Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

First Day of School, with Sisterly Help

Posted by julie on Thursday, 6 September 2012, 1:20

First day of 2nd grade, with a little help from little sister. How awesome are those green school shoes?


Sitting with friends, even though most of his friends are in the other class. He's so lucky that he gets to sit next to Miss R.; she rocks.

Apparently, being in 2nd grade makes one big enough to attempt a recipe by oneself. And succeed. These cheese straws were great. All I did was grate the cheese, and only because I was already grating it for my soup.

A jug of wine, a pizza, and … a book

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 25 July 2012, 17:12

Behold, Sylvan and his friend Olivia, hanging out after devouring the best pizza in Eugene at Hideaway Bakery’s weekly pizza night. Olivia just happened to have brought two books. Usually at this time of the evening, Sylvan is running around whacking things with sticks and mixing up dirt/mud/ice/flower/snake/snail/puppy-dog-tail concoctions in the alley behind the bakery. Olivia proved to be a civilizing influence, at least for fifteen or twenty minutes.

That's Sylvan's music teacher from kindergarten in the background. She plays the accordion, changes flat tires on cars by herself, runs trail ultramarathons, and knows Finnish folk songs. And teaches music to elementary school students.

Valentine Love

Posted by julie on Friday, 17 February 2012, 21:42

A couple of our Valentine’s Day creations:

Heart-shaped pancakes on Gramma Jo's plates.

Elena's and Sylvan's valentines for friends

In retrospect, I would have let Elena do her art thing and then cut it up into little squares or hearts for her classmates. She has art project staying power, unlike my last 3-year-old. The “love bugs” are cute, and she loved them, but they were parental-involvement heavy (I downloaded the printable jars here.).

Sylvan’s valentines were GREAT, though. Sylvan and I were inspired by this post, so we developed some Mad Libs for his friends. They were entitled Super Pig’s Rules for School, for some reason, so he also signed his valentines ‘Super Pig.’ Each was wrapped in origami paper, as we’d seen in that blog post, so I decided that I’d print up some little twirling airplane origami instructions on the back of the Mad Libs. Sylvan was involved, but he didn’t feel overwhelmed by his jobs of developing Mad Libs and writing tags. He still doesn’t enjoy long-lived craft projects, and I never want to lose him and feel like I have to do his valentines without him. Success! We’ll do it again next year.

We might be doing this thing right after all

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 21 January 2012, 20:30

Location: In the kitchen.

The players: Julie, Chris, Sylvan.


Julie (to Chris): “[The Hooligans’ Mother], the other day, told me that [the Smaller Hooligan] wanted Twinkies for his birthday because Hostess is filing for bankruptcy….

Sylvan (interrupting): “What’s a Twinkie?”

Julie and Chris (simultaneously, with fists raised triumphantly): “Yes!”

Cheerios, yes. Twinkies, not so much.


Posted by jonesey on Monday, 28 November 2011, 6:21

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

19 May 2010. Sylvan, age 4 2/3, and Julie, a bit older:

Julie: “That donut looks so good. What’s it filled with?”

Sylvan (clearly not wanting to share; deadpan delivery): “Ticks.”

Plus, I licked my fingers. And you're a vegetarian anyway, right?

The power of metaphor

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 25 November 2011, 6:36

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

18 September 2010. Sylvan, age 5: “Dad, if you sit in that booster seat, you’ll turn like a hinge.”

1 Oct 2010. Sylvan, age 5: “Is a turkey vulture’s wingspan louder than banging on wood?”

5 November 2010. Sylvan, age 5: [eating Lemonheads candy from Halloween]: “Dark blue tastes like sour lots of sugar.”

"You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss... your lips."

Make Your Own: Granola!

Posted by julie on Monday, 18 April 2011, 11:23

I’d been paying too much for granola. Organic, yes, but expensive, too. $8.50 a pound, locally made. Armed with a little information, I knew I could make granola just as tasty for much less money.

I started with an experimental batch, in which I just made up amounts and threw some of this and some of that in. It was overcooked, but even my fussy son ate it. So, I checked out this Serious Eats post and slideshow on making granola, and my two batches since then have been superb. If you want to experiment, I highly recommend their slideshow.

This was the recipe for my latest version:

  • 2 3/4 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup oat bran
  • 1/8 cup millet (it’s really crunchy, so don’t overdo it; 1/4 cup was too much)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 5/8 cup chopped almonds and hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • enough cinnamon to cover the top of all the dry ingredients
  • a few shakes of dry ginger
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix all the dry ingredients in a big mixing bowl. Add the wet ingredients. Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet with a lip (I haven’t greased it, and it only stuck the time I overcooked.). Bake at 300°F for 50 minutes, scrambling every 10 minutes with a spatula (get everything off the bottom of the pan and re-spread). When you take the pan out, the granola won’t be crispy yet, but it will be once it’s cool. Serve with last year’s blueberries from the freezer and some plain yogurt. Mmmm.

I don’t recommend flax seeds in the mix; they have a pretty strong taste. This is why I haven’t used olive oil either, but that might be fine. I don’t know what the price per pound of this granola is, but almonds, at $6/pound, are my most expensive ingredient. So this costs me far less than when I bought granola.



Somebody’s been listening

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 13 August 2010, 21:07

The scene: almost finished eating dinner, at a going-away party for some friends.

Sylvan: “Dad, when can I have a treat?”

Elena: “Doo. Minn-ditz.” (Two minutes.)

Mmm, trampoline popsicles

Nothing says summer like being nearly naked and eating popsicles on a trampoline.

Two Eggs (Ubb)

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 7 May 2010, 22:29

When Sylvan was about 20 months old, he went from waking up a zillion times in the middle of the night, every night, just because he wanted company, to waking up at 1:30 in the morning and absolutely not going back to sleep because he was starving. After a few nights of this, one of us figured out that we should take him downstairs and stuff him full of scrambled eggs, then put him back to bed.  He slept well.

Then we got really smart. We started feeding him two scrambled eggs immediately before bedtime. And when I say immediately, I mean get your pajamas on, read some books, then go back downstairs, eat two eggs and straight to bed with you, mister boy.

It worked.  He slept through the night, just like that. We fed him two eggs, immediately before bedtime, for months, according to my hazy memory. We went through a lot of eggs. We considered making sacrifices to the chicken gods to ensure plentiful, but what do you sacrifice to chicken gods?

Elena was different.  She slept through the night — most nights — until a few months ago.  We were spoiled. Then she started waking up once a night. Then twice, then three times. Sometimes she would go right back to sleep with a little help, but usually she needed some milk, or a walk around the house, or a walk around the block (ugh). We tried to feed her some eggs right before bedtime, but she has never been the voracious eater that her brother was, and she wasn’t all that interested.

Two nights ago, she woke up at 1:00 and absolutely refused to go back to sleep.  We walked around.  We talked about what we saw outside the window. We went downstairs.  Finally, I offered her some food.  She wanted cheese (she says “gee!”), so I sat her in her chair and fed her a piece of cheese. Ten pieces of cheese, half a peanut butter sandwich, and a cup of cow milk later, she was ready to go back to bed.  She slept well.

Last night, we finally got smart. I got her ready for bed, then fed her two eggs (“ubb!”) right before putting her to sleep.

I awoke in the pre-dawn light, all by myself without an alarm, without hearing any yelling. I was completely bewildered and completely refreshed. What time is it? Heck, what day is it? Am I late for my race? Is it Saturday? Friday? I had just slept all night.  All night! Straight through, without waking up. I can’t remember the last time that happened. Really, I have no idea. It’s been many months, for sure. Wait a minute, if I just slept all night, that means… that means Elena slept all night!

Oh, glorious eggs (ubb!). How I love you. How I cherish you.

Two Eggs (Ubb!)

Elena and Ubb, about fifteen minutes before bedtime

Little Ears and Furry Ears

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 3 March 2009, 0:51

Last night I tried making pasta for the first time. No, not boiling up spirals. Making pasta. It was remarkably easy, but the results were less than stellar. May I recommend making your orechiette thinner than mine, more like these lovely, delicate ones resembling seashells? And boil them longer than one minute after they float to the top, regardless of what your recipe says. And have your husband come in and try them before you stop boiling them, too. But do flavor them with garlicky olive oil, garlic, toasted hazelnuts, broccoli, salt, and asiago. Then, even if they are thick and mealy, you can smile through your garlic breath.



This afternoon, Tephra and I shared 30 minutes of uninterrupted sunshine when Elena’s and Sylvan’s naps overlapped. I enjoyed a cold drink, Tephra enjoyed the smell of spring, and I read quite a few pages in Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies. And I wore a T-shirt and jeans. Bare feet and arms – spring must be around the corner (where was winter?).

Tephra mid-meow

Tephra mid-meow