Monday, May 31, 2010

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Game of Tag

The Tag game goes as follows:Go to the 8th folder in which you store your photos. Select the 8th photo. Post it to your blog and tell the story behind it. After following the above instructions, you are ‘supposed’ to tag 8 other bloggers.

A few years ago, the boys and I were visiting my folks in the Finger Lakes. Henry was in the mood to indulge his love for Queen. My dad has quite the Queen collection on his ipod. we had a dance party and I thought I would make it educational by explaining the whole Glam Rock thing. We did it up with sequins. I got dressed up too. Then we rocked out to all manner of Queen songs. It was a good time. For some reason, the boys have to put on serious faces when they pose in costume. They do it whether they are knights, pirates, rock stars or superheroes.

No one tagged me for this. I found it on the verypurpleperson site. I thought I would play. If you want to playa along. do it and leave me a comment. I will later link to your site.


Yesterday, just as I was unwinding and thinking about the Ritter Milk Chocolate Cornflake bar waiting for me after my kids went to bed (I know I am hopeless). I casually opened a business letter from Henry's school. I thought maybe had to do with the big change next year or something else equally benign. Instead it was a letter informing us that Henry was "at risk " and therefore eligible for SUMMER SCHOOL. Then I quietly informed Matt of the letter. Got kids to bed and the many voices that my mind produces in stressful times, took over.

Voice # 1 Well, this came from left field. We just had an IEP mtg. and he was doing well, right on target, no real academic difficulties.

Voice #2 Although his teacher did gently call him the "sweet, absent minded professor" of the class.

Voice#1 Yes, but shouldn't they have mentioned this possibility weeks ago? And where is he at risk? Does he need help with Math? Reading?

Voice#3 Can't we just help him out at home? Maybe I can talk to his teacher about exactly what he needs. We can work it out at home. 3 Weeks of summer school, even if just in the morning, is a lot to ask of an 8 yr. old boy.

Voice#2 Summer school may help him. I mean he is in Special Ed. Are you really that shocked?Lots of I.E.Ps have "extended school year" written into them. Think of it that way.

Voice #1 I blame this on the school District. This place pushes kids way too much. This would never have happened where I went to school. I mean for gods sake. Around here most kids have 6 extracurriculars after school. It's a pre-pubescent rat race.

Voice #3 If you were in a different school district you might blame them for not pushing kids enough. Be honest with yourself.

And then I took a shower and cried.

Voice #3 It is not such a big deal. It could be worse. For crying out loud.

P.S Today after all this, I get this letter from H's teacher-

Hi Kelly,
Henry's name got on the list as a mistake. I spoke to xxxxx to let him know that Henry didn't need summer support. Apparently, the change wasn't made before the letter went out. I apologize for your unnecessary concern. I have no idea how his name got on the list. As a matter of fact, Henry's recent reading assessment indicates that he is readng slightly above grade level! He's made excellent progress this year. I'll check back in with xxxx so you don't get any further notices. Be in touch soon.



Sunday, May 16, 2010

sushi-lo fi

vegetables and egg

sweet potato and scallion

roll it
I don't know what this thing is called but you roll it with this
sorta cute

Youtube has gobs of videos if you want explicit instructions...

I recently realized I hadn't made sushi in awhile and wondered why the heck not, other than the fact that Ezra limits his intake to one or 2 rolls, and then wants something else. The rest of us will gladly eat it until our bellies are full. One of my favorite rolls to make was the "Buddha" roll, inspired by Noho's Osaka, which has a filling of cuke, sweet potato and honey roasted peanuts. TO DIE FOR. Yesterday I made some simple rolls, avocado, cuke, carrot and scallion. They were so much fun to put together and Henry loved eating them. I also added a little bit of Kimchi-Furekake rice seasoning (a shaker of dried veggies, salmon and sea salt), which Henry loved.

Today I thought I would document my sushi-making. The three boys are on a bike ride adventure so the kitchen is all mine.

The fillings- carrots, cucumber, avocado, thin egg "pancake", roasted sweet potato, red bell pepper, scallions, all sliced very thin and kept as long as possible.
I used two and a half cups of sushi rice and made 7-8 "logs" of sushi...
Of course you need the toasted nori sheets that you can find at your local Asian spmkt (ours is called "Mom's" isn't that sweet?)
We like to dip ours in so sauce, with a bit of wasabi and pickled ginger on top.
I basically mixed and matched the fillings...

Henry later told me that he likes restaurant sushi better. Big surprise there. I do too, partly because I love spicy tuna and crispy scallop and prefer to do vegetarian sushi at home. But this is cheaper and still yummy,

In case you were wondering, I was listening to Rihanna's "Photographs" feat. Will. i. am during the sushi-making. After a long break from that album, I revisited it and am a bit addicted to that song. So I was sort of dancing around while I was rolling the sushi, which I am sure makes it taste better, and makes my neighbors giggle and/or wonder about my sanity.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Han's Coconut Banana Bread Pudding or The Yummiest Way to Eat yourself into Morbid Obesity Oblivion

A birthday ring I love, from Matty, thanks Laura for pointing him in the right direction...
The picture does not do it justice
My friend Han is from Vietnam and she has quite a life story, although I don't know much of it. What I do know is that she is a fierce cook. And that whole French influence on Vietnamese cooking is evident even in the snacks she brings for her son's preschool. One memorable snack involved tender, flaky and round, apple-shaped pastries (complete with clove "stems") filled with the most delectable homemade applesauce, delicately spiced and thickened with agar agar. Delicious.

For my birthday, Han made me the most scrumptious bread pudding. Perfectly sweet, eggy, soft carb-rich pudding, redolent with coconut milk, coconut shavings and bananas. Han is so meticulous, the bananas could not have been sliced any thiner and she fanned them out on the surface of the pudding beautifully.

I have asked her for the recipe and am hoping to get it but I think I may just have to get a lesson...


And then yesterday as I was sitting attempting to read a novel while my boys exercised their soccer obsession, the two Ahmeds, Rasha and my friend and neighbor Ece and I all spoke about food. Not all at once, but over the course of a couple hours. Ahmed and Ahmed and Rasha are kids and they just happen to very frequently be hanging around my stoop. And I love talking to them about what they like to eat, especially since what they eat is so different from what I eat. Although I try to point out similarities it's tricky because I have found that my Palestinian friends pronunciations of Middle Eastern dishes is much closer to the Lebanese pronunciation
(Lebanese cuisine being the source of much of my experience with Middle Eastern food thanks to Matty's family) than my Egyptian friends pronunciations, which makes sense. And then my neighbor Ece, who hails from Turkey was eating a sandwich that looked interesting, so as I was congratulating her for getting into the Bilingual/ Multicultural Ed. program, (I helped her edit her essay, which was very interesting) I asked her about Turkish food. She and her husband are working on a documentary of sorts about Turkish food and memories...Oh, and her sandwich was filled with feta, parsley and walnuts.

I realized for the hundredth time last night, how much I love talking and learning about food. And I thought to myself that I would love to document this. How wonderful it would be to write a book about the families living here and how/what they eat. How would I do it? What would it be like? Interviews, photographs recipes, potlucks, memories, maps... Any ideas?

Post Scrip- This post, after a bit of espresso, has brought to mind two things...1. How did Han, who doesn't know me that terribly well (mostly due to language difficulties), know that bread pudding would be a perfect gift for me...Am I that transparent, yes, of course I am.

And 2. I am reminded of one of the elderly Italian men who followed me around Florence one day and finally caught up with me to tell me that he thought I was " Beautiful, not so skinny like most Italian women. YOU LOOK LIKE YOU EAT PASTA." Thanks, OLD Italian man (the young ones were never interested in me. Just my skinny, long haired, stylish and GORGEOUS friend Brooke), just what I needed to hear after gaining 5 pounds in a week and dealing with a major break-up.

Monday, May 10, 2010

33 years

Blogger won't let me load pictures yet, they are coming....

I am writing a paper right now, so this has to be quick.
Thanks to MY MOM, Laura and Mike and Matty and Amy for making my birthday/mother's day/Free Woman weekend so wonderful. And thanks to Kim too, it was wonderful to see you and your paintings in a gallery.

And thanks to A-HA. It was so much fun to hear tunes that I have had in my head for over 20, yes over TWENTY years now.

I feel like one of the luckiest people in the world. To be young and healthy and have so many people who love me. And to get to jet off to a big fancy city, eat yummy japanese food, buy pretty shoes and mess up my foot walking all over town in them.

The only things missing were a few more loved ones....and a picture of Amy and I together in our awesome a-ha tees.

P.S Morten still has his chops and he is still as H-O-T as the dickens.


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