we have our special Mommy-Pie time, as she's done at noon and we have no activities till we pick up Doodles at 2:15. Today we went on a "hike" (read: woodsy walk), stopping frequently to read the book du jour, Chicken Soup with Rice. At the end of the hike, we had to walk up a small hill. And my daughter--the one I had always thought of as suspiciously smart--announces, "I'm going to roll up the hill!"

"You mean down," I said.

"No!" She looked at me like I was crazy. "Up!" And then she proceeded to roll up this rather steep hill. Tonight Adam said to her, "You thought you could roll up a hill?" and she laughed at him and replied, "Daddy! I did it!"

And tonight, she's in bed, with not quite a fever, but verging on one, snoring loudly and crying out in her sleep every now and then. So frustrating! We're supposed to have a special Mommy-Daughter trip next weekend--I hope she's healthy enough to go.

And now let's end with faux time. Which is what I had today, after I dropped Pie off at school, ran some errands, and hurried home to get a few things done. But then I giddly looked at my watch and realized I had accomplished everything I needed to do faster than I thought and I had a precious whole forty-five minutes to write! It's Nanowrimo month, and I've consciously decided not to participate as I don't want to start something new; I want to finish something old. So I sat down at my computer... and saw I was late to pick up Pie. Huh? Look at computer. Look at watch. Look at computer again. Look at... stopped watch. Damn.

No more faux. Off to sleep. I'm hoping for the real deal.

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Monday, November 2


What happens when you make apple muffins in the shape of pumpkins? You confuse the hell out of six-year-old boys.

Halloween is not my favorite holiday. My childhood memories are not to be relied upon, but I remember it feeling very stressful, this whole dressing up. It always seemed to be some last minute scramble and I'd end up as a ghost (with the entire face cut out so I could see) or a gypsy, anything that could be made from things we already had in the house.

As an adult, I haven't been able to embrace it. Dressing up in costume just bores me. I mean, it's not any different than regular dressing up and I hate that too.

This year, though, I decided to embrace a different aspect of it. I do like decorating the house. And I like cooking. So this year, we had a couple of kids over for dinner, and for them I made fingers (mozzarella cheese with green peppers), mouths (apples with almonds), and (work with me on this one) a monster brain (I know--I really need to work on that one). And of course the main dish was mummy dogs, a popular dish around here. For the grown-ups I made blood drinks (sangria), eyeballs (marinated mozzarella with olives), and spider dip (just seven-layer dip with a really lame spider web drawn on it).

After dinner the kids went trick or treating. They enjoyed themselves, but were quite happy to turn their candy over to the Switch Witch. I gorged myself silly on Reeses Peanut Butter Cups and Heath Bars. I still feel sick from it.

All in all, an okay time on my not-favorite holiday. Maybe I'll figure out some more fun recipes for next year. In the meantime, we now move on to my absolute favorite holiday: Thanksgiving! Turkey and parades and races and football and hot mulled cider. Does it get any better than that?


Sunday, November 1

Kosher Is As Kosher Does

When we were in Israel, we had an amazing youth counselor, Miriam. Miriam is a warm American-born, Israeli-raised Orthodox young woman. She's visiting the Boston area, staying with her grandparents and I invited her over for lunch. I went to the Stop and Shop in the next town over, where there's a kosher bakery. I picked up fruit and paper plates and plastic cutlery because, as any reader of this blog knows, we don't keep a kosher home. If anything, we keep treif. Not that we eat it that often--for health reasons I actually like to serve as little meat as possible. I can't remember the last time we had pork. Actually I do. It was Adam's birthday. Last December.

Because Miriam is studying Jewish education in America, I invited her to observe one of the Hebrew school classes at our conservative synagogue. So after, she said hi to the kids and followed us in her own car back to our house. In our car, Doodles asked me, "Is Miriam kosher?"

"Yes," I replied.

"So does that mean we'll be having a kosher lunch?"

Between our synagogue, our trip to Israel, dinners at our rabbis' houses, and hosting a synagogue event at our house, the boy is well aware of the basic tenants of kashrut. "Yes," I said, and he asked no more.

Back at the house, Miriam and I sit down and start to catch up while we wait for Adam to return with Starbucks (which is kosher). Doodles walks into the family room where we're chatting. Sweet as can be, he gives us a big smile. "Mom?" he asks nicely.

"Yes, Sweetie?"

With a big grin, he asks me, "Where's the bacon?"

That kid. That's all I can really say. That kid.