Dec
27

Closed for Travels

Posted by sol in globe-trotting

We’re heading to Mexico today, and we’ll be spending a week in El Paso visiting our friends there, and then a week in Acapulco, tanking up with sun and delicious food. In all we’ll be taking 8 flights, with 2 children, 2 children’s car seats, 2 huge suitcases (for all the shopping and all), and 2 backpacks. Yeah, wish us luck.


2 Comments

Dec
25

oh yeah…

Posted by sol in prattle

Merry Christmas everyone!


No Comments

Dec
22

early christmas

Posted by sol in craftulence, friends

swap

Look what I got in the mail yesterday! Alexis sent me this wonderful package from NY! I’m loving the magazines, although a teething miserable baby is preventing me from devouring them. Thank you very much A. you made my day!


3 Comments

Dec
21

Our (slightly macabre) gingerbread house. Part 3.

Posted by sol in art, craftulence, I wanted to be an architect, I'm not proud

It all started off quite well. Pizza and beer. Lots of candy and icing, too.

decorating1

On your marks….

decorating2

The whole task proved a bit overwhelming, especially for my perfectionist tendencies.

decorating3

The competition was clearly in the lead…

gingerbread_house1

The gingerbread men got nervous… and it all went downhill from there. Gunshots were involved.

gingerbread_house3

Some succumbed to desperation, and were lucky to find kitchen twine at hand.

gingerbread_house2


1 Comment

Dec
17

this year’s tree

Posted by sol in I wanted to be an architect, I'm not proud

pretty much like last year’s, but oh well.

christmastreee


2 Comments

Dec
17

Gingerbread house part 2. Assembly

Posted by sol in craftulence, cuisine or at least food on the plate, I wanted to be an architect

UPDATE: (CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FINISHED HOUSE! TOO COOL!!!!)

UPDATE 2: (CLICK HERE TO SEE A WHOLE GINGERBREAD TOWN!!!!)

I went with caramel, eyeballed caramel: around one cup of sugar, the juice of half a lemon, a little bit of water I’d say less than 1/4 cup. It worked great, but it was a bit messy. The good part is that it becomes rock solid almost instantly, so you don’t need any sort of scaffolding to keep the thing up.

gingerbreadhouse_1

All set!

gingerbreadhouse_2

Nice, albeit a bit crooked.

gingerbreadhouse_3

there! Just 10 minutes, start to finish, and very few minor burns….


7 Comments

Dec
16

lucky tots

Posted by sol in my sons are smarter than me

stockingfillers

The ones on the left are for Santiago, the rest are for Damiano.

Santiago is getting a plush donkey with music box, a tractor which is a gift from my mom, and a Muji puzzle. The chocolate santa and coins will be in his stocking but he will not be seeing any of it.

Damiano is getting: two books, one of which has puzzles in it and will be crucial in the 10 flights we’ll be taking to go to Mexico, El Paso and Acapulco. A bouncy thingy, a fire engine, a lego mat, a police car, and the sponge capsule thingies.

Santa will bring a Lego train and extra tracks. I can’t wait :D


2 Comments

Dec
16

Gingerbread house part 1.

Posted by sol in craftulence, cuisine or at least food on the plate, I wanted to be an architect

Today I finally baked the gingerbread house!
Long are the days when I could tackle a project peacefully, taking my time. I prepared the dough in the morning while Santiago napped and Damiano was in preschool, baked it when Damiano napped and Michele could play with Santiago.

The project will come in three posts: the baking, i.e. this one, the assembling, and the decorating match, when Katie and Gerti will come over with their own building and basically the couple who manages not to gorge on m&m’s will win.

The recipe for the dough is this one:though I made 3/4 of it and still used two eggs. Also, I didn’t have any spices. Or rather, I couldn’t be bothered to grate 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, powder the cloves, etc. So I used a pot of chai masala mix that I had lying there, and also a packet of powdered cinnamon.

Our house isn’t going to be eaten, and its sole purpose is to give our flat a lovely christmassy scent, besides being pretty and all. That’s why I overloaded it with spices. Ah because I hate the taste of gingerbread, it makes awesome soap.

I’ve never seen shortening in Europe, thank god, or rather, I’d never looked. I used Margarine Schmalz, I figured it was the same thing, and it is indeed. It’s absolutely disgusting. But I must admit, it gave the cookie a very nice crunch. But again, I’d rather eat rusty nails.

I used Martha Stewart’s Swedish Gingerbread house template. Very pretty. i messed up and opened the door on the side, instead of the front. Victorian house nazis, forgive me.

I truly enjoyed cutting out windows and adding details. Here:

gingerbreadhouse1

Textured bricks over door and windows.

gingerbreadhouse2

The door is a tad overcooked. Oh well…

gingerbreadhouse4

Lattice on the roof.

gingerbreadhouse3

gingerbreadhouse5

I love these little windows.

gingerbreadhouse6

A couple of squatters, some trees, and the chimney.


No Comments

Dec
14

7

Posted by sol in images, life, my sons are smarter than me

My two sons have graced me with the two most dissimilar motherhood experiences. (I loved this essay from Cristin, because it echoes my own feelings towards D. and S. and her writing is excellent.)

The most evident difference between my boys is of course, their size. And with that, their attitude towards eating.

Damiano made me eat humble pie after I used to mock parents who fretted over their kids eating too little. Now I know it is horrible. It’s not the thought of your child starving himself to death. Not only that. It’s the dread of them not having enough vitamins to see well, calcium to grow well, fat to build their brains. It is the fear of them living on milk bottles till they’re 20, the fear of them being mocked at school: the midget kid. All of that and more that I refuse to think of now. The kid now eats without fussing much as long as we keep him entertained or distracted.

Santiago, well. See for yourselves. He turned 7 months today, and he celebrated by making love to a steak.

Santiago_200912141

Santiago_200912142

Santiago_200912143

Santiago_200912144


1 Comment

Dec
13

a good sunday

Posted by sol in cuisine or at least food on the plate, life

family_sunday

Today was a fine day. After 6 weeks of stay with us, our au-pair Alejandra left us and we said goodbye with a Pantagruelian lunch of fondue bourguignonne, amazing roast potatoes*, a myriad of sauces and salads. We also had tarte tatin for dessert, and then I had to drive Alejandra to the train station. It was nice having her over, it did us a world of good as a family even if it was hard at times, and it’s great to have our house back for ourselves.

*How to make perfect roast potatoes: cut into big cubes, plunk them in pot of boiling water, let boil for 2 minutes, drain them, put them back in the pot, shake the pot with violence so that they bruise a bit, season with coarse salt and spices, transfer to a baking dish and place in hot oven (210°C) and set it to auto-roast.  amen.

Damiano_Santiago_20091213


3 Comments