November 2, 2009
Thumbing my nose at baby shower etiquette, I’m hosting my own virtual event. Come join me at my personal blog and see what all the fuss is about!
October 15, 2009
Some of my readers (people I know in real life) have started asking us what sort of gifts we’d like to receive when the baby arrives (and/or beforehand). It’s very sweet of y’all to think of us, so to simplify things, I’m going to preempt any further questions by saying this:
Please don’t buy us anything!!!
And yes, I’m being totally serious. As irresistible as baby shopping can be (believe me, I have had to restrain myself a lot recently), we have just about everything we need. We’re having another girl, and we have soooooo many cute baby girl clothes in all sizes that to buy or receive more would just be ridiculous. The same goes for stuffed animals, baby blankets, teething toys, bibs and just about every other imaginable category of baby goodies.
But please, don’t fret. There IS something you can do for us. I won’t tell you what it is yet, but rest assured, I’ll be having a little virtual baby shower on my personal blog sometime soon. And when I do, you’ll have the opportunity to give us something we really, really want as a family of four to be!
October 3, 2009
You might think it’s unbelievable that I never baked with Marie until she was over 2 years old. Or maybe that’s normal – I’m not sure. In any case, her father has made pancakes and crepes with her before, but although she likes to stand on a stepladder and watch me make her oatmeal in the mornings, all past attempts to cook or bake with her were more or less disastrous.
But three weeks ago, I had a hankering for chocolate chip cookies, and I thought it might be a good time to try letting Marie help. It was wonderful! What a difference a few months makes!
I measured the ingredients, and Marie dumped them into the appropriate bowls. We took turns mixing, with Marie doing most of it at the beginning, and me taking over at the end, when the dough became to thick for her. And then I showed her that when you’re done, you can lick the bowl. You should have seen the look on her face – it was as if she had suddenly seen the light.
Anyway, since then, we’ve baked on one day each weekend, and I must say that I look forward to it as much as Marie does.
The real action was too much fun to stop and take pictures, but here’s Marie, hangin’ out with the cooling rack, hardly able to wait for the first batch to come out of the oven:
And here she is at another crucial moment – “cleaning” the bowl:
And here she is after today’s baking fun, modeling one of my aprons:
April 23, 2009
As you can see to the right, I’ll be joining Simple Mom’s Spring Cleaning Party the week after next. I bought her ebook a few weeks ago with the intention of giving our apartment a thorough workup, but illness and laziness have prevented me from really getting started. How fortunate, then, that Simple Mom is having a Spring Cleaning Party to keep slackers like me accountable! You can join, too. Just visit her site, read her post about the party, grab the button and get ready to give your house a makeover!
March 19, 2009
This isn’t really about anything; I just thought I’d share. We have a big shelf of all sorts of cookbooks in our kitchen, and although I have my standard references (The Joy of Cooking and The Silver Spoon), I use a variety of books for the dishes I prepare. Some of the books are American, others are German. While I can approximate a lot of measurement conversions in my head, it’s really annoying to have to do lots of mental math while following a complicated recipe, and whipping out a calculator doesn’t necessarily make things any easier. You see, in the U.S., we measure mostly in cups, by volume, while in Germany, ingredients are measured in grams, by weight. So not only are you converting from U.S. to metric measurements, but you’re also converting volume to weight for everything other than liquids. Also, since I’m not used to weighing my ingredients and have been known to swear at my kitchen scale, I prefer to measure by volume, even when using a German recipe. And don’t even get me started on converting from Fahrenheit to Celsius. I’ve memorized a lot of equivalents, but I have never been able to remember the damn formula. So part of making cooking and baking more pleasant experiences has been to create a conversion table for quick reference. So here’s my little reference card, put together over the years*. Be forewarned, the conversions are not exact, because honestly, have you ever set your oven to 176.67 ºC? I didn’t think so.
* Yes, it really did take me years. My old conversion table included all sorts of temperature and measurement increments that are pretty much never used in cooking, rendering them useless visual clutter. So this is really the streamlined version of the table I first made about 4 years ago.