Sunday, June 28, 2009

Heat wave menu

I admit it: I'm a heat wimp. Anything over 80 and I cannot exercise outside, cannot get anything done at home, and in general cannot think straight. I certainly cannot follow a recipe. If I'm lucky, I have done a good job of shopping and can get by with simply throwing together ingredients that seem compatible.

Here's my Sunday dinner line-up for this weekend's heat wave.

Fava beans (shelled, blanched, peeled), corn (roasted on the grill for a minute or two), diced prosciutto, shaved raw fennel, ricotta salata, olive oil, salt.

Potato salad. Yukon gold potatoes (peeled, diced, boiled), thinly sliced radishes, sliced green olives, onion, fresh dill, creme fraiche.

Grilled chicken breasts. My wonderful butcher (Magnani's on Hopkins) is happy to cut for me organic breasts, skin, no bones. And they're equally happy to wrap up the bones separately for stock making. I pound each breast to equal thickness, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and fresh rosemary. The meat sits like this at room temperature for about an hour before I grill it, skin-side down for about eight minutes and then a few minutes on the other side. It's important to let it rest for a while, just like steak, to soak back up the juices before slicing. I make more than we can eat. Because who knows when the famous San Francisco fog will come rolling through The Gate to deliver me from my misery so I can think straight and turn on my oven once again.

We finished up with a green salad and for dessert a fruit salad of white nectarines and blueberries dressed in a melted and then cooled rose geranium jelly. Just because I'm making Sunday dinner doesn't mean I can't do a little refrigerator cleaning.

Off to take another shower. How do people in other parts of the country do this heat thing? Oh right—air conditioning.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Michael, Farrah, Sophie, and me

Apparently, I have LIMITS. Which is probably a surprise to those who know me and my parenting style. Whenever Sophie has asked questions, I answer with as much honesty as I can. She knows a quite a lot about quite a lot: sex, babies, homosexuality, religion, war, substance abuse. But I drew a line today. In my answers to her questions about Michael Jackson and his life, I stumbled into the observation that "Many people thought he was gay. Um . . . sort of." What did I mean by "sort of"? I didn't go there. For perhaps the first time. That's right: Me. A limit. Who knew?

I did try to explain to her what else Michael Jackson was: At one point perhaps the most famous man on earth. I was traveling abroad when Thriller was released, and people who could hardly speak English came up to me exclaiming "Michael Jackson! Thriller!!" Whatever, I thought at the time. His music was too pop for my taste. But in explaining to Sophie why he was so recognized, I remembered that he was the first who put together music, dance, and drama in the way we know it today. And when I played an old Jackson Five cd for her (the only good stuff in my mind), I was sad he was gone. We danced around the living room together, and I let go a tear. My reaction reminded me of my mom's when she heard Elvis had died. I remember sitting across the breakfast table from her next morning on a summer vacation when we heard the news and being amazed that she—hardly a hip-shaking rock and roller—cared so much. That was her king; for better or worse, this was ours.

Even thought I did not consider myself much of a fan, I was amazed at how much of his influence had infiltrated my life. All those high school dance class moves: Did they really come from him? I guess so; surely, he didn't lift them from us. And those Jackson Five songs? I knew all the words to most of them, strangely like the Pledge of Allegiance or the Lord's Prayer. Some things it's not necessary to memorize or believe: They're just there.

And it seems too much that Farrah Fawcett left the same day: Two icons from a single generation.
This is Sophie's favorite picture of her. I explained that once a long time ago I had the same hair, shoes, jeans, and unfortunately nothing else. And I could ride a skateboard like that (notice the old-school clay wheels!). I don't think she believed me, but I know the truth.

This afternoon at work I noticed myself pulling my hair out of its usual ponytail and reaching up from time to time to give it a little fluff. I guess she's there too.

Rest in peace, Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson, and an era when we were young and stars were stars.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I would like to complain

Scratch that: I will complain. Right here.

As an employee of the distinguished University of California, I have already been informed by President Mark G. Yudof that I may expect a wage cut and/or work furlough resulting in an approximately 8% salary decrease. Sigh. It's not like I make a lot of money in the first place. My salary is one that can make cocktails come out the noses of my almost all better-paid friends. In the past years, we have either received no cost of living or merit increases or ones so tiny that they are immediately  gobbled up by increases in our part of health care insurance costs. In effect, I have already been making less money every year. But I've not complained. I love what I do, and in my mind there's no price tag you can put on that.  

And I've been working harder. There are no longer any editorial assistants in my department. And there are fewer editors.  But the same number of books. Contract positions (that took the place of once full-time positions) are not being renewed. People leaving or retiring are not being replaced. And people have been laid off. But still, I've not complained. It's frustrating and sad but unfortunately unavoidable. 

BUT NOW I AM COMPLAINING. They've messed with my salary and my workload, but now they're messing with my LUNCH. That's right: my goddamned lunch. Is nothing sacred?? Lunch time is supposed to be a BREAK for eating lunch or doing whatever else you want to do. Eating lunch with my colleagues ("brown bag lunch meetings") to hear about our upcoming switch to Gmail or how to handle diacritics and nonroman alphabets in electronic editing does not quality as a break. Of course, we're not required to attend these meetings, but missing them means you're out of the loop on important material that directly affects your job.

If I haven't ridden my bike to work (long grinding hill all the way home) or plan on running after work, I go to the gym for spin. On days I bike or run, I go to Pilates. Most of the time. I then eat while I work back in the office. Lunch meetings wreak havoc with this well-laid and compulsive plan.

What's next? The six-day work week? Count me crabby.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Camp lunch shutdown

Damn—we were on such a roll with the wraps.

Just look at this:

Pub cheese (something Trader Joe's makes; a little too processed for me, but Sophie loves it, and it spreads well), turkey, and avocado. A total hit! Until I received email from the director of Sophie's fiddle camp that not only may lunches not include peanuts (a pretty standard restriction these days) but they may not include meat. Or shellfish, I assume, since the edict comes from the school that houses the camp, which is a Hebrew day school. Does the fact that all the chicken we eat is kosher impress them? It does not. Seems they do not trust us enough and are loathe to police the poultry.

Fine (sort of), but do you think they might have told us this before Tuesday afternoon? It's not like I have time scheduled to go shopping for another batch of camp lunch ingredients, having a J-O-B and all. If I had known ahead of time I would have bought less lunch meat and more tofu.

Well, shit. She loved this wrap, and I was going to send pasta and pesto with grilled shrimp (what we're having for dinner tonight) with her tomorrow and barbecued chicken the next day. Instead I'm going to send . . . uh . . . I dunno. I guess just pasta and pesto. And the next day something else. Back to those lovely suggestions commenters sent me the other day.

What do you think if I were to send the kosher chicken label? No? OK . . . I just don't like people messing with me and my food.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Early summer appetizers

Because we turned the corner from spring this past weekend.

I've been so inspired by my new cookbook, A Platter of Figs, and of course by the new produce that marks this time of year.

Melon and prosciutto is a summer time appetizer staple at our house, but Figs included the great idea of adding a third flavor.

Melon, prosciutto, and mint.

Baguette topped with smoked trout pate and French radish.


6 oz. smoked trout, skin removed
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon onion, finely diced
2 teaspoons chives
lemon juice to taste

Combine and pulse in a food processor.

For this appetizer, I used a thinly slice baguette and a French radish vertically sliced.

I'm still waiting for the dry-farmed organic tomatoes, but these make me happy in the meantime.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Special delivery for Daddy Fig

from the little Fig.

Sophie had her card and present all wrapped and ready, but when she woke up her daddy was on the roof messing with our antenna. The digital conversion has not worked well for us. We have the right tv but lost our favorite morning news and weather channel, and Husband is seriously missing his weather women, Liza and Evelyn. He thought adjusting the antenna might bring them back. (It didn't.)

Sophie thought he needed his gift right away. It did get him off the roof quicker than I have ever been able to.

And he was very happy to open up his new fly rod.

We've since had blueberry pancakes and bacon and a good trail ride on our bikes, even though Sophie had a flat tire three miles out and we didn't have pump that fit her small tire. (She alternated riding on the rim and walking back.)

Sophie and Husband are now at the movies, leaving me home to prepare the Fathers' Day feast:
Smoked trout pate on baguette
Melon, mint, and prosciutto
French radishes

Roasted duck with port cherry sauce
French green beans with baby shitake mushrooms
Fennel braised in white wine
Green salad

Blueberry pie
The only thing we will be missing is my dad

and mom, since I didn't get to cook her a Mothers' Day dinner either. Why my parents do not pick up and move to Berkeley is beyond me. They'd have ass-kicking dinners every Sunday and would be closer to the mountains for skiing. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

In the meantime, my dad was treated to a phone call, which included the poem Sea Fever by John Masefield read by Sophie. We heard it on A Prairie Home Companion on the way back from our ride this morning, and Sophie recognized it from the Poems and Songs booklet her class used to start every morning this past year at school. Funny thing is, that was a poem my dad helped me choose to memorize and recite in elementary school when I was about Sophie's age. I can remember him showing me how to read it with feeling, which was easy for him because he does love the sea and because he is just like that—a guy with feeling.

Lucky me to have two great dads in my life.

Friday, June 19, 2009

You can't have it both ways

Or rather, just because you can does not mean you should. I like shoes; I like boots. But this is just wrong.

And if you are reading this blog and have these shoots (or boos), I'm sorry, but I think they are ugly.

Don't worry, I leave fashion and return to food soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Birthday recap: Check out my loot

Yesterday I blew out 47 candles. Kidding. I did turn 47 but know better than to light this many candles at one time. 

I went to work. At lunchtime I went to spin, where my excellent friend, coworker, and spin instructor Cheryl played a mix called Cindy's Mix, which is all the stuff I listened to in high school (we agreed it is mostly a white-kid-stoner mix). I neither cooked dinner nor was taken out: I picked up a pizza from here, threw together a salad, and we opened a bottle of prosecco. Whee! And—the best part—Sophie made birthday cakes out of her new children's cookbook:

It's called something like the chocolate volcano cake. It had chocolate chips inside, which made it kind of gooey, and is frosted in melted chocolate chips. 

But let's check out my birthday loot:
Sophie (with some financial help from Husband) got me my very own digital camera. In her favorite color. She's assuming that once I get it set up, I will stop monopolizing hers. It's so tiny and cute. Good gift. 

My mom always gets me a subscription to Cook's Illustrated. Good thing too—I probably couldn't live without it. 

Husband got me a gift certificate for Indian Springs in Calistoga. I've already got my treatment picked out: a salt scrub massage (I decided last time I was there in a "note-to-self" moment that women suffering from hot flashes should not indulge in mud bathes). Husband and his friend went mountain biking near there the other weekend and thought how excellent if friend's wife and I (she's a good friend too) could drop them off at a certain trailhead and "wait" for us in Calistoga. Not that she and I couldn't find anything to do with ourselves for a few hours there, but this certainly simplifies it for us. 
And I bought this cookbook, which I've been eyeing for a while, for myself. 

And finally, the MIL send me a check so ridiculously large (she's in that "getting rid of money" stage of her life) that if the economy picks up, you'll know I'm behind it. Seriously, maybe one more cookbook and the rest goes in savings. Unless I buy a new road bike and switch up my present hybrid for trails. Hmmmm. Still plenty left of savings.

And did I mention all the good wishes I received over on Facebook? They were like little gifts sprinkled throughout the day.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Camp lunch #1

As a working mom, I've been particularly fortunate to have have Sophie at a school with a lunch program that includes mostly organic, mostly homemade, mostly delicious meals. The program wasn't as good this year as it has been (the cook seems to be crapping out on us and really soon retire), but all the food is made there at the school each day instead of being prepared at district facility and shipped out wrapped in plastic and then heated at the school. And whereas I'm not thrilled with even homemade nachos being considered a lunch (nachos are an appetizer for christsake), we are spared corn dogs and chicken nuggets. I've been even more fortunate to have a kid who will eat what is served at school. I've encouraged her in this over the past few years by refusing to make her a home lunch, adhering to the message accompanying dinner: This is what we're having. Eat it or go hungry. 

I'm foiled though by summer camp, which serves neither lunch nor snacks. I need to send with Sophie all the food she will eat during the day while she is there. We've got the snacks down pretty well—fruit, crackers, yogurt, etc.—but lunch has put me into quite a spin. She does not really like sandwiches. Quesadillas, which she is happy with at home on weekends, come back cold, hard, and uneaten. Soup, also a weekend favorite, is not practical. And we have found that another weekend favorite, canned sardines (called "dines" by Sophie and her dad) make her unpopular with others. Apparently not everyone finds food that smells like catfood attractive (when feeding the cat, Sophie draws in a deep breath over the can . . . "Mmmmmm!"). 

So we're doing a little experimenting. First up, the wrap. 

I spread a flour tortilla with goat cheese, ham, and pesto (I confess—I was doing a little fridge cleaning here).

Looks very nice rolled up and sliced, no?

And the result?

SCORE! Nothing left but a few cornichons, which she insists she does like but was too busy to eat. 

Today's lunch is leftovers from last night, summer pattypan squash filled with seasoned lamb and topped with feta and tomatoes. She like it last night, and it's one of those things that's probably even better the next day.

In the meantime, I think we're on to something with these wraps. I'm thinking of all kinds of other things we could put inside: tapenade, grilled eggplant, fava bean spread . . . It's going to be such an exciting summer [add sarcasm—I'm not that crazy].

Any summer camp lunch ideas you've found to work well? And if you're thinking about Lunchables, that's fine. Just don't tell me. 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Calling WebMD!

Am I the only one who cannot let a single physical complaint go by without diagnosing it on the internet? This became my m.o. when I had breast cancer, and I've been hooked ever since. It's part of my general disposition: If there is information to be had, I want to have it. I always start with the worst possible prognosis and work my way backwards, figuring that if I can deal with the worst, I can deal with the rest. Actuarial charts? MRI slides? Bring them on!

In this case, the situation appeared not nearly so dire, but it's very nice to know that I have a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Alrighty then. Most people get this from having a big hard sneeze or cough. And maybe high blood pressure. I had it following a serious case of cat-hair-in-the-eye after forgetting that the cat rubbed his face on my hand as I was sleeping and then rubbing my eyes when I awoke. Apparently the swelling was severe enough to cause a little rupture. Do you think my pilates class might have had anything to do with it? WebMD did not mention this. 

Coming up: Summer camp lunches!

Questions I will answer: 1) What will I make?,  2) Will she eat it?,  3) If she does not, will she starve?,  4) Do I care? 

Answers: 1) Wait and see!,  2) We'll know this afternoon!,  3) Probably not!, 4) Not really!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Letters written, not sent

Dear [Wonderful] School After Care workers,

Sophie brings to my attention that she was recently disciplined for using the words crap and hell. I object on the grounds that these are not, as you claim, swear words. They are not, for example, included in George Carlin's list of words you cannot say on television (for your reference: shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cock sucker, mother fucker, and tits). And if they're good enough for television, they're good enough for your program. Kidding.

But seriously, whereas these words may not constitute refined language, you are not running a charm school. I've worked hard to teach Sophie to use her mouth, not her fists, to express her feelings. And whereas I would not expect you to permit words used to hurt another (e.g., "Go to hell, Oliver!"), I think using certain words as expletives is fine (e.g., "Oh, hell," which is, I think you would agree, preferable to "Oh, fuck" and infinitely more satisfying than "Oh, sugar"). 

I would therefore like you to reconsider your policy in this area. Perhaps a list of words forbidden under any circumstances and another list of words forbidden  only in certain circumstances.

Thank you for your consideration.

Best regards,
Mom of Sophie

Dear Sophie,

The After Care Program at school brings to my attention the fact that I am not in charge of the After Care Program. I do not, therefore, determine the rules for the program. Because it is their program. Not mine. And so they make the rules. They are happy to have my feedback but remind me that I should pick my battles wisely. 

So I think we should go along with the After Care language rules. That is not to say to you should not question whether a rule is right or wrong and whether it makes sense or not. As long as you keep thinking, you're a winner to me. 

And don't worry—we can still use all the other words when we are in the car. 


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sophie wants to grow up

What evidence do I have of this? After all, she still wears elastic waisted jeans. She still comes in our bed in the morning for a snuggle. She still has me brush her hair in the morning. And she still wants to hang out with me on weekends.

But then I found THIS in our basket among her loot from the dollar bins at Target.

"Do you know what this is???"

Yes, it's a lint roller.

"We don't care about lint. Why do you need one of these? Do you think this is a good use of your allowance money?"

Well . . . . Grandma and Grandpa always have them at their house. So I thought it would be very grown up to have a lint roller.

"No! Put that back right now! You are nine years old!! You are not old enough to have a lint roller!!!"

Thank goodness she is still little enough to have said "Ok, Mama."

Saturday, June 6, 2009

My brain floating in a jar

No, it's not, but I feel like it could be.

It's actually something much more interesting: The makings of what is called a 44 Cordial.

An orange that has been pierced 44 times is stuffed with 44 coffee beans and is added to a liter of light rum that has been sweetened with 44 teaspoons of sugar (a scant cup). This mixture steeps for 44 days, after which the orange is removed and the liquid strained through cheesecloth and decanted.

I am not a drinker of rum, but Husband is, and we'll see how happy this makes him in 44 days. In the meantime, stabbing the orange and stuffing the beans was right up there with shelling fava beans for therapeutic value.

Many thanks to blogger pal Laura for sending me the stack of Saveur back issues from which I found this gem (March 2008). You'd think I would have started with a recipe for food, but my failure to do so probably explains why, in a recent report on products of California, Sophie was sure the main agricultural crop was the wine grape. Sorry, honey. It's the almond. But your taste is on the right track.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Help name our kittens!

We're so excited! Our application has been accepted and our deposit received, and we have two new kittens! They were just born, so we won't be bringing them home until later this summer, but in the meantime, we have baby pictures!!

So either the kitten on at the top or on the far right is our chocolate spotted girl.

And one of the four at the top or the one at the bottom is our tawny spotted little boy. Although they are from different litters, they're spending time together so they will be a bonded pair when they come to us. Or rather, partners in crime for tearing apart our house. We were laughing the other morning remembering the last creature who tore apart our house. Sophie was so fond of the cats' food that we had to build a chicken wire fence around their bowls to keep her out of it. We were tired of finding her sitting beneath the kitchen table with her cheeks stuffed full of cat food, and we were even less amused by the resulting bad breath.

In the meantime, while we realize you need to spend time with a pet to assign them an appropriate name, we're having an interesting time developing our list of potential names. 

Husband prefers names of mythical origin, and I think when he was younger he even had a cat named after some yoga posture. His beloved late cat was named Zeus. Lately he and Sophie have been reading through a series of books Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, and I suspect some of these names come from there. He was tapping away at the computer the other evening and came up with this list, presented along with my opinions:
Kumi: Ghanaese meaning forceful. Not horrible.

Loki: Norse legend figure. Sometimes a god, sometimes a trickster or shapeshifter. Sophie liked the character of Loki when she was in SF Opera's Das Rheingold, but I'm not sure I like the idea of Wagnerian characters running around my house. 

Jaeger: Hunter. No, because I cannot stop of thinking of Jaegermeister and the snowboarder I saw last year order a Jaegermeister and RedBull cocktail from the Sugarbowl lodge bar at lunch.

Moriko: Japanese meaning forest child. OK, but I would call the cat Mori, which people would think is short for Maurice, in which case why wouldn't we just name the cat Maurice?

Silas. Meaning sly. OK.  Makes me think of George Eliot's Silas Marner, which is not a bad thing.

Thiazzi. I know this came from the series of books. By why not just Theodore? (See explanation above concerning Moriko.)

Tofi. Meaning thunder. Too much like tofu, which I've never really liked. (It's a texture thing.)
I prefer to give animals people names. Like Simon (my current cat).  I had another cat named Oscar and have had mice named Beatrice and Sabine. I have suggested Lucy, Ricky (how funny would it be to have a Lucy and Ricky pair??), Walter, Maude, and Fritz, all of which cause Husband to make a bad face. I know I'm not alone in preferring these names. A fellow blogger has a late cat named Leonard. And I am Facebook friends with a dog named Monty. 

Or how about author names? Like Willa or Truman? (Husband knows who Truman is—he saw the movie.)

Or a tribute to Husband's hard work in his Spanish classes this year? I would love to have a cat named Juan. 

What do you think? We are open to suggestions. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu
and a big fat lie about dessert

Last Sunday I resurrected a recipe I developed as a teenager—my first big trip off-road from cook books and Sunset Magazine. I've been incorrigible ever since, absolutely unable to follow a recipe exactly to save my life.

One summer during college when my parents were out of town, I had a boyfriend over for dinner, and I made him this version of Chicken Cordon Bleu. Eliminating any sauce and baking it makes it ridiculously easy but impressive on the plate.

The boyfriend? After picking at his dinner, he finally confessed that he had eaten three (!) sandwiches before coming over because he got hungry at the last minute. Smoking a couple bowls will do that to you. And I don't think dinner was exactly what was most on his mind. I wised up though and married a man who compliments me on and thanks me for nearly every meal I prepare. As he should.


6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
thinly sliced Gruyere cheese
thinly sliced ham

1/2 cup butter, melted
six green onions, sliced
fresh herbs (I happened to have some tarragon; parsley or thyme would be nice too)

1 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine butter, green onions, and herbs in a small sauce pan and heat until butter is melted. Cool slightly.

Lay out the pounded chicken breasts on a clean surface. Place a slice of ham and cheese on each. Fold in two. Dip each chicken piece in melted butter, then roll in bread crumbs.

Place in a shallow baking dish. Pour remaining butter mixture over chicken. Bake for 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken is browned and juices run clear.
I served this with saffron-scented couscous and sauteed green beans. 

For dessert I made a lemon cornmeal cake with lemon glaze and crushed blueberry sauce. Usually I'll make dessert for Sunday dinner earlier in the day, but I was sleeping off the effects of a late night on Saturday (not used to those anymore!) and went for a trail run in the early afternoon. I put this cake in the oven while I was making dinner and took it out right before we sat down, reasoning that once I sat down I wouldn't do a good job of watching it (my oven heat is not very dependable). It looked fine, but when I went to serve it I realized that the middle was seriously underdone. Runny even. Ugh. I don't usually screw up desserts, you know?

So I carried it to the table and announced to my family, with great authority, that I was serving a lemon cornmeal pudding cake. They totally bought it and practically licked their plates clean. I can't stop laughing about it—just not when they're around. When I make it next time, with the center baked properly, I'll tell them it's a different cake.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I'm not allowed to slap other people's kids, right?

Are you sure? No, I didn't think so. But that's sounding like a GREAT IDEA right now because I'm going to see a kid who has been picking on Sophie at her gymnastics class tomorrow. A mean girl.

She repeatedly cuts in front of Sophie in line. She told Sophie she was bad at doing various tricks. She told her she has a big butt. WHAAATTTT??? Those are fighting words in my book. It's wrong to call a child a bitch, isn't it?

So Sophie and I discussed why someone would treat another kid like that. She's probably not happy about about herself. Maybe other people treat her that way somewhere else. And we talked about things Sophie could say back to her: "Why are you looking at my butt?" "Are you having problems at home?" We laughed a lot, and I don't thinking it's dampening Sophie's spirit, but I don't want her to have a favorite weekly activity spoiled by something like this. After all, it bothered her enough to tell me about it.

So what to do? Probably not a good idea to confront either the kid or the mom. Got that. Should I talk to the instructors? The director? Leave it alone for the kids to hash out on their own?

Any advice will be appreciated.

Saturday morning strawberry scones

After being away last weekend, I wanted nothing more than to hole up in my kitchen for a little baking this past weekend (that along with a big party on Saturday and a little trail time on Sunday).

All my baking this weekend was inspired by the berries recently in at my produce market: strawberries for scones, raspberries for a tart, and blueberries for sauce to top a glazed lemon cornmeal cake. They're pricey but worth it in small quantities right now.

There are lots of strawberry scone recipes out there, but I like this one from a food blogger with that deadly combination of culinary and photography skills. And some really nice flowers to boot. I'm in awe. And grateful to her for this recipe, which served ably as the centerpiece of Saturday morning brunch at the Figs. 

When I know we've got a big event to go to where I will only see Husband from across the room and Sophie as a blur as she races by in a crowd of kids (or in this case, flies by on a zip line), it's nice to have a little "we three" time. Although now that we're all three in our separate places on Monday morning, it seems like a long time ago.