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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

 

summer's bounty

every tuesday when we go to our CSA farm i come home feeling like i have won the lottery. i really do. i feel so fortunate to receive all this wonderful food from a local source, which happens to be a family farm. the couple who runs it has 2 young children and a dog. they grow our food and it's amazing.... all fresh and green and yummy. i get giddy thinking about how to cook it and when to eat it and how to ration out the tomatoes. hubby laughs at how i can make a meal of tomatoes, herbs and corn on the cob. i really don't need much else.

yesterday i had to take some pictures. the getting was just too good.

the yums:


the babe on the way home (how cute is she?):

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Monday, August 25, 2008

 

i'm back!

sorry for the lapse in posts. we were away for a week enjoying the beach life. and ooooh. it's good. really good.

on the food front we covered all the bases: fish and chips, ice cream (LOTS of ice cream), corn on the cob, burgers and birthday cake.

on the kid front we did all the fun stuff: kayaking, beach combing, making sand castles, crabbin' in the rocks, boat watching, a baseball game and a really bad (but fun) concert at the harbor.

more soon. pics and stories galore.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

 

birthday cake

a couple weeks ago we had my son's 4th birthday party. we have a *tiny* house, so we had planned an outside party, as we do every year. and every year it threatens to rain. and every year it doesn't. we never get GREAT weather, but we've never had downpours either.

until this year.

and of course this year we invited more folks than ever because this was the first time he had any real friends to invite. we invited his whole class. thankfully only a few could come!

not only did we have thunder, lightening and sheets of rain, but hail too! hooray! so, we had to cram everyone inside--after poor hubby had done a days worth of yard work AND set up a scavenger hunt-type game for all the kids to do.

so, not only were all the kids in our shoebox of a house, but we had nothing for them to do. thankfully we had asked for no gifts and instead for kids to bring a book for a book swap.

in the corner of the living room hubby and i huddled up and put our best improvisers caps on and devised a couple of quick activities for the kids.

first we had them all get into a circle on the floor and hubby passed a bell around. each kid got to ring the bell once. this got everyone silent. which was so nice. then my son got the party favors we made and gave them out one by one. to each guest he said, in such an earnest tone, "thank you for coming to my party." it was truly sweet. he gave out little buckets with various things inside. one of which was a small pouch tied with string containing 3 beach shells that we collected on our recent trip (see new header pic).


the big brainstorm was to have the kids paint their shells. we put down a sheet, got out paints, water and brushes and let them have at it. i also brought over our big basket of shells that we were keeping just for memory's sake. and i swear nearly every rock, shell and piece of sea glass got painted! it was adorable. and really fun for the kids, i think.

in keeping with the "theme" i made bb a sand castle ice cream cake using martha's recipe.(am i the only one who mourns the loss of her KIDS magazine? i found this in one of the few issues i saved) this prooved to be his most difficult cake yet. no likee working with ice cream molds. so, here is what i affectionately refer to the "sand adobe cake." luckily 4 year olds are *really* easily impressed.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

 

our summer days

i know that i have mentioned before that my son goes to a Waldorf kindergarten. we love his school. it's not part of a bigger school. it's just a one-room school house run by a couple who've been doing it for years. mixed-age kindergarten is all they do. it's a really sweet place. they have chickens and the kids collect the eggs (which i am happy to benefit from) and a pony which the kids ride and care for in the summer during the camp program and a garden as well as swings and sand and it's surrounded by woods. it's just lovely.

bb (his initials, not a cutesy way of saying "baby") did 5 week of summer camp this summer and then he was/is home for the duration. and this momma was freaking out a little. it seemed important for me to structure his time somehow. and figuring out how to balance his needs with the baby's was stressing me out. big time.

then, i remembered our last class meeting before camp started. bb's teacher recommended that we try to follow some sort of school-like rhythm throughout the summer. it will help with continuity between school and summer. in a Waldorf kindergarten each day is a *something* day. in ours it's monday - painting day, tuesday - soup day (each kid brings a vegetable to contribute), wednesday - rice day, thursday - millet day, friday - bread day.

so, i decided to model our time after this. and so far, it's been great. it gives bb something reliable he can count on and it gives me the same. i know what to prepare for each night for the following day and there's not hemming and hawing about it. if it's bread day, it just IS bread day. that's what we're doing.

here's my list:

i drew pictures of each thing to make it more fun for him. monday - market day, tuesday - farm day (we have a share at a local CSA farm), wednesday - house work day, thursday - art day, friday - pizza/baking day (throughout the spring friday was "pizza friday" so, i wanted to keep this but also expand to doing another kitchen project), saturday - laundry day and sunday is open and flexible. we also follow a predictable rhythm throughout the day. we have a snacktime, lunchtime, book and rest all at the same time (roughly) every day.

it's been great for all of us, really. we all have something to hold on to. and i believe bb feels safer in a predictable world.

these pictures are from the latest baking day. we made some kick a** bread!


what about you? how do you and your family stay sane during the summer?

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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

 

cookie carnival :: august!


this month for the Carnival, we are cooking up some
CHOCOLATE-HAZELNUT BISCOTTI!

i'm totally excited to get into this recipe. hope you are, too!

email me if you would like to join up! kate (AT) the cleanplateclub (DOT) (NET)

cheers and happy eating!

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Monday, August 4, 2008

 

blog changes :: small, but significant

howdy to any of you coming 'round my blog!

i wanted to let you know that i'll be changing the format just a *tad* around here. see, i used to write a parenting blog (www.peepingmoms.blogspot.com) and then i started working for a blog network (content quake) as a food writer, THEN i started this blog. and while i love it, i also miss my parenting blog. so, i'll be writing stuff here about the kids and family life now and then. anyone who reads this blog knows that i write about the kids a lot, but always in the context of food. from now on i'll be sharing, venting, asking your advice (many of my readers are mommies, i know) about all things family.

the blog will remain mostly food. for sure. i am a dedicated foodie. just don't be surprised to read a post about the challenges of getting my son to give up his binky in the same week as a post about a fabulous blueberry dessert!

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Saturday, August 2, 2008

 

pretend birthdays :: just as fun as real ones!

my son and i had a ball making "pretend birthday cakes" recently. i cleaned out the cupboard of all the old edibles that were, well, not so edible anymore. i don't like to think that we are wasters of food, but at the same time, we did have a blast making these cakes. in fact for 3 days this was all he wanted to do. and he knows me. . . i love cake. even the pretend kind.

sprinkles of all kinds from years past of xmas cookies.

sifters, bowls, cups, spoons. we had it all.

and of course--candles!

the chef is hard at work.

this concoction was 2 kinds of flour, cornmeal, rice and sprinkles.

"i'm making snow, mommy!"

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