Friday, December 31, 2010


I like resolutions. I especially like that once a year I am reminded to make a few. I can be quite cynical, and part of me laughs at myself. However, I can't deny the other part of me that admires the ability to stick with something and the ability to change one's self for the better. My friend Whitney came up with one for each month, which was a brilliant idea. A year is a long time to set a goal for, so why not make a goal per month. One month she would not allow herself to wear a t-shirt out in public. You might think that's a silly goal, but if you knew how much Whitney liked to wear a good comfortable t-shirt, then you would understand the challenge.
Here are a few small goals I would like to make for the month of January:
Bake a loaf of bread every Saturday...that starts tomorrow! Start journaling about students at school to keep track of growth, observations, concerns, etc. Wear my hair down two days during the week (that will be hard), and say a prayer every morning and night.
As a teacher I think of a goal as something very measurable, since I am constantly setting goals for students and having to measure them with an assessment. So to keep my self accountable I will use a calendar (which I need to buy) and mark days of made bread, wore my hair down, journaled, and prayed twice a day. Is that good enough? I should probably inform the husband for support.

Thanks to my mother-in-law I finished my first quilt in 2010, which is the date I had embroidered on it. I was so relieved that it was finished finally, months after I had started it (June). I spent hours hand stitching each row and the border. I haven't decided if it will be a blanket for the house or our picnic blanket when the weather turns warmer. It seems I would get to show it off more hauling it around to concerts and parks. And that's exactly what I want to it off.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Cat That Ruined Christmas

Olive loves the Christmas tree. She zeroed in on it the moment we put it up. Chewed the bottom lights, knocked ornaments off with her paws, chewed on the branches with her pointy teeth. She has ruined the Christmas tree...well the bottom of it at least. Then I finally wrapped a few presents and placed them joyfully under the tree. She saw a white shinny bow and attacked it like a barn cat would a mouse. I should have been more concerned when I saw the world ferrel on her paper. So now the presents are in the closet. I've been humming a tune lately with the lyrics, "The Cat that Ruined Christmas." The best part is we're going to Charlotte for Christmas to stay with Matt's family. I can only imagine what she will do with their tree.

Matt made another amazing meal. I should just give up on cooking. Honestly, I have quit making most of the savory things we eat. We order a meal at The Gulf Rim that has stewed pork, black beans, and sweet potatoes. Matt recreated a vegetarian version of it. Delicious.
Two Saturday's ago it snowed a little, very little, and Olive freaked out. I did too, but only because it was Harry Potter weekend on ABC family, I had been Christmas shopping earlier, and I had tomato soup for lunch, and it felt like a perfect winter day.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I was, no I still am, so proud of myself for completing 3 pies in 3 1/2 hours on Thanksgiving day. I'm a slow, drawn out baker and I tend to not completed what I start. But I popped up early that morning determined to get three pies knocked out. It required a lot of thought and planning, which is what I love about baking. I had already made my crust and froze them.

First up was the chocolate custard tart from The Craft of Art and Baking. I was worried at first because the word custard freaks me out. If you cook it too long the delicate texture will curdle and the texture will be like scrambled eggs. If it comes out too early then you've got a runny mess that doesn't slice well. I baked it a little longer than called for, but once the center was set I pulled out a perfectly cooked custard tart. It was dark and rich and one of the best chocolate desserts I've ever had. Next was the apple pie. I used the recipe from Bon Appetit's November 2010 Apple Pie with Oat Struesel.

I loved rolling the oats into the pie crust and the crumb topping was better than a regular pastry my opinion. It was fun too! Last I made Ruby Bowman's pumpkin pie, which I wrote my very first blog post about. I put too much sugar in it this time, but loved cutting out fall leaves and placing them around the edges. After all my hard work, I caught the tail end of Martha Stewart's Thanksgiving day special where she showed how to correctly crimp a crust. It was a great "Aha!" moment...about three hours too late.