Please do not be confused by the lack of sophistication or decoration on this cake. Inside lurks the most tasty cake "not from a box" that the big daddy made for me on my birthday.
It. was. delicious.
With Ms.Ina's recipe my guy created such yumminess I hardly know what to say otherwise. And just so you know, this cake has coffee in it to bring out the chocolate. hello.
My birthday, one of those that keeps you on your toes, kept me aware so that I could fully absorb the message. To watch where to be grateful and where to let feeling wash over me.
A birthday that I know will provide such insight...later.
A good day. A hard day. A day well spent.
More than anything I'm grateful to my little family for placing the rainbow bridge at the foot of the stairs, a crown to wear at breakfast, the perfect color silly putty for me, as that seems to be a new tradition, and for the love they shared in so many different ways.
To the family and friends who called, sent cards and cupcakes full of good wishes, Thank you.
To all those friends out there in the virtual world through Ravelry, Twitter, Instagram and Email what richness! Thank you for taking a moment to wish this gal a Happy Birthday.
I so appreciate all the kindness.
I look forward to the next year and "the 39 things".
Here's wishing I could have shared this cake...because you woulda' loved it!
Yes, it's that time of year again. My birthday is today.
This year I thought it would be interesting to name 38 things I want to do before I turn 39.
So here it goes...
1. Eat a homemade chocolate cake ala the big daddy with LOTS of candles for my birthday.
2. Take a series of six salsa dancing classes.
3. String twinkle lights somewhere unlikely.
4. Finish reading all of Jane Austen's books.
5. Learn more about natural dyes and the plants to make them.
6. Make hula hoops with my children and their cousins over the holidays.
7. Knit four pairs of socks.
8. Document a week with photographs.
9. Instigate a yarn-storming extravaganza.
10. Watch Anne of Green Gables with my oldest girl.
11. Visit Prince Edward Island.
12. Get certified to scuba dive.
13. Expand my garden next summer and use all the space available.
14. Begin my own sourdough starter and then bake some bread.
15. Knit eight items using yarn only from my stash.
16. See a Musical in New York.
17. Make a fairy costume.
18. Listen to a local folk band.
19. Sew some new skirts for myself.
20. Write about my children once a month so I remember the moments.
21. Invite the neighbors over for soup night.
22. Decorate gingerbread houses.
23. Sleep through the night.
24. Camp at Yosemite.
25. Have a family game night.
26. Spend time swimming in the ocean.
27. Finish the BIG writing projects.
28. Explore natural lighting photography.
29. Write twenty hand-written letters. Especially for friends who love receiving them.
30. Decorate bikes and have our own parade.
31. Create a photo book for my children.
32. Help organize a knit-a-thon.
33. Leave secret messages in chalk for others to find.
34. Take the children and our watercolor paints out into nature.
35. Sample six different foods that I've never tried before.
36. Serve a meal, outside, with no utensils. Spaghetti and meatballs?
37. Wear shorts next summer.
38. Knit myself three sweaters. A knitter should own some knitwear, just sayin'.
***One to grow on*** Double hula hooping!
What are some of your "things" for the next year? I'd love to know...
*list idea from the lovely list maven herself*
"Snow Day" was sung, in many different ways, throughout the house about 8:00 a.m. this morning after we received the call. It had little to do with the snow, as we mountain folk trudge through it all, and everything to do with no power at the school. A pesky problem for sure.
Though one would think, especially at a Waldorf school, that we could have lit the plethora of beeswax candles and gone about our day. Right?
My children rejoiced. We enjoyed a morning without the hustle and bustle. We relaxed inside, meaning me, and knit. The children were out shoveling snow, downstairs sewing, and the littlest embraced climbing every item she could before anyone noticed.
An exciting addition to the day was the waft of snow against the windows and a loud crack as another part of our trees came tumbling down. Fall foliage still on the trees did not mix well with the foot of wet snow. I suppose it will save on all the tree trimming we had thought was necessary.
We had to remind ourselves that it wasn't a weekend. Sometimes one has to slow down. This happened to be because of inclement weather but I'll tell you, we'll take it.
What's the weather doing where you are?
These mittens, I'll admit, spent way too long on my knitting needles. They were supposed to be a quick, mindless project that I finished while doing all types of "other" knitting.
Uh-humm, that didn't seem to be the case.
So when my little four year old's birthday rolled around and he asked for new mittens again I thought it might be time to focus and finish. On the morning of his birthday I cinched up the last stitch. Hence the ever ironic/obvious name I dubbed for them, the Birthday Mittens.
Sometimes it takes a deadline and a really sweet four year old for me to "get it in gear" and put in those thumbs.
Yeah, it was the thumbs that slowed me down on these cuties.
I've decided that I am, in fact, not a lover of thumbs. Well, of course real thumbs come in right handy but I'm referring to the knit kind. Those I find to be a real pain.
I even consulted with the handwork teacher at my children's school and was given a great trick to use. Pick up double the amount of stitches around the thumbs, where holes procreate, and then on the first round knit two stitches together until you have the right amount.
Now, this is so simple.
Yet, it's taken years for me to actually ask someone. Years of knitting other things and avoiding all thumbs such as these. Or spending loads of time afterwards sewing the holes together from the inside of the mittens.
Even though the thumbs were finally finished I've decided that maybe I will only make gusset thumbs from now on. Yes, even though I have the key to these I still don't want to make them. Go figure.
Those of you who don't knit, I apologise for the knitting chatter about mittens and thumbs and stitches and gussets. I only hoped to spare even one knitter out there the angst of having to do another thumb in the traditional way.
Okay, moving on...
Th birthday boy was quite fond of his new mittens. He actually let me take his picture only if I promised it would be two minutes and afterwards he could go ride his bike out front. I've never been so glad for a fast lens as I was this day.
So there you have it. Birthday mittens.
The other good news is that the mittens are roomy which means they will work for awhile. This is good news on the thumb front.
What are you knitting today? Or sewing? Or crafting? I would love to hear...
A delicious recipe found from, the lovely Maya.
The first time I made this recipe I had guests for dinner. Yes, I did try a new recipe with dinner guests arriving within the hour. No, it probably isn't something I recommend. Though, this recipe turned out to be exactly as I wished...scrumptious.
I believe you can fill yours with whatever is in season. Our first galettes were made with peaches and this time with apples. Instead of seven dinner guests, this time it was thirty hungry, birthday celebrating, second graders.
The Recipe is quite Simple and Delicious.
No-Fail Dough ala MayaMade::
Makes 1 large galette or 8 minis (or in my case 40 mini-mini galettes, as I doubled the recipe)
2 Cups of Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 teaspoons of Salt
1 Tablespoons of Sugar
12 Tablespoons of cold unsalted buttter, cut into small pieces
1/2 Cup of cold water as needed
Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and then cut in the butter. Add water as needed to form dough into a ball. Roll dough into the size you want. Lay on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spoon filling (instructions below) onto the center of the dough. Drizzle a small amount of juices. Fold edges of dough up around the fruit. "Tucking it in" as Maya says. Then you can paint an egg wash on the outside of the dough if you wish. Sprinkle crust with sugar if you choose.
Bake in the oven at 375 degrees until golden and bubbly.
The Apple Filling consisted of::
Apples 5-6 cored, peeled and sliced
Butter, a Tablespoon or two in the pan to avoid sticking
Brown sugar to taste
Cinnamon to taste, though we love it and always add more
A few tablespoons of water
I let them heat up slowly in the pan and let it simmer until the liquid had evaporated and the small amount of brown sugar caramelized. Do this until they are soft and delicious. Yes, you should try one to make sure.
The peach filling was done in the same way, just less simmering time. Maya even tried some gingered pears in hers. That is one we plan to bake some time as well.
All that's left to ask is, "What will you fill yours with? And, when?!!??"
Let me know what you think.
It was a good day. A delightful weekend. A birthday that marked a shift in my guy. A subtle shift that I haven't quite put my finger on, yet lovely none the less.
He was celebrated by family and friends.
He was loved.
He was reminded that we are all so glad he is a part of our family.
Now the eight year old adventure begins...
Eight years since the day I held him and wondered how life could be so painful and beautiful all at the same time.
Eight years since we realized what we were missing.
Happy Birthday to our delightful boy.
We wouldn't have wanted anyone but you.
We love you!