Monday, November 9, 2009

La Triviata

Fall is heading our way. It really and truly is this time. No more balmy days for us: the poor crowded tarragon that I hauled out of the herb garden is headed back into the ground for good; the chilies have decided that ripening into fat red sausages of heat IS a lost cause at this point, despite the cold frame (there goes my plan to make Sheila's Colon Cleanser Hot Sauce); the purple sprouting broccoli plants are all happy as clams (good thing someone is in this weather, is all I'll say); and there are daily rounds of Leaf Raking Mania round these parts, which thrills Max no end, since it's his chore to rake. That Max, he sure loves raking up leaves. Not. Fortunately he's an incredibly tolerant kid. He rakes, I give him all the leftover Yorkshire puddings, apple crisp, pumpkin muffins, sliced baguette & garlic butter, and rice pudding he can stuff down. Then Richard mows up all those leaves and bags them for me for mulch. Max stays skinny as a - wait for it - RAKE; Richard curses the trees; and I bless the mulch. Win, win, win.

Rose coloured lenses, baby, rose coloured lenses

On the plus side, no one here has had the Dreaded H1N1, despite the vast numbers of people we know who HAVE been felled by it.

Hang on, I need to go knock on some wood right now

Of course, I say this, but we were all ill a few weeks ago, back when everyone was saying "If you're sick now it HAS to be swine flu because there isn't anything else going around!" So who knows what is going on. All I know is that that bloody flu has given my neurotic skittish side total rein to be even more neurotic and skittish.


Isn't that a lovely sunset?

And yes, I am the Segue Queen.

On another plus side, I finally caved and bought this for the boys. Look, there it is on my coffee table! It's reposing happily in its new career as Beloved Coffee Table Book.

I had looked at it on Amazon, and I had looked at it when we were at Costco, although I worried that it would be lacking if I ordered it from Amazon (this has happened to me with Klutz books, where they don't come with everything I expect them to), so when I saw it at Costco for a cheaper price than Amazon, I thought "this might get me more raked leaves" "THIS IS CHEAPER THAN AMAZON? OMG! WHADDADEAL!"

And what do you know but it bought me much good will. For many many many days. (Sheila's Parenting Tip #429: Disarm Them Completely With Random Gestures of Niceness) It's amazing (or should that be worrying?) how absorbed they are with these books. Even now one of them is sprawled on the couch with one, deeply engrossed in the wonder that is Ye Olde Lego Sette.

Warning: if you are cut to the core upon hearing statements like "OMG, do you know how OLD this set is? It's from - get this - 1989! (insert many disbelieving guffaws and cackles here) That is SO OLD! Mum! Did you hear how OLD this set is? It's REALLY OLD! I wasn't even ALIVE when it came out, it's so OLD!" you might not want this series anywhere near your house.

And on another plus side, Max's 4-H group had their final Dinner & Raffle Event on the weekend. It was fun. The boys in this group are a witty and oddly loquacious bunch, none too shy with the microphone. Max won 2 trophies, surprise surprise. I'm not sure who was most surprised: him, me or the usual trophy winners. And FDPG won some items in the Raffle, which thrilled her greedy little heart, even if they were things like Armor All and Handy Wrench Sets. I won a raffle prize too but as it was one of the things I had donated I sent it back into the melée ("Look!" someone shouted, "they're Homing Muffins!"). If you look below you can see my teeny tiny kitchen crowded with items from that day. I baked baguettes, I baked pumpkin cinnamon buns, I baked cardamon-sweet potato muffins, I made Minted Potato Salad, and I cooked great honking chunks of Rouge Vif D'Etampes pumpkins (incredible baking pumpkins, by the way) to freeze later in little ziplock baggies for when we're deeper into winter (or when I need a little something for the weekend morning muffins).
If you want the recipe for the Pumpkin Cinnamon buns, head over here. In their original form they are known as the UBC Cinnamon Bun and they are one of the more easy cinnamon buns to make, although, as is the wont of most sweet yeasted breads, they go stale rather quickly. I changed the recipe, after being inspired by Heather, by slathering some pumpkin purée over the dough after brushing on the butter and before sprinkling on the cinnamon sugar. They looked as though they would be BURSTING with worryingly-obvious-child-putting-off pumpkin flavour but it was surprisingly muted, although once Max discovered that there was pumpkin in them he decided they weren't as fabulous as he had initially claimed. Those hovering-on-the-cusp-of-puberty kids...all I will say is that they are at once whimsical and exasperating.


Anonymous said...

Mmmm. Look at that baking. Dough is love. Yeast-filled looooooooove. Though I'm not sold on the pumpkin slathered Cinnamon Buns.

sheila said...

Ha! I don't think I'll be able to look at a loaf of bread again, without thinking "there goes some yeast-filled looooooooove." There I'll be, sniggering away in the corner, looking like some dope, while everyone else is thinking "Pumpkin Cinnamon Buns? Gross!"

Actually, they are surprisingly good. You'd think the pumpkin is apricot purée or something, it's so sweet and sticky. I COULD mail you some if you like. And no, I DON'T think that's weird. They deliver anything these days.

Becky said...

Shhh... but I just received THAT book earlier this week after ordering it for Christmas for the boys. As soon as I heard about it, I knew it would be one *easy* present!

If you are mailing pumpkin cinnamon buns out and about, let me know and I'll place an order : ).

sheila said...

Becky, the boys will LOVE this book. Heck, I love this book. It's a darn fine piece of print. I wish I'd been kid-free when I saw it at Costco, because then I too would have saved it for later.

Aww, I'd LOVE to send you some pumpkin cinnamon buns!

Vivian said...

The pumpkin cinnamon buns sound delicious! I'll have to try them. (I may not be able to garden, but I can bake!)