19 September 2015

Seven Quick Takes

What is this strangeness? Tonight I had to turn the living room light on before 8 pm to be able to read. It still looked bright enough outside, and I could try to be optimistic and say that maybe, if it wasn't overcast, I could have held off another hour, but the dark is definitely coming. We kept the headlights on more often than not this past week! And some of that was from it being overcast and rainy most of the week, but still, there's no question that we are losing light. Also warmth—highs were in the 40s this past week, and will be in the 30s this coming week—but I expect the colder weather once we hit September. Somehow I always forget how early the darkness begins encroaching.

We made bright, colorful salsa this afternoon. It's so pretty! What kind is it?

Pink and orange and yellow and green... It looks like one of those peach or mango salsas that's popular these days, or a chutney, doesn't it? But it's actually not sweet at all; it's made from... green (unripe) tomatoes. No, really! 

I'll have the recipe up in the next couple of days, after we've properly tried it with a meal, but I just had to share a photo because I love how colorfully it turned out!

Somebody pointed out that one of the past couple of days was exactly 100 days before Christmas. I had a momentary burst of panic: Christmas is already close enough to be counting down?!?, followed by restoration of sanity: 100 is a really big number—that's more than a quarter of the year!, followed by annoyance: what happened to waiting until Black Friday to blast us with Christmas marketing? Part of me appreciates the reminder, though; if I want to have a peaceful Advent without my customary panic at the very end because I've been peaceful-ing my way through the last three weeks and having nothing actually finished, taking some time in the next month or two to make sure I have a handle on the gifts I want to make for people, at least, probably isn't an awful idea.

Goodness, the three-year-old imagination sometimes...

"If you swing the [beanie] snake around very very fast, all of the beans will fly out into my mouth and eat me, and that will be disappointing."

"You can't tickle me! That will make me sleepy, and it's not bedtime yet."

And his chicken pot pie recipe, as explained at supper the other night: Three leaves of lettuce, seven pounds of chicken, three cups of sugar... and Piglet.

Much fun bread was eaten here this week. My next-younger sister was in town, and had somehow convinced my youngest three siblings that they like mushrooms. So she baked them a wonderful loaf of bread stuffed with mushrooms, caramelized onions, and mozzarella that was so gooey and delicious hot out of the oven... mmmm. She sent some home with us, and I gave her a chunk of my braided pesto cross. Because the pesto bread, while delicious, was not quite the thing for sandwiches, Little Bear and I later made a loaf of Oktoberfest bread:

You just mix together 3 cups flour, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl, then stir in 12 oz (1 bottle) room-temperature beer. Pour the soft dough into a well-greased loaf pan. Melt together 4 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon honey, and pour over top of the dough. Bake at 350 degrees F for an hour, and let the loaf cool in the pan for a while before trying to remove it. The butter and honey poured over top gives it a sweet, crunchy crust, but if you want a softer crust (or a dairy-free loaf), mix 1/4 cup of oil into the dough instead of pouring butter on top.

Last night Kit and I slept over at my family's house, so that I could bridge the gap between my sister flying out in the middle of the night and my parents flying back in first thing in the morning. Kit slept pretty well, though it took longer than usual to get her to sleep; she pretty clearly knew that this was not her bed. Once she was asleep, though, she stayed that way for most of the night. From what Matt said, Little Bear was much the same way—he took a long time going to sleep because he knew Kit and I were over at Grandma's, but when he finally fell asleep, he was out. 

I'm so thankful for kids who sleep through the night! I've had trouble sleeping for years, and it seemed logical that it would get worse with another baby rather than better, but since Kit was born I've been getting the best nights' sleep I've had in a long time!

Here's a happy baby photo, because it's late and I'm sleepy and can't think of anything else. Matt and Little Bear were entertaining her this evening as I finished cleaning up the kitchen after supper, and she was so smiley:

Check out more quick takes over at This Ain't The Lyceum!

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