Monday, December 21, 2009

It's a Wonderful Life, Natch

Merry Christmas from My Family 2009

It’s the end of the aughts and another amazing year watching our daughters grow has come to a close. Laura celebrated her 11th birthday this summer and soon after started middle school. In November, she went to space camp, took a turn in the G-force accelerator and emerged like a butterfly from a chrysalis. She can now sing on-key and make up her bed. Will wonders never cease.

Do you know about friendship bracelets? Laura is a champion friendship bracelet knotter. She represented Team USA at the Senior International Knot-offs in the Double Chain Knot (a.k.a. Twin Ties) category. She won a blue ribbon by making a bracelet in five minutes, not counting the overhand knot and measuring the threads. She is also in great demand on the rubber chicken circuit. She recently delivered a speech to a prominent group of bankers regarding the allocation of TARP funds, “The Green Blankie Financial Plan: Maximizing Parental Output for Personal Gain.“

Lindsey is four fingers and has been tapped for the Iron Chef Pipsqueak edition. We’re looking for child size 10 ½ orange clogs as she’s slated for Team Batali. Lindsey plans to bring her best game to the competition and considers her secret weapons her “special” sculptural biscuits and “anything sous vide.” She’s practicing in the bathtub as I write.

Not long after her birthday, Lindsey took a spill by driving her bike over a wall and tumbling a few feet into a briar patch, just like Brer Rabbit. She didn’t cry, and despite having the bike land on her, she was ok. When asked why she drove over the wall, she said, “Because I wanted to fly like a butterfly.” I see the Bonneville salt flats in her future. And blood pressure medicine for both of her parents.

Lindsey is in preschool and on the edge of reading all by herself. Her breakthrough moment was standing in front of the microwave. “Mom, O-N is on. O-f-f is off.” Not exactly Helen Keller at the pump, but a red letter day in our household nevertheless.

Scott & I just celebrated 19 years of marriage, so I guess we’re teenagers for another year. We’re busy with work and the girls, but Scott finds time for fishing and I try to cook and write when I can. This time of year, I thank God for my family and friends and hold hope in my heart for peace and goodwill. It’s my wish that in 2010, we‘ll have more to go around. May God bless each and every one of you.


Lucy & Scott & Laura & Lindsey

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

CSA Season Finale

Farmers Fresh Food will continue to deliver boxes for another couple weeks, but today marks my last box for the season. I started in May and for nearly seven months have received fresh local produce each Wednesday.

The fall vegetables have been outstanding, especially the greens. I'm crazy for the lettuces -- I will miss those the most these dark CSA-less months ahead. I've got quite a stash of sweet potatoes and apples to see me through 'til February.

The contents of this week's box:

Broccoli, a big ol' spaghetti squash, collards (yum!), herbs, lettuces and Asian turnips.

Plus, four gorgeous fresh apples. This time of year, I end up with a glut of apples, from friends, grocery store sales and trips to North Georgia apple barns. Homemade applesauce is an easy and kid-friendly recipe.

Homemade Applesauce
1. Peel, core and coarsely chunk six or eight or more apples. A mix of varieties works best. My last batch included Galas and Red Romes. I use apples that are a bit past their prime, including the iffy bruised apples in the bottom of the apple bag.

2. Place apples in large, tall container suitable for the microwave. I use a tall gallon container. Pour apple juice (if you have it, water if you don't) to cover apples by about a third.

3. Place container in microwave and zap at full power for five minutes. Stir and zap for five minutes more. This may require more zapping, just check to make sure the apples are cooked through. Stir in a few tablespoons of butter and sugar, if needed. Let cool and puree in food processor.

4. If you simply must have cinnamon, then spice it up by all means. I like it straight, no sugar added. Warm applesauce makes a first-rate side dish for most kid dinners. It's delish also with a pancake and bacon supper.