Tag Archives: gestation

Let’s talk about something a little less morbid, shall we?

Good things about the weekend:

Feeling more like myself again after a nasty bout of what I think was food poisoning Thursday night/Friday.

Getting our house more in order and laundry done. One nice thing about summer is hanging our clothes to dry (inside); the evaporation as the clothes dry helps keep it cool in the bedroom where the clothes are hanging.

Incredibly cute kitties that do silly things.

Watching the first two discs of Mad Men season 2.

A fantastic dinner idea I had on Saturday (including a zucchini and some herbs from our garden! Post with recipe to come) and homemade sushi on Sunday, with oodles left over.

Green tea ice cream.

Watching an episode of 16 and Pregnant that actually made me feel better about the future of our nation’s youth, instead of a mixture of horror and fascination like I usually do. Finally, 2 teenagers who are mature and responsible and do the RIGHT THING for their kid, despite a serious dearth of support from their respective toolish parents.

A trip to the farm in Brighton just to see what they had and a trip to the Asian market to procure the sushi supplies, amongst other things.

Sitting in a cool movie theater on a hot day. Harry Potter 6 wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be, and the lights came on halfway through the movie (and stayed on about 10 minutes, which sucked because we were right underneath one set). We mentioned it to a manager after the movie was over and got free passes to any other movie! Sometimes it pays to speak up.

It was a weekend that seemed like nothing got done, but looking back on this list, a lot happened in those couple of days. We didn’t do any hiking (we’d originally planned to hike a 14er but there was no way I was up for that so soon after Thursday night/Friday), but we hung out with each other and went to the movies and ran errands and cleaned our house. Those sorts of weekends aren’t all bad.

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Healthy cake, about to pop, come get yer lik’s!

This weekend was quite lovely, both in weather and activities. It was nice to have a weekend that we neither had company nor were company, a couple of days to just do what we felt like doing and enjoying ourselves (with some errands etc. mixed in, of course). We sat in the backyard in the warm shade and read books; we completely restocked our liquor supply (were out of EVERYTHING); we spent way too much money on plants for our garden (mostly vegetables, a few flowering annuals) and put the garden in, finally.

On Friday, I asked our friend Julie what kind of cake she wanted for her birthday. We threw around ideas, and, knowing she’s on some sort of fancy diet, I wanted to make sure I made something that would a) taste good, and b) not make her feel extraordinarily guilty for eating it. She asked for chocolate, zucchini, and booze to be involved in the production of the cake. I went to allrecipes and typed in those ingredients (plus cake) and came up with this recipe. However, I knew it needed to be modified to be made healthier. Here’s what I came up with.

MLE’s awesome Chocolate Zucchini Rum Cake, now with Less Guilt!
3/4 cup butter
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup Sailor Jerry’s rum (that’s the kind we buy, I’m sure it would be fine with any rum)
1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 plus a little bit wheat flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts and pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 dark unsweetened cocoa powder (I use this stuff, it is terrific)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup powdered sugar
2 oz Sailor Jerry’s rum

I accidentally omitted the milk from the original recipe but discovered it wasn’t necessary (the batter was plenty moist) and probably could have even left out some of the butter. I used a 9×13 pan rather than a bundt pan because we don’t have a bundt pan, plus I knew there would be a lot of people at the party and it’s easier to divide up a sheet cake into lots of pieces.

We got all gussied up for the party, which was held at a swanky local establishment (so swanky the drinks were $8-9 EACH, good thing I had planned to only have two) and walked the 8 short blocks and 4 long blocks, me tottering in four-inch heels and carrying the cake in arms, Dan carrying my wrap and his jacket. A great time was had by all, but, best of all, the cake was a huge hit. Julie cut it up into about 28 pieces so everyone could have some and everybody who tried it must have complimented me. Seriously, it turned out SOOO GOOD, and you couldn’t tell at all that it had zucchini in it (or that it was made with partly wheat flour, or that I’d cut the sugar nearly in half, etc.) I plan to make this cake again, only this time I’ll use parchment paper in the bottom of the pan (it was so moist that a few bits stuck to the pan rather than holding cohesively, but since I iced it in drizzles and the venue was dark, it didn’t matter).

I love going to events that are Julie-centric, because she has a lot of friends who I like very much, some of whom I have known almost as long as I’ve known Julie (about 5 years now), so it’s fun to catch up with people. Like Chu, the Brazillian goddess who just got back from 6 months traveling around the world, who also plays Capoeira. I enjoyed the company for a couple of hours, but at one point the place got really loud because they were showing some sort of fight on the television and it was a little overwhelming. Luckily, things quieted back down once the fight was over. I started to feel like I wanted to leave at one point, until I learned that Julie’s cousin and his wife were on their way, so we decided to stay and say hi to them (having met them at Julie events through their engagement and wedding and decision to become Orthodox over the last few years). The female half of the couple was exceedingly pregnant, having been told by her midwife that she’d probably have the baby over the weekend. Yet she and her husband made it to two social events in one night. Go, them! She looked great and I am really excited to find out what flavor of baby they have and what his or her name will be.

Because we were up so late Saturday night, we slept in on Sunday and didn’t finish with our breakfast of waffles-from-scratch, strawberries, and turkey bacon until nearly 11 AM. We had decided to experiment with a new sweetener, maple syrup being prohibitively expensive these days and regular syrup being rife with HFCS, so we bought Agave Nectar at the grocery store on Saturday. Turns out I like it better than maple syrup, plus it’s marginally healthier (has a lower glycemic index) and far less expensive. Hooray! We bought our plants and other necessities (bags of poop and bark and dirt) and spent the afternoon planting everything. I have high hopes for the zucchini plant I put in, since now I have a great food processor that grates in like 2 seconds and a fabulous new zucchini recipe.

We never ate lunch, opting instead for a early (for us) dinner of homemade hummus, falafel, veggies, and pita, and then we walked to our neighborhood ice cream store. It turned out that everyone else in a 3-mile radius had the exact same idea, so we waited in line for a half hour for our child-size chai tea and billionaires (me) and chocolate peanut butter in a sugar cone (Dan). It was nearly full dark by the time we got home, enjoying a leisurely stroll in the warm June evening.

I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

An open letter from the embryo currently gestating in OfJimBob’s uterus

Dear parents-to-be,

Hi! Thanks for, um, conceiving me. I guess. I’ve heard from the ovaries that it’s not really all that difficult to get to become a baby in this body, because you guys are all about making more babies. Which is OK, but I’ve also heard that I’m going to be baby number 18. What!?!!

Because here’s my issue – how do I know that when I come out of there, I’m going to get any kind of personal attention? From what I understand, I’m only going to get to breastfeed for a couple of months and then I’m going to be passed on to one of my older siblings as part of a “buddy” system so you can get knocked up again and I won’t be the youngest. So which one of my sibs gets me? I hope it’s Jinger, she’s got my favorite name (so far). Of course, you don’t know yet whether I’m a girl or a boy (and neither do I at this early stage, frankly) and there are all kinds of J names you haven’t used yet. I’m rooting for Jermajesty.

I’m also not entirely sure what kind of life I’m going to have. It’s already more than a little stretched out in here, so there’s plenty of room for me to grow, but I’m a little concerned that when I’ve cooked about 8 months or so I’ll just fall right out. I mean, you’ve had 17 of us already. I hope you get one of my older siblings to stand around with their hands underneath you while you’re doing the dishes, just in case. Also, I’ve heard that once I’m old enough to eat solid food it’s going to be tater tot casserole 86% of the time. That sounds kind of gross. Any way you (or whoever cooks, I assume it’s not you since you gestate as a full-time job) can, like, start a garden or join a CSA or something so my siblings and I can get fresh produce? I’ve heard my brothers and sisters look a little peaked. I’m also concerned that if I’m a girl, I won’t get much in the way of education (I’ve heard it’s all homeschooling all the time around these parts, but how do you possibly have time to homeschool 17 kids AND parent them?), and I’ll be expected to marry someone picked out for me and have a boatload of kids myself. But what if I want to move to New York City and become a star of stage and screen? What if I don’t want to have any kids? What if I don’t believe in God? What if I’m GAY!?! I’ve heard that there’s not much room for deviation in the lifestyle you choose to raise us progeny.

Dad, I’m not entirely sure what you do. I’ve heard you dabbled in politics for a while, but it seems to me like mostly what you do is solicit handouts and talk about Jesus a lot. Oh, and try to get Mom pregnant. I’m not sure why you all think it’s a good idea to keep having more of us. Mom’s been pregnant for like 90% of her adult life. I’ve gotta wonder whether she has any identity other than as an incubator. Mom, do you ever have any time for yourself? Dad, how can you expect to pay for college for 18 kids? All in all, this just doesn’t seem like a good idea, to keep having more of us. I’d appreciate it if I got to be the baby. Seems like a good round number, doesn’t it? I thought so.

Sincerely,

Your current embryo