roasted cabbage and a book review: An Everlasting Meal

I just harvested this cabbage

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sliced it into wedges, placed it in a cast iron pot with salt, olive oil and a red wine vinegar.  I put the cover on it and roasted it for 30 minutes until golden brown without and tender within.  Just like Tamar Adler told me to.

It was delicious.

Read An Everlasting Meal.  Trust me.  It is important.  I almost didn’t want to publicly announce it for the secrets and the advice in this -more than a cookbook/novel, but a way of eating and enjoying life- are so great that I wanted to keep them all for myself.  But that is silly and selfish and well, I know that this book has brought me so much happiness, and it would be wrong to do anything but pass that on to you.  Each night when reading it, I would be left salivating, inspired and downright hungry by the time my eyelids got heavy.  Each chapter is centered around a specific grouping of food.  She talks about an egg or a roast or a legume with such passion and poetry you suddenly remember how beautiful a thing it is to be able to prepare a simple meal.  And how enjoyable such a simple meal can be.  There are rarely fancy expensive ingredients mentioned, she focuses more on local seasonal affordable eating.  She is realistic and relatable, and she has a way of making you yearn for sardines in a way you will never believe.  So purchase it, savor it, place it among your cookbooks and refer back to it often.

days like this were made for ice cream

This past Sunday there was warm sun, so toasty my biggest boy wore shorts; Amazingly sweet friends, full of laughs so good we recount them again and again, a giant puddle, crazy boys, and a few sandwiches.  What more could you ask for?

IMG_0205After so much goodness, I couldn’t imagine it getting any better.  And then a suggestion was made that was so grand, I am sure this dear couple couldn’t have guessed the repercussions could be so vast.

Ice Cream.

I am only human.  I eat healthy, for the most part.  I actually enjoy my baked goods de-sugared (sometimes), but when it comes to my ice cream?  I am a sucker for the real thing.  No substitutions.  No strings attached.

And this man has got it right.

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The Ice Cream Stop feels like a bar for kids.  He knows all the regulars orders by heart, he calls the babies by name, and he welcomes everyone with a grin form ear to ear and a grandiose hello as they walk in the door.  This is the spot.  I promise you.  I believe there was no less than two dozen flavors of the creamy goodness, and there were other indulgences as well…

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The walls were perfectly coated in a smattering of smiling faces both of the human variety and the canine alike.  

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There is a perfect little corner dedicated to keeping the half pints among us content and happy giving the mamas and the papas adequate time ooh and ahh over their selections.

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He offers drive in movies on the weekends.  Free.  He supplies old-fashioned hot dogs and drinks for a minimal charge for those who please.  There is even a Tuesday afternoon story hour (12:45) followed up by a free cone.  I believe I found my newest version of heaven.

  I believe a few boys did as well.

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And despite my clear and obvious reasons to avoid food dyes, I thought today would be a good day to just let it be.  And it was.

Once home, there was no stopping them.  Those boys passed out cold.  We placed our sleeping babes cozily in bed, dried out those soaking wet shoes and basked in our sweet tooth loving glory.  

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My kind of day.

ps.  those boots are hard core, are they not?

built in down time… The Sparkle Story

Many many, (many, many, many, many times fourteen) early mornings at the grandparents required (and I mean REQUIRED) some, well maybe a lot, of television watching.  And by early I mean oh… four thirty?  And this is after each night looking like I had new-born twins.  Those boys are little creatures of habit, and while they had a lovely time, surely did not enjoy being so far from their beds here at home.

I assumed the tv detox would be difficult, if not down right annoying.  I thought perhaps, I would cave and add the few bucks to our bill allowing me to freely turn on the tube in the morning, do some chores, drink some joe.  But, once again, my boys proved otherwise.

Two days in, and not a mention of the missing piece has been uttered.  Well, there has been some extreme re inaction of a certain super reader, but honestly its pretty darn cute.  I will say, there has been a quadrupling in outside time, making any down time nearly non-existent.

Despite the outdoor times, and the rediscovery of all their toys, there has been a few moments of exhaustion or required quiet time.  Isn’t there always?  Here in this house, we deal with this in one of two ways; lots of books, or a sparkle story.

http://www.sparklestories.com/

A sparkle story?  What in tarnation is this?, you may ask.  Well, I will tell you.  It is a Friday morning ritual.  We subscribe to At Home With Martin and Sylvia, a 20 minute tale of two siblings doing ordinary things that is oh-so intriguing for my boys.  It is comforting and relaxing and I get to knit.  The stories are sent to my inbox every Friday and can be revisited any time.  I pay seven small buckaroos for this amazing service but it is worth so much more.

My boys are learning to be still, to use their imagination, to create a story in their own little minds.  And of equal importance, I get a twenty minute rejuvenation period.  Very worthwhile, I assure you.

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Check it out!  It doesn’t matter the age of your little ones, they seem to have something for everyone.  Join us this Friday, see what its all about.

a knit for me a knit for you

I may have mentioned once or twice before that although my knitting endeavors are now vast and constant, I had yet to knit something purely for moi.  And well, now?  I have!  A friend of mine sported this particular pattern a few weeks back at a fantastic oyster bake I attended and was lucky enough to meet the maker.  She directed me to this amazing blog and I don’t think I have stopped making them since.  They knit up oh so quickly, with size 15 circulars, and big old super bulky wool.  I even purchased a pair of these needles at this amazing store (which I have visited a total of 3 times in the short week that I have been here already).  I have fallen quite head over heels for these new tools of mine.  Knitters Pride needles are the perfect mix between bamboo and metal.  They make for lovely non-slippery knitting, with the familiar swish swish sound of wood that I love oh so much.  The fancy colors don’t hurt either and they are inexpensive to boot!  My kind of purchase.

IMG_7065 IMG_7066Cowls.  How have I gone so long without one?  My neck is so cozy its embarrassing.