Thursday, June 21, 2012

on change

change is familiar to all of us. life evolves, and we either run with it or we fall down and let it run over us. that sounds like a cliche, and it is. it is also 100% true. at our house, we try hard to just roll with the tide that comes.

we're facing a new tide right now, and we're gearing up for some major change coming our way. our little niece, kaiya, is coming at the end of the month to stay with us for the next year. her mama is a military mama, and she's deploying into a region that's unsettled enough that ms. kaiya can't go. i can't tell you how badly i feel for them both, especially now, right as they have passed the 1-year milestone when babies start to turn into actual people instead of what my friend jake calls hungry luggage. that said, we are also looking forward to having her and spending the time with her. i am glad our boys get to have their cousin for a sister for this long, and i really hope it leads to some awesome lifelong bonding between all the kids.

i've been working on getting ready for her. getting daycare set up, disassembling my studio to make her a room. remodeling our bedroom to make room for a smaller version of my studio there. fencing in the backyard. doing a big do-si-do of the kids' furniture so i can use some of it in her room, and they can use some of the stuff that used to be in the studio in their rooms. we're nearly there. kaiya's room just needs a few finishing touches, and i have to say--it's fun shopping for something girly in the midst my boyish sea of blue and red and orange and green. there are flowers. and pink. well, a little pink anyway...

the critter is facing his own set of changes right now, too. he's handling it, but change is rough for him--harder than it is for any of the rest of us. but he's talking about his anxieties--telling a million stories about the things that scare him and/or make him uncomfortable, and i think he's really just fine. he'll come to temperature in a month or so. it's a lot at once, though--i get that: his bedroom got rearranged, he knows and understands about kaiya coming, he's in the middle of transitioning into the next room up at daycare, and possibly worst of all--daycare started summertime water play this week. the kid could not hate water play more if someone were paying him to hate it. he informed his teacher this week that, unfortunately, he was a robot and therefore electronic. there's no way a robot can get wet, since water could short his electronics or make his battery die. no way. water--it's not his thing.

finn, on the other hand, LOVES the water with the crazy love. he's been delighted by school lately. and change? it just rolls right over him. new bookshelf? cool! can he climb it? new friends at school? cool! do they want to be wrestled to the ground? new toys? eh. toys, schmoys--where are all the jars and cups with lids? that's really all he wants right now--ALL the cups and jars with lids he can put on and take off. so funny. his only recent change is that he's gone from a kid who would eat anything! everything! now! all the time! to a kid who will eat about 6 things sometimes, if he happens to be in the mood. toddler. right down to the 2-year-old tantrums. he's lucky he's so cute.

our family is growing and ever-changing and delightful. (most of the time.) (except when they aren't.) it's going to be a bumpy couple of months around here as we all adjust to adding a new person to the house, and as she adjusts to being added. but i believe that we will be fine, and that we will find our way together into a new routine soon. at least i hope so!

i am going to try hard to start updating here more and more, posting pictures and updates on all the kids so that not only kaiya's mom, but also all our extended family, can see what these fast-growing and ever-changing babies are up to. too many moments are slipping by with only facebook updates to show for them. i need more!

Monday, June 11, 2012

getting it right - creamy coleslaw

i have been making coleslaw for years, and yet, i've never been happy with it. i've tried recipe after recipe, and never loved the results. i managed an awesome one with savoy cabbage and green garlic a couple of years ago, but while it IS fantastic, it requires a very specific list of ingredients and season to pull off. it's good. it's not basic, classic coleslaw like i want with my barbeque or beside my burger in the summer.

so, yesterday i did some research--i read probably 100 recipes for basic coleslaw, then made something up. this time i was careful to measure everything as i went in case it was actually good. and man--it IS! it has the right mix of sweet, tangy, and creamy for me. it probably helps that all the produce was super-fresh, but i am telling you--this is the one true coleslaw for our house from now on. it's simple, to be sure, but it's a tasty enough version of the classic to share.

creamy coleslaw

1 medium head of cabbage
1 medium to large carrot
4 scallions
3/4 cup mayonnaise
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon celery seeds
black pepper to taste

core and chop cabbage and add it to a large bowl. peel the carrot, then grate it into the cabbage. slice scallions and add those as well. toss the veggies until mixed. in a separate bowl, mix all remaining ingredients and stir with a whisk or fork until it's smooth and creamy. taste your dressing, so you can adjust for sweetness and peppery-ness, etc. add dressing to the cabbage mix and toss until the veggies are well coated. refrigerate for an hour or two before you eat so that the flavors have time to marry.

we had this for dinner last night on some pulled pork sandwiches, and it was beyond delicious.

down home dinner

it's worth mentioning that this meal was almost all local. the produce was all from our CSA from in good heart farm, the pork from fickle creek farm, and the onion challah rolls from la farm bakery. i cheated on the beans--they are from the good folks at bush's beans. all of it was 100% yummy.