I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Cakes Gone Wrong

Quite possibly, one of the funniest blogs I've ever seen...people, there is just NO excuse for this kind of, ahem, skill. In defence of pastry chefs everywhere, I will say that sometimes, customers ask for some seriously weird shit. (says she who recently made a cake with a picture of a freakin' UGLY monster, who is from some crazy video game - War of Worlds, or something?) Even *I* couldn't make that monster pretty.



Daddy's Girl

Pretty much from the moment she was born, DD1 has had a very special relationship with her Dad. Of all my kids, she is the one LEAST like him in personality - she's impulsive, she's emotional, she's high energy and high spirits and she has no OFF button. She loves and hates with equal amounts of fervour - there is nothing better than being on the receiving end of one of her bone crushing hugs (and by bone crushing, I mean almost literally.) There is nothing worse than having to deal with her being in one of her emotional down swings, when nothing seems to help and your heart breaks for this little girl who cannot express her distress very well.

DH, on the other hand, is quiet, emotionally reserved (except about those he loves), very even-keeled and enjoys a pretty stable temperament. It's interesting, then, that they have the relationship they do - one of equal needing. She needs him MUCH more than she needs me - because he has the patience and the physical and emotional strength that she requires. He needs her - because he loves being needed, being helpful, and being the gentle giant that she (and I) have come to rely on. As a baby, she hated being far away from him. As a toddler, she would cry if I came to her aid, but smile and coo if he did. As a young child, she still looks to him in time of need and in time of excitement. It's all about her and her Dad, and how much they love each other.

Over the years people have noticed their closeness (it's hard not to) and will ask me if it "bothers" me that they are so close. It's a question that I've never really been able to answer. Who in their right mind would be 'bothered' by a daughter loving her father? However, at various times in her growing up, I will admit I've felt a bit hurt by their relationship. What mother likes to feel as though she is second best? I hated that she didn't run to me as quickly as she ran to him. And yet, as she (and I, by virtue of parenting her) have grown up, I've actually come to be grateful for their relationship, and very much in support of it. I know that as long as he is around, she will always have a safe haven. Her siblings are, in their own way, quite needy, too. I often feel as though their demands on me stretch me too thin - so it's a relief, really, to be able to 'let go' of one child's needs, content in the knowledge that she is being looked after so well.

None of this is to say that she and I don't love and adore each other - of course we do, and I love her in equal measure as the other two. She and I laugh and love and live together with as much fierce affection as ever. It just means that she and her Dad have a connection which goes deeper than that of daughter and father. In some ways I truly believe that they are old souls brought together again in this lifetime.

For reasons I can't explain, I've actually been thinking a lot about their relationship lately. In recent months she has started to grow and mature on a number of different levels - academically, emotionally, socially. She's had a few developmental hiccups along the way, which DH and I have had to work especially hard to help her with - and just recently it seems like a lot of those are quitening down a bit. All of our kids seem to be finding their own voices, and that's something that I'm experiencing with bittersweet melancholy. The baby who used to hold out her arms and go "mama!" is now holding out her arms and saying, "Mum, you are SOOOOO embarassing!"

The BEST part about DD1 and DH's relationship? No matter how much she grows up, she will always, always be his little girl....and there is nothing in this world more precious than that.

Cake, Anyone?

More fun with kids' cakes....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shake, Rustle & Roll

Sidenote: I'm sorry I disappeared! OMG! I didn't blog for almost a month and I didn't realise it was that long. Thanks for asking after me. My absence was due to two things: 1) I kinda ran out of witty things to say and 2) my Mom complained about this post, which made me want to give up this blogging business. I have neither the time nor the patience to defend my blogging. If she had read it, she would realise that it acutally says that I think she's right. ANYWAYS, back to your regularly scheduled blogging.

Part of what makes me special (and we all know, I'm special, right?) is that I have a ridiculous ability to make myself laugh. I'm so self-centered and shallow that I think I am one of the funniest people I've ever met. As a result, I'll often tell a joke, and then (even if nobody else is) I'll laugh my ass off. Nowhere is this more true than late at night, when I'm in bed. I lay there, in the darkness, coming up with progressively more stupid jokes - usually ones based on rhymes. I then start laughing like a demented hyena and nudge DH to tell him my jokes. Sometimes he laughs, but more often he just mumbles a "ha ha. yeah. now GO TO SLEEP." Thing is, this horrible joke telling can go on for HOURS. *Just* when DH thinks I'm asleep (and therefore going to leave him the hell alone), I burst out laughing and demanding, "Wait! Wait! Don't go to sleep! This one's HILARIOUS!"

Poor DH - he didn't know that when we married that he was signing on for hours of mindless chatter which starts at the *exact* moment his eyes are closing towards beautific slumber. Of late I've been obsessed with 'man with no arms and legs' jokes. These are certainly not new, and not original - they come back from my 1980's childhood, along with the whole series of 'what's grosser than gross?" jokes. For those unfamiliar with the man with no arms and legs jokes, they're basically word play riddles based on male names, such as:

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs, hanging off a mountain?
A: Cliff

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs, at your front door?
A: Matt

I don't know what the lack of appendages has to do with it, but I DO know that these jokes, told in the dark of winter in the wee hours of the morning, are seriously funny. To me, anyway. To DH, not so much. Until recently my favourite was this:

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs, in the ocean?
A: Bob

(Okay, I just typed that and then started laughing. Again. Even I think I should have gotten over that one by now.)

That was my all time favourite one, until I read this one in the newspaper:

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs, in a pile of leaves?
A: Russell (get it? rustle?!)

I have been laughing about that stupid joke for about two weeks now. Driving along, thinking about work and cupcakes and whatever, and I'll suddenly think, "Russell. Rustle!" and I'll start laughing so hard I think I'm going to puke.

Yes, my life is that sad.

Today I had yet another opportunity to make myself laugh, and I've got a sneaking suspicion this one might have to replace ol' Russell in my tiny little brain.

It started innocently enough. I got an email from my Mom:

Subject: Earthquake

Hello to all interested parties;

Yes we had a big one. I was at McDonalds buying [Dad] a coffee (Yes Michelly a coffee but a cold one). We thought that a truck hit the building it was not. It was so strong that I started shaking and it took me about an hour to calm down. As far as we know there are no big damages that we know of but maybe it is too early. Anyhow we are all fine.

This is a funny email for several reasons: 1) My Dad claims only sick people drink coffee, 2) I didn't know Jews got coffee at Mickey D's, 3) I had no idea there was an earthquake in California at all, this email was the first I heard of it and 4) Of course you're fine, otherwise how else are you emailing me?

....and thus, dear readers, begins my fall into idiocy.

...because my Dad's coffee was shaken, not stirred....
...because my Dad's coffee was earth-blended as opposed to ice blended....
...because McD's conserves energy by using teutonic plates to make milk *shakes*....
...because if you're going to die in an earthquake in Los Angeles, you might as well do it with falling nuggets than falling boulders...

You can see where this is leading. I got that email at 9am this morning. It's now just past noon, and I *still* have a head full of "earthquakes in McDonald's" jokes running through my head. Please, spare a thought for DH, who has to listen to me tonight:

Q: What do you call a man with no arms and legs in an earthquake at McDonald's....?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Caramel Popcorn You Know You Want It

The "Before" Shot

A couple of cold Sundays ago, we had a family pajama day...one of those days when nobody really feels like going anywhere, when getting out of bed requires giving oneself a stern talking to, and when comfort food like popcorn is required.

I don't love the microwave stuff - it just tastes a bit chemically to me - but I'll use it if I have to. I much prefer the taste and smell of old fashioned popcorn which comes in a bag and is about 1/4 the price (and 1/4 the packaging) of the microwavable stuff.

DS and I noticed a recipe on the back of the bag for 'caramel nut popcorn.' Since we had all the ingredients, we decided to give it a try. It's a bloody fantastic recipe, but the bag should have come with these health warnings:

Warning: If you make this recipe, it's best not to eat for a week beforehand, because you will snarf down the entire thing in one go, thus using all your fat and sugar calories for the week.

Warning: If you are an impatient so-and-so like emzeegee is, and use your hands to either mix through the caramel, or pick off hot pieces to eat while preparing it, you WILL burn your lips, fingers, and everything else. Please resist the urge to be a moron, and wait until it cools down.

That said, this stuff is freakin' awesome. The recipe calls for peanuts but I didn't bother, and the salt is an addition which I like but you may not.

Caramel Popcorn

1/2 cup popping corn
5 T oil
2 T honey
3/4 cup sugar
125g butter

In a large pot, place the oil and a good pinch of salt. Warm it over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until the oil goes "wet" when you swirl it around. Pour in the popping corn, swirl the kernels around and place a lid on. Leave the pot on the heat and swirl around every minute or so. When you hear the kernels popping, grab the handles of the pot and swirl around a bit (over the heat) until the popping slows. Once it slows to 1-2 pops per second, turn off the heat and put aside.

In a small pot, put the honey, butter and sugar. Place over low heat, then cook until the sugar dissolves and the butter melts. Bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until you get a lovely brown colour - don't burn it! Take off the heat, and pour over the popcorn. Using a spatula or spoon (but not your hands), stir the caramel through the popcorn until nicely distributed.

Pour the popcorn into a wide tray (if you can be bothered) and wait for it to cool. Break into chunks and scarf down with a glass of milk.