Tag Archives: Food

The Cult of Parties: Staying Focussed When Planning Children’s Birthdays

26 Mar

When I turned six we went to Showbiz Pizza and there exists only a simple Polaroid picture of me wearing a crown.  For my fifth birthday I remember getting a tricycle that was tall and red.  For my fourth birthday my mother made me a strawberry pie and I got a peacock-blue paper parasol.

There were no big party stores selling aisle after aisle of themed paper products back in the early ’80s.  There were no goodie bags handed out as guests left the celebration.  And we all know there was no Pinterest and Instagram. (If you’re like me, then you are particularly irked that you had to plan an entire wedding without a virtual pinboard and had to haul around a scrap-book.)

These days parties are color-coordinated creations full of photo-ops and party favors.  Starting with the very first birthday, they include an elaborate spread where all the food, cakes, plates, and straws match each other.  Striped straws, to be exact, preferably in little glass milk-bottles filled with the perfectly colored beverage (sans food-coloring, naturally).  We create backdrops, not only for this optimal display of edibles, but also for pictures of all the gorgeous, exceptional children attending.  For more flare, we even use photo props as well, like a little gold-glittered bow-tie on a stick to hold in front of a toddler (he will lick it). We have hand-crafted party games complete with costumes and take-home gifts.  The cakes are covered in fondant and the pictures of the darling Little eating that cake?  (It’s called a “smash cake”, by the way). They were taken two weeks ago in an antique high-chair in the middle of a pasture, bathed in golden sunlight.

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Aside

Pie Mystique

16 Oct

This time of year always makes me feel like baking  pies.  I don’t necessarily care for eating copious amounts (slices) of pie, but I’m drawn to them.  They look so beautiful in their plates, or tins, with buttery crusts and flaking edges, bubbling filling and wafting fragrances.  Pies require a tactile intimacy while you make them — rolling, folding, cutting, stirring, spooning.  A delicate filling protected in a perhaps more-delicate crust which when cooked just right becomes firm enough to stand up a perfect cubic triangle on a desert plate.

That’s what I need! Desert plates! I have salad plates but they aren’t the same.  That’s nothing, though.  You wouldn’t believe I also don’t have a pie server.

For the sake of brevity I won’t list here now all the things I also don’t have.

I’ve written about pie before, and at this same time of year.  I guess it’s all the magazine covers and pumpkins everywhere. Springtime makes me get all antsy about custard pies, too.  I bet if I baked them I could find someone to eat them for me.  Does pie have a certain mystique for you, too?

Body Moving

9 Jun

My supportive undergarments have begun to fall off, and sadly, I do not mean my drawers.  Since I stopped breast-feeding, and I stopped producing milk, everything went back to normal.  The size “D” I had been flaunting (yes, flaunting), has resumed it’s humble “B” status.  Perhaps two inches lower, and perhaps possibly a “C”, but most certainly not the booming bosom of a month ago.  When it’s over it’s over! Continue reading

Solving for Pie

27 Sep

Lost entries make me sad. So do dents in my Jetta. He blamed it on the dilation of his eyes. I don’t really care because things like this happen (I do things like this), but it was sad to see the little dent in her hiney.

What makes me happy, though, are evenings of Scrabble with my HD and Little G playing joyfully at our feet. I say “joyfully” because he talks and sings to himself as he plays, inserting little bursts of giggles and dances that I can’t think of what other emotion he must be experiencing except joy. Continue reading

Food, Words, and Love

25 Mar

Sometimes I think that simply by moving my blog to another site it will magically inspire me to write more.

I haven’t written regularly in a blog or journal since being married — three and a half years — and it is making me ache.  I am missing my own life, or forgetting it.

After my husband finished dental school and my personal income was reduced to a pittance, I fell away from budget-making.  I felt like I was only capable of keeping tabs on a pauper’s penny and not the Young Professional’s income.  My husband’s earnings were more than I had ever lived on in my life, and so my spending habits were not threatening our way of life by any means.   I had no trouble keeping our spending within limits.

Over time, though, our food budget began to skyrocket.  I was thrilled to stop squinting at the price-per-unit on every item, making sure I chose the absolute best can of tuna for my dollar.  I was thrilled to be able to make a menu, then a shopping list, and then choose fabulous ingredients from Whole Foods and other markets. All the while never studying prices.  This was such a luxury after years of living off the food-bank donations and sneaking into the cafeteria at college.  Though we weren’t eating saffron and caviar, there were many fine cheeses in my fridge.

Now we are a family of three.  Our infant son doesn’t take up much space or money, just a lot of time.  Cooking and shopping aren’t my number one priority every day, he is.  His food is all natural and straight from my body, which in turn makes my personal nutrition all the more important since it supports two lives.

Other bills have increased, too.  We pour money into savings right now, praying for a home to own and early retirement.  We live in Hawaii right now, too, where the cost of living is what you might expect for a mere 35-square-mile piece of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 2,000 miles from the nearest land-mass. Everything is over-priced here, exorbitantly, and we pay dearly for many things I purchased without thought in Charleston markets.

My goal is to reduce our grocery bill by half.  I am imposing this limit to challenge myself.  I also hope to find better products: organic, locally grown, un-processed, free-range, and natural ingredients for preparing meals from scratch.

I am not capable of making a complete overhaul of my habits to effectively accomplish this by next week, so I’m just going to make changes one at a time. As they come to me.  I expect to use my freezer a lot.

All I really want to do, though, is create: food, words, and love.