The ice on the trees at the park this weekend was just gorgeous. It made the grey seem sort of magical.
It also was quite conducive to curling up, cooking yummy things for my birthday honeys and on Sunday, when all the celebrating was done, to stay in our jammies all day, reading the New York Times and watching tv. Over the course of 4 days, I made 2 dozen cream filled chocolate cupcakes, 2 dozen carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (made from the organic, heirloom carrots we planted last spring), a batch of tapioca pudding and one half dozen cheesecake cupcakes with a raspberry sauce. I spent two days making my dad’s spaghetti sauce recipe, which is actually a very authentic Italian gravy. And yes, per Edie’s very special request, I included all the meat the recipe calls for (usually I omit most of it, mostly because I’m not a big fan of meat other than bacon). She was quite pleased. For Pat’s birthday dinner, I tried a new recipe from a friend for a lamb risotto that’s made in the crock pot with barley. It also called for arugula, which I always seem to have a small row of in the garden, regardless of season, so I grabbed some of that and threw it in. I, who don’t like lamb, liked this dish very much. Those who like lamb (the other people that live in my house) weren’t as wild about it. Oh well. Can’t win them all. I also managed to whip up a new shirt for Edie for her birthday. It’s a tunic, made out of plaid flannel I picked up at the SPCA store. She loved it, wore it to school and the boys complimented her on it, which lead to her coming home and telling me about, wondering why boys like plaid flannel. So I played her some Nirvana videos on you tube, to show her exactly how cool plaid flannel is. I’m not sure she was impressed. She watched the Pearl Jam movie with us a few months back and was pretty taken aback at the time about the hair(!) and the clothes (!) that her father and I so fondly remembered. Some days I wonder how I got a child so uptight. (She calls herself that. Admitting is the first step to getting over the problem, yes?)
You’d think that after all that cooking, I’d be steering clear of it for a few days. Well, sort of. This morning I assisted with a kid’s baking class at The Charlottesville Cooking School, dragging Edie along so she wouldn’t spend 2 days in a row, in her pj’s watching tv (like she did last weekend, also a three day weekend). They made coconut macaroons, chocolate dipped oatmeal cookies and carrot muffins, with cream cheese frosting. Can you tell which muffin was decorated by a third grader and which one was decorated by me?
Which is why I have signed myself up for the weekend long cake class at the cooking school the first weekend of February. I think it’s time my cupcakes looked as good as they taste.
(Hint, I didn’t use sprinkles.)