Monday, May 16, 2011

Another one bites the dust...

Yes, yes! One more paper handed in - one less monkey on my back! Now I just have to finish ONE MORE RESEARCH PAPER and I will be fully caught up on school! I'm giving myself the week off and tackling it once I get back from Boston, though - so from here on in, I am free!

What a weekend of craziness. Friday we made plans to head out to the kdubs to visit with Tillers & Jen and see their sweet new bébé. I'm kicking myself that we didn't get any photos - she's a perfect little bean with a full head of dark hair in a very monk-ish style. Even though she weighs a full pound more than when the Big Yam was born, I was flabbergasted at how wee she was when I was cradling her tiny little form. It's shocking how quickly you forget that your kid was once that tiny. It's only been 7 months and I can't believe that the Big Yam used to be just that clueless and frail, making tiny little bird sounds and staring into the middle distance with his mouth stupidly agape, smacking his lips absently at the air. And now look at him - sitting up on his own:


He started being able to consistently and reliably sit up last week...no more tottering and lurching to one side, no more squawking with his legs and arms up in the air like an upended beetle. Nope, you can plop him down with a toy and he will stay put...it makes him look so grown up that we're quite taken with the novelty of it. He looks so darned cute! This age is really fun, I have to say. He's becoming more independent and yet he's still not so big that he's been corrupted by the world and still invariably wakes up every morning by my side with a slow fluttering of the eyelids and upon espying me, a gummy, beatific grin that envelops his whole face. I love waking up to that. I love his joyful squirming when you cover his fat cheeks with kisses. I love how he ducks his head down like he's bashful and sleepily rubs his chubby fists against his eyes when we've kept him up past his bedtime. I love it all and I don't ever want it to end.
Aside: there is NOTHING cuter than a baby boy in madras print shorts. I'm obsessed! He's such a cute little gaffer!
I'm so excited to have dear friends like Tillers & Jen embarking on parenthood - I want our kids to grow up never having not known each other. No doubt time and interests and growing autonomy will pull them apart but I want them to be able to look back and say, "So-and-so is my oldest friend." I want to kvetch with them about how wack-a-doo our kids are turning out to be and commiserate with them when our kids turn into pre-teen dorks and we have to deal with the attendant attitude that comes with.

Ahhhh, feeling sentimental after a weekend of good times with good people. Saturday night we had a lobster dinner with our friends S & P who put my hosting abilities to shame. Fresh lobsters from Halifax, a smoked salmon & cream cheese spread with toasted baguette, potato salad, a beet & pear salad, and I provided my rosemary olive loaf and dessert - a blackberry macaroon tart, recipe courtesy of Smitten Kitchen by way of 101 Cookbooks:



The tart is divine - so simple and satisfying. A whole wheat short crust enriched with the toasty warmth of coconut, topped with halved blackberries and dotted with little tufts of chewy, crunchy, golden coconut macaroons...so good! And it would definitely lend itself to cherries and raspberries when they're in season, too. Can't wait to try it out again - the whole thing comes together in minutes.

Thursday night we had a throwback meal of French onion soup with a BLT salad (mixed greens tossed with crisped bacon, hothouse cherry tomatoes from the Mennonites, all dressed in a creamy, tangy, celery-seed-sparked ranch-style dressing):



Academic book club was interesting and engaging, although it did reveal that there are fundamental differences in the parenting styles between the members - it was very illuminating how people's reactions to Chua reflected on how they were raised and how they raised their kids. The next book we're reading is The Hunger Games, which I'm super-pumped about.

Friday morning I made French toast for myself and the Big Yam (it was a big hit) for breakfast with blackberry rhubarb compote. I'm rhubarb crazy at the moment and am desperate to throw it into anything I can find:


Saturday morning we had croque hermaphrodites:


On Sunday we met up with S & A at the Bloordale Pantry which is previously uninhabitable neighbourhood of Bloor/Landsdowne. The fact that the presence of this restaurant is one of the first harbingers of oncoming gentrification means that you can go for brunch at 11am on a Sunday and STILL GET A TABLE FOR FIVE (!!!!!!!!!) This is UNHEARD of in our neighbourhood. The menu is quite good - nice and varied with something for everyone. I ordered this pancake dish consisting of pancakes stuffed with cheddar and bacon and served alongside onion potato hash and 2 perfectly sunny sunny side up eggs:


Then we went over to S & A's house to take a look at their kitchen reno - which was totally inspiring for me. It only took a month!!! That's incredible!!! I've heard a lot of horror stories so that was very heartening, even if everything in their house, top to bottom, is covered in a thin film of dust.

I had a serious case of 'itis all Sunday because of white people. By that I mean, white people not eating the lobster tomalley in their lobsters on Saturday night meant that I had FOUR LOBSTERS' worth of tomalley myself - it's quite rich and my gut was hurting. So Sunday I bowed out of making dinner and instead applied myself to making a blackberry rhubarb bread pudding that I ate late at night, after fasting all day (my stuffed pancakes aside) and served with bourbon toffee sauce and ice cream:


I also had a visit from Xtina with her new baby, H - who is the spitting image of his father, Buns:


What a little Aryan prince.

I baked off 3 loaves of onion bread variations. 1 GIANT (2lb!) roasted garlic, caramelized onion loaf, 1 smaller version of the same, and 1 caramelized onion and parmesan bread. They are now nicely wrapped and ready for the freezer. The dough begins with a sponge that's based on my sourdough starter, but the final bread also gets a boost from commercial yeast as well:




Tonight for dinner I made us a spicy salmon brown rice bowl - to kick start our healthy eating/getting back into shape movement:

Now it's yoga & Game of Thrones time.

Yay!

Fin.

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