Saturday, November 17, 2007

at what point do you just crawl under a rock and say, "fine. I'm fucking done."

Man, I have so not been into this lately. November has been the month of madness. We are having financial issues, health issues, potluck issues, self esteem issues, bedwetting name it, we've had some kind of issue with it recently. It hasn't been conducive to the time suck that is blogging.

Apart from being the receiving end of some love from my children, the best thing that's happened to me lately was falling asleep on my acupuncturists table and waking up when I turned my head slightly and, oh, hello, there's a fucking needle in my ear.

So yes. Much complaining and whining and self pity.

But wait! There's more!

One of my biggest slacker friends, one of those guys in high school that you were always pretty sure was destined for almost-greatness because, dude, he's totally cool and talented but oh, my LANDS such a slacker has just released an album.

Fucking asshole.

I jest. I'm sure it's awesome. I'm going to go to my local record store tomorrow and buy a copy and I'm going to love it and then I'm going to call him and bitch at him for not calling me back after the last time I called him like 4 months ago, but the ball was totally in his court and it was so not my turn, it's his fault.

I need a project.

One that doesn't involve diapers or laundry or block crayons.

Friday, November 2, 2007

This Week in Drinks

This will be a super-shortened-condensed version of TWID because:
  1. I can't find the list I had been keeping track with, and
  2. ...yeah, the list. Can't find. Whoops!
We'll call it the Highlights and leave it at that.

  • Sunday night:
We tried two drinks. At least. One of them was a Corpse Reviver #2 ver.2 thanks very much to Cocktail Nerd. It was fantastic and we enjoyed it again later in the week when we were tired of experimenting.

A note on experimenting with cocktails:

This experimentation is done while imbibing liguor, which, truly, is a great thing. However, I cannot remember most of the drinks we had this week and I'm going to guess that alcohol had something to do with it.

  • Thursday night:
Kelsey made two drinks last night. The drink he made for himself was a Marguerite #2. It was fine. Not too exciting. But, it was pink.

Of course, the drink he made for me was pink, too. And I liked it much more.

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Because of my affection for the Sidecar, Kelsey made me a Boxcar. Because, you know, CARS and stuff. It was nice, but nothing I'd break down any doors to get to again. I really only took pictures because it was pink and it seemed like we needed to document our path down that slippery slope. It can't be long now before we're painting eachother's toenails while sipping Smirnoff Ices, looking forward to the facials we'll be playing with later.

Kelsey's off to make himself a Silver City because I've wussed out and poured myself a glass of wine. I'll let you know next week how it turned out.


And that's it for me tonight. This mistress of suspense is clocking off.

Monday, October 29, 2007


Yesterday I made a buttermilk-cardamom pie and peanut butter bread. It just felt like that kind of a Sunday.

I used a recipe I'd clipped from the San Francisco Chronicle ages and ages ago. The only modification I made was to omit the granulated sugar and to bump up the peanut butter by a tablespoon or two. The link is here.

The Cardamom Buttermilk pie is from the most recent issue of Saveur and we'll be enjoying it this evening after dinner. I really, really wanted it for breakfast this morning, but what with all these kids around I was forced to show some restraint. Restraint sucks.

Friday, October 26, 2007

This Week in Drinks

I've gone over our budget recently.

I mean that in two ways, unfortunately.

Somehow, we've been spending like sailors on shore leave with shiny, shiny doubloons literally falling out of their trousers only to find that our doubloons have been replaced by their aluminum doppelgangers and we're holding the latest booty going, "wha..?" because all of a sudden the credit card statements have come and, oh, my lands, I spent so fantastically much more money on things that seemed really, really important at the time [hello, cheese counter at Whole Foods, placed achingly near to the wine and exotic salts (yes, I've shot my wad on exotic salts, you read that correctly)] than I thought I had...was doing...had done....

But hey! Our liquor cabinet is well stocked and I'm pretty sure they're not going to repo my Kelt Tour du Monde.

So! I have re-jiggered our budgets and allowed for one bottle of wine a week (dude, I totally wrote that as "a night."), which we should be enjoying tonight if everything works out well, and it also leaves the rest of the week wide open to cocktail experimentation. Because, as I said: no repo o' the booze. It's not going to happen. They've all been opened. Even the green chartreuse and benedictine. HANDS OFF.

All this to say that on fridays, or at least this friday because you never know what will happen in the future (I don't think they can repo the computer. Husband uses it for work. Makes it Important. Like the booze.) I will recap what we've had to drink over the course of the week.

Yes, you do care. Now shut up and start taking notes:

  • Monday night. Or perhaps it was Sunday. I really don't remember. We had a stressful weekend:
A Bastardized Betsy Ross. Kelsey bought some port last weekend and tried some different combinations but finally came to this conclusion:

1 1/2 oz port (We have Pedroncelli on hand)
1 oz brandy (Kelt Tour du Monde)
1 oz triple sec (will use cointreau next time)
Some quantity of lemon juice, he said he didn't remember.
Some number of dashes of angostura bitters

Shaken with ice and strained it was lovely. I was a little taken aback by the whole chilled-port scene--I enjoy drinking port on these chilly nights because it's cozy and warming. Having it with citrus, chilled...well, it took me a couple tries before I embraced it wholeheartedly. It's pretty damn delicious.

  • Tuesday night. Or maybe it was Wednesday. I'm pretty sure it was Tuesday:
We had a delicious Hoop-la! in bed shortly before passing out. Our kids have nasty coughs that keep us up at night, and when I say "us" what I mean is "me" and it was all I could do to power through this delicious drink before my head hit the pillow. I was not involved in the mixing of this drink, but I'm pretty sure Kelsey uses Jay's recipe with few to no deviations with the exception of a shot of bitters. I have a man who loves his bitters.

  • Probably Wednesday night. Maybe Thursday. Who cares:
Pisco Sours!

Kelsey uses Gary Regan's recipe from The Joy of Mixology which was my favourite book while the big kids were out of town.

2 oz Pisco
1 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz simple syrup
1 raw egg white
Angostura bitters--just a dash on the finished drink

Shake all but the bitters--and really, really shake. Getting those egg whites to do their thing takes some commitment. Kelsey serves it in champagne flutes and liberally dashes bitters on top. It's divine.

And so we conclude our first Week in Drinks. Please join us next week when we'll teach you how to make hooch on a shoestring.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


This morning, Peanut took one of our pumpkins to school to carve for their autumn festival. I just couldn't not take a pictures of the clothes she put herself in. I wish I had that girl's wardrobe. And also that I was 7. I think that helps.

Also! I made green tomato preserves yesterday, a la The Silver Spoon because I just didn't think that my heart wanted me to fry these babies up as much as my stomach did.

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The Recipe:

2 lbs. green tomatoes, chopped
1 c. sugar (this will be for next time. This time I used 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 and it was waaaaay too much.)
Juice and zest of 1/2 a lemon.

Let macerate for a couple of hours and then cook until the juice becomes syrupy.


I....may not do this one again. The idea of a green tomato conserve was enticing, but I think I may be more of a savory green tomato kind of girl.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What I did on my fall vacation

My parents took the kids out of town for a couple of days.

It was lovely.

But, instead of getting up to some crazy shenanigans, we were crafty.

Very, very crafty.

Also, there may have been some shenanigans involved, but they were not of the crazy variety.

Husband made:
  • Beef Jerky
  • Habanero sauce
  • Jalapeno sauce
  • Apple-Plum leather
  • Apple-Rhubarb leather
I made:
  • A Pisco Sour

That's right.

Oh! Also, I wrapped all the fruit leather nicely in parchment and butchers twine.


This weekend marked the official beginning of the Fizzy Egg White Drink Craze. We started with an Edith Day and finished with Pisco Sours.


Saturday, October 6, 2007

Weekend Leather 2: The Plumenning

That's Plum-enning. Like, this time! with plums!

Also, there is beef jerky. We are making beef jerky. Lo, we are awesome.

Actually, my husband has been doing this all day and I've been hovering at the periphery making busy noises. Right now, I'm typing and enjoying a Pimm's Cup.


Monday, October 1, 2007

weekend leather

Ok, not THAT kind of leather.

Husband made apple fruit leather on friday night. It is pretty freaking awesome. I encourage an educational field trip.
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Sunday, September 30, 2007

how to feed 30 gaping seven year old's maws oh my GOD the horror

Pumpkin Muffins, only slightly modified from this recipe:

6 c. all purpose flour
4 tsp. baking powder
4 c. roasted, riced butternut squash
1 1/4 c. butter, melted
6 eggs
4 tsp. pumpkin spice*
1 c. sugar
1 c. turbinado
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. molassas
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt

4 tbs. sugar
4 tsp. cinnamon
combine and set aside

*2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

Combine all wet ingredients plus sugar and spice mix.
Combine flour, soda, powder and salt.
Mix to wet until just combined.
Spoon into prepared muffin tin (s, for the love of god, tinS!)
Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

And voila! Enough pumpkin muffins to make you fucking sick to death of pumpkin muffins and your daughter's birthday.

For more reasonable results, cut by 3/4.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

in my mind, Baron von Trapp is singing "Gooooood-byyyyyyyyye" in a melancholy way

The end of summer is officially ushered in at our house by our two late-September birthdays and the winding down of the summer garden. We have long since given up on our cucumbers and corn, we're sick of green beans and our okra never really took off. The peppers are still puttering along nicely and so is the late zucchini. The fall/winter garden is impressive. Right now, though, we are in the throes of saying goodbye to the tomatoes.

This evening, on Peanut's seventh birthday, we had an official Goodbye to Summer repast: grilled radicchio with saba, oil and salt and pepper; grilled steak with green sauce*; the very damn best caprese of all time ever with our last batch of red-and-green stripeys, sel gris, black pepper, red onion, mozzarella, red wine vinegar and olive oil; and grilled sourdough. If it hadn't been such a happy occasion I might have wept.

And so. So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye. Here's to many, many more happy years and many more lovely harvests.

* If we lived in London, we'd probably have a running tab here. We don't, so we have to be content to cook out of his book, and the thing that has made us happiest to cook is the green sauce. Oh, my lands. I shall wish many happy returns of the green sauce to you all.

Monday, September 17, 2007

bad mommy

Kelsey made some delicious apple chutney yesterday, and while I am well aware that it should sit a while in order to reach its full potential I feel that I need to admit to just having eaten a delicious cheese-and-apple chutney sandwich for lunch.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

drinking is also important

We have been enjoying cocktails recently at the home base of the reluctant housewife. I had a sidecar for the first time a couple of months ago and had my mind completely blown. Since then we have spent several hundreds of dollars augmenting our stash of liquors, bitters, mixers and gear and several rather enjoyable nights experimenting. While I am still partial to the sidecar (and perhaps even more to the Chelsea sidecar), I believe this is my true favourite at the moment.

So yummy...

Especially with Anchor Steam's gin. I'm in love.

Pear Chutney

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After having lost a friend-tested recipe for pear chutney, I managed to find one online that looked pretty similar for our first foray into the dark and delicious realm of chutneys.

So voila! A delicious, if not terribly dark, pear chutney made with our last boscs.

I halved this recipe because dude. I once made the most heinous pear-butter with many pounds of pears and spent all afternoon cooking and canning and the end result was so completely nasty I wanted to cry. In fact, I think I did cry. It was my first canning experience and it took me another year to try again and then I made gross pickled green beans, but thankfully the Bean likes them so they haven't been thrown out yet. Unlike the pear butter. I stared at the jars for a year and a half before I tossed it all. So. Pissed.

This chutney is not perfect, but it's pretty good. I'm going to work the recipe a bit next time, but between now and next summer I'll have to do a studied tasting of chutneys to find out exactly what this one is missing.

8 c. peeled, chopped pears
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. raisins (this amount was increased somewhat)
1/2 c. chopped yellow onion (so was this)
4 tbs. brown mustard seeds (only because I couldn't find yellow, but the brown worked well)
1 tbs powdered ginger
several slivers of fresh ginger because, ew, powdered ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 habanero, minced
2 1/2 c. cider vinegar

It all goes into a heavy bottomed pot and cooks until thickened. It took this amount about an hour. The filled jars processed for 10 minutes. Now we will be enjoying chutney-and-cheddar sandwiches through the winter.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's the monitors, sir. They appear to be jammed.

So here they are! Pictures of jam! Yay!

Item the First:
A Mostly Eaten Jar Of Jam

Item the Second:
Many More Jars Of Jam To Be Eaten

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I know what I'll be doing this winter.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


The peach jam is fantastic. I took pictures of all the little jars smiling happily up at me but my husband is on the real computer and I am on the puny laptop and I don't know how to move pictures from the camera on to the laptop. Again with the expensive camera which knows more tricks than I do.

We're heading out of town tomorrow to visit with family which isn't as fun as it sounds, even if it sounds like howler monkeys dragging nails down a blackboard. There is much strife and conflict and yelling and blaming and dryness, itching and irritation and we haven't even left yet. Or packed! Or taken out the compost! Or figured out what we're doing with the dog! Which is why we're renting a minivan to take us to see my family. In my head this will solve all of our problems and any naysayers can fuck themselves. (Also, I am drinking. Right now. And I plan to not stop until some time on Sunday.) In our car, which is otherwise lovely, the children are scrunched in the backseat and this was not truly a problem until Sprout decided he was old enough to be the instigator. Precocious bastard.

And guess what? I am a big lame ass and didn't finish this post in time and so now the weekend is over, we had a good time, I greatly exaggerated the anticipated angst, and the minivan rocked my world. I'm dreaming about it now, the vast expanse of seats and personal space separating children from each other and from my flailing fists. Now if I could only work out a way to get Clive Owen in my dream van...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Oh my holy god PEACHES

This is what was staring at me all morning:

And this is what half of that looks like in my biggest pot:

So. If you wanted to know what 13 pounds of crazy looks like, that's pretty much it. It's jamming right now and hopefully the news tomorrow will be good. I used the recipe for Peach Preserves from The Silver Spoon but, um, tripled. Approximately. Here's what it looked like. Approximately.

13 (ish) pounds of peaches, peeled, pitted and mangled

10 (ish) cups of sugar

...and that's it. Peaches went into the pot with no added water because they were so juicy. I was tempted to leave them in complete halves but the recipe called for slicing them thinly and I met that somewhere in the middle. It's...chunky. My house smells absolutely fantastic, sticky and lovely. The sugar was added after they had begun to bubble a little. Now we're just waiting for a passable spoon test while the water in the canner comes to a boil. The recipe calls for letting them cook for about 2 and a half hours, but we're going on three and a half. Something about tripling the recipe, perhaps?

We have fingers crossed that this doesn't turn out like our earlier experiment in stone fruit jam this year. We tried jamming our nectarines and we got a syrupy sauce. It's freaking delicious but nothing you'd spread on your toast. On ice cream it's divine.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

Ghost Bees

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Go ahead. I'll wait.

Yeah, there's nothing in focus in this picture and yet it's the best one I took.

I won't tell you how much money we spent on a camera I can't use.

But! The bees. I know it may be hard to imagine thanks in large part to my amazing photographic skills, but we had what appeared to be little ghost bees buzzing around our garden on Saturday after they had been dusted with powdered sugar to help with the mite problem we appear to be having. Peanut donned her full beekeeping suit along with her father, but Bean went commando. He's a brave soldier, my Bean. Going naked where no sane Bean has gone before.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The old N-P

A necessary preliminary:

I have three children and they will be referred to as such:

Peanut--female, almost seven

Bean--male, 4-and-a-half

Sprout--male, almost one.

Ta da! Introductions have been made in a most half-assed manner. I am Emily, and I hope to one day entertain you. But not today. Thank you.

A small piece of bark in my eye

We have fully invested ourselves in Rudolf Steiner's crazy ass shenanigans.

There's a sentence I never thought I'd write. Or, more precisely, there's a sentence that if you'd told me I'd be writing 7 years ago, I'd have fucking punched you in the face.

When our first was a baby my husband informed me that she would be attending a Waldorf school when she reached, you know, that age. It was said in such a way that implied that I had no say in the matter. It was preordained. It it was written. His mom was a Waldorf teacher, he had gone to Waldorf school, look at how perfect he was, Peanut was totally going to be doing that shit too, shut up woman and keep making babies.

He paid dearly for his casual remark.

There were fights and much fuming and moping about. How dare anyone presume to tell me what my child Will Be Doing 6 years from now. And Waldorf! Fucking nuts! Totally crazy! I am totally not going to subject my perfect child to all that touchy-feely hippie bullshit! Kudos for you, mister Waldorf alumni. Congratu-fucking-lations. There will be no pagan maypole, no faceless cotton dolls, no pile of branches for her only toys. There will be no ban of synthetic fibers, no sing-song instructions, no fucking kumbaya. HANDS OFF MY GODDAMNED BABY.


Peanut had her first day of first grade on Tuesday after two years of Waldorf Kindergarten and two of Waldorf Preschool. I know, I know. I'd punch myself in the face if I could. Sometimes, what with all the tie-dye in the morning, I wish I would. Once I was able to ease up I saw that this might be a good thing for her and for us. It's not for everybody. Good news is that I haven't had to sing Kumbaya yet. I'm sure it's coming.

We've been listening to a lot of Winnie-the-Pooh around the house lately. Bean got a CD set of Jim Broadbent reading The House At Pooh Corner in July and it's pretty much been on constantly since then. Peanut likes to try to do the different voices that he gives the characters as well as his English accent, and she's pretty damn good. One of the favourite stories is about Tigger getting stuck up in the tree with Roo and after Roo has jumped down into Christopher Robin's tunic Tigger stalls by saying that he can't at the moment because there's a small piece of bark in his eye. I watched Peanut shake hands for the first time with her new teacher, a gesture that she will repeat every day with a woman who will be with her for the next eight years and when Peanut looked at me from her classroom she had a funny look on her face, like, Jesus, mom, what's the matter with you? I wanted to tell her about the bark. It was giving me troubles.

Monday, August 27, 2007


This is Take 2: Let's Try That Again, Shall We? I have been blogging about my family as Momily-San for a year, and I thought it was time for something different (see: I am boring and bored and also boring. Need something else to think about besides the Little Ones.)

So! This time! Still the topic might be child related. Might be food related. Might be living-in-Sonoma-County related. Might be house cleaning related. My new job as I see it: To always keep the three people who might ever read this on their toes.