Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cold Winter Morning

I don't know about where you are, but where I am Saturday morning was a frigid one. Our handy new digital indoor/outdoor thermometer (Christmas present from my parents - perfect for my weather obsession) read 1 degree when we woke from our snuggly beds. Our ancient furnace was putting along constantly all morning, yet the thermostat held firm at 57 degrees. So we bundled the kids under blankets in the living room with the space heater for a bit, and Max and I got working on breakfast to heat up the kitchen.

Max is my constant kitchen companion. He has a hand in just about everything that I make. He loves to measure, to dump, to stir, and of course to lick all that is left when we are baking something yummy. Who doesn't love that part, right? In fact, all of my kids are welcome in the kitchen, to help with whatever they can. Kane is our egg-cracker, Bella is our cake-master, and Max will make anything, from breakfast to dinner to desert. They all have their own sets of measuring cups, spoons, and scrapers and I rarely make anything on my own. Saturday Max and I decided on scones loaded up with organic raisins. Seriously yummy. We had always used an old standard recipe before, converted to gluten and dairy free just by my substitutions. This time we decided to use the recipe in our now-standard Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts. I personally believe this is a must for anyone facing life gluten-free. We are now making all of our bread from this book, as well as perfectly wonderful cakes and cookies that even our pickiest wheat-eating family and friends love.

When Max decides he's going to make something, he is an all or nothing sort of person. So with cooking, he really is doing it on his own. Honestly, I'm just there for quality control at this point. I make sure that there are no egg shells, that the sides are scraped down well, and that there are no pockets of un-mixed flour left on the bottom of the mixing bowl. The rest is all him in his three-year-old glory. He can beat eggs until they are very light and fluffy. Bed head does not interfere.

He's a whiz with the pastry cutter. Push and twist, push and twist. He has that down.

Scraping is no problem at all, although the positioning of the tongue is imperative for proper clearing.

And I believe I've already mentioned the scraper-licking...

And the finished product, a beautiful pie plate full of raisin-filled scones, doesn't last long.

Within about 20 minutes it was empty, bellies were full of warm baked goodness, and the kitchen was toasty warm. Just what we ordered on a frigid January morning.

Friday, January 21, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. Inspired by SouleMama.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Farewell

Today, the soul of an exceptional woman left this earth to join hands with her Father. She played many important roles in her life, but to me she was Aunt, Godmother and oh so much more. She was infinitely strong, loving, kind, and loyal. She was graceful, beautiful, hopeful and joyful. She was my biggest advocate, my strongest supporter, and my gentlest critic. She has been such an inspiration to so many people. I have spent the day processing my life and what she has done for it, and I have yet to say out loud that she is gone. I had these words that I had to put somewhere, easing the process of acceptance. I told my children how much she loved them as I kissed them, all tucked in to their beds. I have held them so near throughout the day, giving them extra hugs and kisses from her. I have to say farewell somewhere and admit that she is gone, this wonderful woman who meant so, so much to me. So today, I say farewell to one of my dearest friends, my Aunt Sue. I love you.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Who Am I?

I am exhausted, cranky, overwhelmed, under thought, complicated, impatient and falling way behind. Who am I? I am Winter Me. Winter Me gets all of the above, plus a slew of other nasty, emotional, moody things. Winter Me has only made a short visit over the last couple of years, so I'm not quite sure how to deal with her being around so early and often this year. Yes, I'm staying on top of taking my B Vitamins (Winter Me is allergic to B Vitamins) and this year I'm supplementing Vitamin D. But this year we are standing in uncertainty in several aspects of our lives, with decisions we will have to make and those being made for us that have Winter Me feeling even less centered than before. And with Helena seriously waking about 10-15 times a night (no exaggeration), let us just say I have a feeling I'll be battling Winter Me hard for the next couple of months. I did, however, chase her out of my head Friday by taking a long hike with wonderful friends and Saturday with a long bike/walk through our beautiful town.

But Winter Me apparently doesn't blog, so you can blame her for my absence. I know I am.