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Monday, March 24, 2014

The Short List: Brunch and Dessert

Saturday was a beautiful day with clear skies, a gusty warm wind, and everyone and their brother outside. We all three of us went to the playground in the park. Me, Justin, and Evelyn. Evelyn happily kicked her legs as we pushed her in the stroller. She pointed at random things and said, "Hi!" to people way far away. We enjoyed the togetherness and sun. "Isn't it so nice to be together?" I asked Evelyn as we set out on our playground adventure. She looked like she was thinking seriously, and then said, "Yeah." I think she knew what I was asking.

The playground was crawling with kids, to be expected. Evelyn hustled up there with the big kids. She is as tall as most two-year-olds. She got to the top of the biiiiiiig slide. A parent was up there among the taller, older, noisy kids. She pointed to Evelyn, and pointed to me, and I nodded. "She's about to go down the twirly slide. You see her? She's gonna go down." "That's ok!" I yelled. "My husband is at the bottom. He's going to catch her." Down she went, over and over and over again. The look of sheer delight as she came zooming down the slide thrilled me. She literally caught some air off the end as she sailed in my arms and I swooped her high in the air. "Again?" I asked. "Yeah!" she said, her back already to me. 

So what does this have to do with the short list? Nothing. I just wanted to share.

I've been thinking lately about what I would serve someone with just a few hours notice. Which recipe would I take out of my bag of tricks? What dish never fails? I wanted to create a short list of go to recipes that I tend to use weekly. As I browsed through my past blog entries and through my cookbooks, the listed started to get too long. So I broke it down into breakfast and dessert, with a lunch/dinner list to come later.


- Fried Egg Sandwich and Omelets (and omelets and omelets)

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shall We Dance?

Justin and I signed up for dance lessons. It has been a dream of mine for years. We both love to dance, but he didn't know how to lead, and I didn't know how to teach him to lead. Our dance package includes six private lessons, six group lessons, and three "parties" (and the parties start at 7:00 pm -- that's our type of party these days). In addition to learning how to dance, this turns out to be fifteen guaranteed dates. Whee! Saturday morning dates are fine by me. We get dressed up, just a little. He wears cologne. I put on makeup. Our dance lesson is preceded or followed by a trip to Atwater's for coffee and pastries.We love to sit at the bar and watch the baristas flurrying around. The waiters bustle orders out to diners at tables. We share chocolate croissants, triple ginger muffins, and mini loaf cakes. We love the pour over coffee, and I love the pretty mugs they come in. It is fun to have toddler-free time together.

Have you ever partner-danced before? The most important rule is: he leads, she follows. It doesn't work to have both lead, or both follow, or to switch off who leads and who follows. One would crash into the other time and again (alas, this was us at many weddings...until now). At lessons, it is so relaxing for me. I get to zone out and become like putty. All I can do is follow Justin's lead. He, on the other hand, is doing all the learning and thinking. It is fun to watch his eyes narrow with concentration and his tongue stick sideways. He has gotten better with not looking at his shoes, but now he will often look at me without actually seeing me. His mind is on the steps and the beat.