Saturday, September 18, 2010


I thought about telling you today how I investigated a bowl of tomatoes last night that seemed to have a very large number of fruit flies swarming around it and found a tomato on the very bottom of the bowl that had rotted to liquid and provided a very nice breeding ground for fruit fly larvae, which meant all the rest of the tomatoes at the bottom of the bowl had what looked like teeny little grubs all over them.

Then I thought that was too gross to share and also a little bit embarrassing that I had allowed that bowl to go unnoticed for so long that it was breeding insects.

But I appear to have told you anyway. Happy Saturday!

Friday, September 17, 2010

How About Some Randomness Today?

Yes? Great. It's yours.

Does anyone remember the Cubby Suit? As if I really have to ask. I mean, it was the CUBBY SUIT. The cutest item of baby clothing known to man as well as blessedly warm. Unforgettable, I know.


Cubby has outgrown the Cubby Suit, which is very sad. But I have found a somewhat acceptable replacement. It's a kind of padded sweater suit that I think is supposed to actually be a snowsuit for the outdoors. Except because this is Blackrock, we will be using it indoors. Because our indoors is not always appreciably different from the outdoors.

Wanna see? Of course you do.

Hello, puffy baby!

We can't really let him sleep in it, unfortunately, due to the hood and his propensity to flip himself over onto his stomach, thereby making the hood flop over his head and greatly increasing the chances of suffocation. But he can wear it during the day. For about two weeks. Which is about how long it will fit him, I think.

And speaking of sleeping, I caught Mia sleeping in the dog bed under the table in the living room in what looked to me like the most uncomfortable position EVER.

Are there chiropractors for dogs? Because I think she's gonna need one.

In case you can't tell, she was using the table leg as a pillow. Comfy.

Let's see, what else . . . it rained a lot yesterday, which means there will be no potato harvesting today as I was planning. Dammit. I really want my boxes of potatoes at hand in the Pit of Despair. Having to dig them up every time I want to eat potatoes is too much work. Though it would probably help to limit the amount of potatoes I eat. If I wanted to do that. Which I don't.

And Cubby's awake! Okay, end of randomness for the day. Over and out.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

How Unlike Me

It seems I haven't mentioned so much as a word about tomatoes in many a day. I bet you were wondering about those tomatoes, weren't you? You were thinking to yourself, "What? No tomato update today AGAIN?! Who cares about cake? Tell us about the tomatoes!"

Well. If you insist.

One of the reasons I haven't been blathering on daily about the tomatoes is because they've been lying low for the past couple of weeks, regrouping and preparing for the second onslaught. That is, new blossoms were appearing and the new small tomatoes are growing in preparation for Woman vs. Canner: Round Two.

There have been some tomatoes getting ripe during this relative lull, of course, but many of them have been horribly split due to a combination of heavy rainfall and heat. There's nothing wrong with split tomatoes, except for the fact that they rot faster and therefore must be used faster. And I keep picking them, intending to use them immediately and then I , um, don't. The fruit fly situation in our kitchen is getting pretty grody.

I think I've made all the salsa I'm going to make this year. Twenty-eight pints probably won't be enough, but it will just have to do*. I certainly have enough tomato juice to drink myself blind on Bloody Marys should I so desire. I contemplated making ketchup, but given the drastically reduced amount of time I have this year (thanks, Cubby!) to devote to simmering things on the stove without scorching them, I don't think that's going to happen. So any tomatoes to come will most likely just join with the 32 quarts I've already canned plain.

Any bets on how many quarts of plain tomatoes I'll end up with this year? I don't know if I'll make it to 50 this year, but you never know . . .

* That's not actually a joke. I eat a LOT of salsa.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mmmm, Cake

I have mentioned before that I do love my cake. The MiL knows this, and so she will occasionally make a cake for me, even though she doesn't eat them.

Such a nice person, that MiL of mine.

I asked her if there's any kind of cake she does really like, and she said the fruit cake she sometimes makes. I don't consider that a real cake, since it's full of things like dried fruit and nuts and is saturated in dark Jamaican rum. Eek. Then again, she admitted that she thinks the cakes she makes upon my request are disgusting.

Isn't it amazing that two such different people can live in relative harmony?


The MiL made a white cake on Sunday, because she had some egg whites left over after making a chocolate mousse. Then she frosted it with chocolate frosting, per my request. And then I ate it. All of it. It's gone now. I just can't be trusted around cake. Any cake. Well, except maybe that scary fruit "cake."

I am hard pressed to name my favorite cake. The peanut butter and chocolate cake the MiL made for my birthday last year, and then again for my baby shower, is pretty extraordinary. As is the chocolate roulade (a flourless jelly-roll style cake rolled around whipped cream) she sometimes makes. And then there's plain old chocolate cake. The recipe the MiL uses was her grandmother's, and it calls for lard as the shortening. It's really, really good.

So I guess my favorite cake is just a chocolate cake of any kind. I don't really care about frosting--I'm not a frosting kind of person.

And now you KNOW you have to jump in here and tell me YOUR favorite cake. So how about it, poppets? Yellow, white, marble, ice cream, chocolate? What kind of cake makes you go wild?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Curse the Curls

I like having curly hair. Well, maybe when it's 500% humidity and the curls turn into frizz and make me look like Janis Joplin--then I might have some issues with curly hair. But other than that, I don't really wish I had straight hair. Except when Cubby gets a fistful of those curls.

Do you know how hard it is to disentangle a baby's fist from long, curly hair? Very, VERY hard. Almost impossible to do without pain, in fact. My pain, that is, not Cubby's. I'm sure it's no fun for anyone when a baby grabs hold of your hair, but I've seen it when Cubby grabs the MiL's straight hair, and she can just sort of slide it out of his grasp with minimal effort and no tugging. Not me. The curls get all tangled in his fist and it requires multiple attempts to unclench the fist all the way, while trying to pull the hair out of the unclenched fist before it re-clenches. I usually lose some hair in the process. And it hurts.

Of course, my hair is fascinating to the child. It's like the most fun toy EVER. He stalks my hair, following it with his eyes and readying himself to pounce if a ringlet gets close to his hands. And if he gets a really good handful, then he attempts to jam it in his mouth, thereby increasing the difficulty of rescuing the captive hair without pain.

I'm starting to see the usefulness of a Mom Haircut. Babies and long curly hair don't mix. But then Mom Haircuts and curly hair don't mix, either, so I guess I'll just have to bear the pain. And resign myself to a couple of years of ponytails.

Monday, September 13, 2010

King Cubby

Luckily, he's a benevolent ruler.

P.S. I don't know exactly where this chair in the parlor came from or what it actually is, but it's really old and really big and I always call it the throne chair. You can see why.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Taste Sensations

A couple of people have asked me if I make Cubby's baby food. These people obviously do not know me very well. I ask you, would a woman who makes butter for the first peas of the year quail at the thought of pureeing some beets? No. So yes, I make his food.

Not that it's very involved. Whatever I pull out of the garden or the MiL picks up at the orchard gets cooked and thrown in the small one-cup food processor that never saw much use until now. So, you know, carrots, beets, zucchini, applesauce, pear sauce, peaches, apricots . . . you get the idea. And he sometimes eats some of what we had for dinner, like potatoes or rice or even meat. That stuff, plus whole milk yogurt and some oatmeal processed a little finer than normal, and Cubby is one happy boy.

The combination of these foods is really the interesting part. For instance, did you know that yogurt and pureed beets is actually really good? Somewhat reminiscent of borscht.

Also, applesauce and pureed carrots with a bit of cinnamon tastes surprisingly like pumpkin pie filling. If the filling didn't have any sugar. Or eggs. Or, um, pumpkin. I mean, I'm not going to be making a pie with it for Thanksgiving, but it's tasty enough that I don't mind finishing whatever Cubby doesn't eat.

Who knows what new taste sensation I'll discover next? Babies are such an educational experience.