Wednesday, May 28, 2008

They are NOT waiting for summer.

Things 1&2 have taken to wearing their swimsuits inside the house...whether or not we are going to the (very chilly still) pool. Because if they've been to the pool that means it's summer and of course you should wear a swimsuit all summer. Of course. Any fool knows that.

So Maggie is wandering around today in a swimsuit and it's in the low 70s. And I don't have the mental wherewithal to put an end to it because I am ready for summer too. Doesn't sleeping in, reading comic books, playing around in the yard and heading to the pool sound good? Maybe catching fireflies at dusk and eating grilled food?

Yeah? Get back to work.

What to do with all those strawberries?

We picked up a pint of strawberries this weekend at the Cheverly Community Market, got another pint in our Clagett Farm share and picked about three pounds at the farm on Saturday. So...what to do with all those strawberries?

Yes, yes. Eat them. Good for you, literal one. Head of the class.

Now, for those of you who want to do something with else with the strawberries...

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake with Soy Cream

(Measurements are approximate, as I made this Maggie, and three-year olds don't subscribe to any laws of measuring. Or physics. Laws in general, really.)

2+ lbs. strawberries, cleaned, hulled and cut into quarters
1/4 c. granulated sugar (more or less, depending on the sweetness of the berries)

1 package silken tofu
1/2 c. confectioner's sugar
1 tbs. vanilla extract
1 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 tbs. fresh mint, julienned
1 tbs. fresh lavender flowers

Sprinkle the granulated sugar over the strawberries and stir. Set aside and allow the strawberries and sugar to work their magic and make a syrup.

Put the silken tofu in a mixer and mix at high speed, about 2-3 minutes. Clean the sides of the bowl frequently so that all the tofu is mixed and very smooth. When the tofu is about the consistency of a thin pudding, add the confectioner's sugar and beat until Incorporated. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and beat, then the fresh herbs. Chill.

You can use any (vegan) biscuit recipe with this (maybe avoid one with sugar, since there's already a lot here.) I prefer the biscuits from the vegan biscuits & gravy recipe in Vegan with a Vengeance (okay, I had some already made up.) When I made them, I used a shot glass to cut them into small rounds, and that's a perfect size for this recipe. Yes. A shot glass. Many uses, many uses.

For each serving, open three biscuits on a plate and spoon strawberries with some syrup over the top. Spoon some tofu, then finish with a few more strawberries (no syrup!) If you really wanted to be fancy, you could add some lavender or mint leaves to the top. That's pretty fancy, though.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Too early in the day for this conversation.

"Mama, why did that truck take away Jesus?"
"Why did that truck take away Jesus? That red truck that took away Jesus, mama."
"What are you talking about?"
(A little exasperated now, because Maggie has figured out that I'm not too bright in the morning.) "THAT BIG RED TRUCK TOOK AWAY JESUS FOR A NAP. Can we wait for Jesus to come back to the park?"
"Ummmm. Yeah. Okay. At home though, because Mommy needs some more coffee."
"Mama, my booboos healed!"

I am the first to admit that I can be a little thick in the morning (making lunches, forcing people from their beds, coercing same people into clothing since 6:45am -- I blame all that.) So when Maggie pulls things from her teeny tiny three-year old memory, sometimes it takes me a minute (or 30) to catch up. When the very able Cheverly Town crew removed the creche following the holidays, we happened to be walking by and Maggie was a little panicky about what they might be doing to Jesus. I told her that Jesus needed a really long nap in a quiet place, just like she does sometimes. This morning, it's come back to haunt me, and I really should learn something about the effects of half-as**d easy theology and toddlers. Should is an important word, since I'm sure I'll share some other nugget with the seven and under set soon. Thankfully, summer break is just around the corner, and I'll have several months to finesse whatever I come up with before Paul heads back to parochial school.
Fantastic parenting, once again.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why does Chicago get all the good stuff?

Overturned Oreos trucks...

Now, a quick glance at Wilco's website shows that the band may in fact be in Chicago right now (no shows). I can imagine Mr. Tweedy hearing the news on the radio in the morning (he has school-age kids, so I assume his wife gets them ready for school in the morning and may use a clock radio alarm in the morning. I assume a lot here, but bear with me.) Now, Mr. Tweedy is enjoying his comfy bed (after a few weeks on thew road) and the knowledge that he can sleep until whenever he wants. But wait... what was that? "'Fourteen tons of Oreos on 80? Double Stuffs all over the highway?!' Get up kids! Daddy's taking you to school today and we're making a pit stop! You don't need breakfast! Bring milk! Hurrryyyy!!!!!!!" Mrs. Tweedy thinks he's being selfless (although she probably knows better but keeps it to herself) and the kids think (again) coolest dad ever.

Yeah, it happened 50 miles away from Chicago proper, but I have a good imagination. But you already knew that.

Oh, I forgot. Chicago also has Ira Glass and This American Life.
And Cheap Trick, I think.

"Sparkle Fun" is not a flavor.

I'm sorry. What the h*#!! is this? Sparkle Fun? Dear Crest: I am not having fun with this product.
What flavor category does that fall into? Sweet? Salty? Sour? Hot? Nope -- a new category was created just for this: Nasty. I was in a rush brushing my teeth and grabbed P&M's toothpaste. Somehow I cruised past the odd color (Tidee-Bowl blue) and popped it in my mouth. Foul, foul, foul.
Now I'm going to have to have an extra soy cappucino to make up for this debacle. (Some of you may think I could drink fewer of those and not get huffy about the toothpaste. Pfflllt to you.)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Return of Saturdays at Clagett Farm

This weekend -- in addition to the Cheverly Prom (aka Cheverly Town Council Dance) and Cheverly Day proper -- marked the opening of our CSA -- Clagett Farm. We got beautiful strawberries, lots of greens, seedlings and herbs. Paul and Maggie continued their deep, loving relationship with mud and a fellow CHVchick got to take her first trip to the farm. All in all, a fine first outing of the season. This week, I'll start a new tradition -- a recipe each week based on whatever we get from the farm and our local famer's market -- Cheverly Community Market -- combined. The Market opens next week -- hope lots of you make it out.

Farm Herb Potato Salad

8-10 yukon gold potatoes, boiled in well salted water until soft and patted dry
1/2 c. good olive oil
2 tbs. white balsamic vinegar (I use a pear-infused white balsamic, more or less, to taste)
1/3 c. mixed fresh herbs (I used a mix of tarragon, dill, cilantro, and garlic chives), finely chopped

Make a viniagrette by emulsifying the olive oil and vinegar, then add the herbs. Add the viniagrette to a large bowl with the cooked, dried potoatoes. Smash about half of the potatoes with the viniagrette to soak up the oil and continue folding until it's well-incorporated. Chill.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Worlds colliding. Ack.

We are going to see the first show of The Cure's 2008 U.S. tour tonight. The Cure was my favorite -- FAVORITE -- band through high school and into undergrad. That was a long time ago. A. Long. Time. Ago.
Now I am a 40+ suburban mom (see photo, above right). And we're going with other 40+ (or nearly so) suburban parent friends, at least one of whom counts the Cure as their favorite band (I think that may be of all time, but I'm not entirely clear on this). Oh, and it's "we're" not "I'm" (meaning one of the Mr. CHVBlogs will also attend). So. Worlds colliding.
I keep looking at my computer screen and imagining that Mr. Tweedy is seriously reevaluating our relationship...

I'm sorry. Okay? I have a feeling that you probably have some bands in your past, too...
I won't be offering a meal of their choice to The Cure. I'll say that right now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Oh, the humanity...

I should have known this day would come.

Maggie has discovered The Wiggles. This picture? Personal nightmare. I willingly went along with the whole thing with Paul, but it's a phase that one should only have to experience once. Total. So if you're the second kid, tough luck.

Unfortunately for me, la Mag is cute and relatively guileless, so here we are, watching grown men play ** wild and crazy**. The really sad thing? Paul is also entranced right now...however, this may be a ploy to delay homework...

(The screensaver on my computer is a surly looking picture of Jeff Tweedy and all I can think of is him saying, "I am sooo disappointed. Why are you letting those kids listen to that?! We're going to have to rethink our relationship if this continues." I should probably come back from lalaland now.)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Phew. What a weekend.

You know those weeks when Monday comes and you're glad? This is one of those weeks. Not that the weekend wasn't a lot of fun. It was. Perhaps too much fun, as the boy started the day by having a total, utter, complete meltdown in the parking lot in front of his school. His last words to me this morning: "I can't make myself have a good day, mom! You have to give me a good day or else I'm going to have a terrible day today and it will be all your fault." I think he was a teeny bit overstimulated as a result of TMA (too many activities) between Friday afternoon and Monday morning:
*Unscheduled (but happy) playdate with two of his best friends, during which he asked the lovely nine-year old english girl to be his girlfriend and was unceremoniously shot down.
* Trip to Burger King for dinner. Not because he likes the food, but because Iron Man toys are included in kids' meals right now.
* Date with mom at the grocery store (I am nothing if not exciting), got to choose donuts for himself and la Mag.
* Truck Touch for Cheverly Weekday Nursery and Mother's Day Out, which meant four (!) hours of racing around and honking horns interspersed with hot dogs, sugar and watching his dad and Kelly perform, all while trying to be on relatively good behavior because every teacher he's ever had made an appearance in the parking lot.
* Dinner in DC with Grandma. Got to eat tortillas and ice cream. And lemonade.
* Early morning date with mom, including Starbucks (though I have been informed that he doesn't really like coffee) for chocoalte milk and a donut, and a trip to Target for clothes (because all of his clothes are either too small or full of holes), a Speed Racer toy and a new toothbrush (to combat the past two days)
* Haircut (see above -- he needed it) and shower
* Man time. A viewing of Iron Man with dad, Erik and Tom. I assume there were snacks.
* Lawn care time with dad. Paul actually got to use the push mower.
* Dinner (tried to hide and play xBox instead, but we're on to that one.)
* Shower under duress, because he managed to get filthy in the few hours after the last shower.
So, somehow, this morning everything fell apart. I felt sort of sorry for him, but really. He had to go.
I hope he's having a good day.