Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fifty six.

I love this time of year. People are in a good mood as they get into the holiday spirit. Thanksgiving is in two days and I did our grocery shopping last night after visiting the fabulous Janine for a cut and color.

The Safeway near the salon is not near our house so I didn't see any familiar faces, thus eliminating the stress of "our kids used to dance together or are you one of Dave's friends from college?" and "oh yes, Keeley / Kallista / Kimie was in class with which of our twins in first grade?" The whole shopping experience was quite pleasant as I was all by myself and in no rush. I even returned the cart all the way to the front door of the store, not just the corral in the parking lot.

Still, the thing that blows me away this time of year is the view from our kitchen. I walk into the kitchen, look out the wall of windows to Mt. Diablo State Park and see that beautiful light dusting of … flour. Yes, flour. A fine layer of flour over the granite countertops. 

No matter how carefully we scrub those counters after baking there still remains the tiniest trace of flour. I honestly think that the counters are pristine when we're done scrubbing and that the iRobot re-flours them as it's vacuuming the floors each night. It's sick how much thought I've given to this, isn't it? 

Thing 1 learned in cooking class that if you crouch down and view your counter at eyeball level then you can more easily see what remains on it to be cleaned. At this time of year it's always flour.

What does the number 56 have to do with the flour on our counters? It's the number of dozen cookies that Eldest Daughter and I somehow committed to baking for NCL this holiday season. Yes, it's for a variety of causes: Danville Community Band, Hospice of the East Bay, Children's Hospital. But still it's 56 dozen cookies. Do the math, friends. Heck, I'll do it for you. It's 672 cookies.

Adding to that is the fact that Thing 1 loves to bake. In fact she's going to my parents' house tomorrow to bake  for Thanksgiving. And Jill phoned last night to confirm today's playdate with her, also to bake.

As long as Deidre and others keep posting links to recipes such as these Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles we'll keep at it. And until it's over that light dusting of flour will remain a constant here at Casa Pink.

Happy Thanksgiving all. 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rock City

We live just off the road that leads into Mt. Diablo State Park. One of my epic fails as a parent is spending time with The Pinks in the park. It's practically in our back yard and people come from all over the Bay Area to visit it. We mostly ignore it except when there's a bike race or fire.

A few weeks ago the youngest Pinks had minimum days and a friend and I piled the kids into the car and drove up the hill to Rock City. She, of course, had been several times and knew the drill.

We ate a picnic lunch then hit the rocks. The kids scrambled around like goats. My friend and I were a little slower. The next day I was very sore. Although I've been running, the contortions my body did to climb those rocks did a number on me.

I had hoped to see the burn area from the Morgan fire but we weren't close enough. I guess that's a good thing.

This expedition made me wish we'd been up there with the kids before. But I won't make that mistake again. It won't be long before we're back.