Tuesday, June 28, 2011

a birthday tradition?

We're not much for traditions in our family, but I think we might be working this one in to our June calendar for years to come. The last time I was here was about 8 years ago, when I was pregnant with my firstborn. The child who now corrects my typos over my shoulder, goes down the big slide at the water park, and can do this crazy double-tongue thing on her flute.

(author gets back on track)

Last Saturday we made a birthday outing to Detroit's Eastern Market.

Because all I really want in life is to be a pedestrian;

searching for fresh, colorful food;

considering perennials;

overhearing fun music;

feeling mildly cultural;

in the company of loved ones.

Thanks, family, for a tasty day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

No New Trash. It's a process.

Inspired by the Zero Waste Home, I decided to take a purposeful field trip. To my local grocery store. Yes, the one I go to just about every week.

What's so special about that?

I took jars.

To the deli counter.

And asked them to put my cheese in there instead of the plastic bags with zippers that always get stuck and tear off anyway.

Once we all got past the slightly confused look, everything went alright.

Me, my 5 yr-old, and my jar of Havarti went on our way.

Next stop: meat counter.

Since we eat almost no meat these economical days anyway, I wasn't sure what to ask for. So I heard myself saying, "I'd like one of those buffalo patties, please. Oh, and can you put it in here?" I plopped my jar on the counter.

Insert highly confused look.

"We're trying not to make so much trash at home."

"Well, I still have to weigh it."


Meat in jar. Stick on the label. And off we went.

I wondered if I would get more looks at the checkout, so I veered into the Self-Check lanes, where things went smoothly.

Menu tonight: Taco Salad with garden greens and onion, and browned buffalo! And a lot less trash.

Update: The next time I went back to the deli counter, the clerk said, "oh, you're the Jar Lady!" Nice.

Monday, June 13, 2011

best solution for extra strawberries

Who doesn't love a chocolate-covered strawberry?!

When I brought these to a gathering a few years ago, the host said, "She must love us!"

And, they are super simple to make.

1. Take clean, dry, room-temperature berries. I used about 20 last night.

2. Melt some chocolate chips (about 1/2 cup) in a glass bowl in microwave (stir every 30 seconds till smooth).

3. Dip strawberries in chocolate, holding on to the leaves, twisting to cover the bottom portion.

4. Set dipped berries on a wax paper-lined cutting board.

5. Melt a small amount of milk chocolate chips (or white chocolate, if you are super fancy) in another glass bowl (stir every 30 seconds till smooth).

6. Scoop this melted chocolate into plastic baggie and snip of a tiny bit off one corner. Pipe chocolate onto dipped strawberries, taking care to cover any messy edges. Remember, melted chocolate covers a multitude of sins!

7. Chill the berries in the fridge to set the chocolate. After about 15 minutes, they'll be ready for enjoying. They will be so good, you'll plan to go berry picking again the next day, to be sure to have the extra-berry problem again.

Friday, June 10, 2011

What to do with all these berries?

June 2010

June 2011

Jam on biscuits, jam on toast,
Jam is the thing that I like most.
Jam is sticky, jam is sweet,
Jam is tasty, jam's a treat -
Raspberry, strawberry, gooseberry, I'm very
FOND ... OF ... JAM!

June 2007

Jam in the morning, jam at noon,
Bread and jam by the light of the moon.
Jam ... is ... very ... nice.

June 2008

Jam for snacks and jam for meals,
I know how a jam jar feels -
FULL ... OF ... JAM!

June 2010

What I am
Is tired of jam.

June 2011, Strawberry Buckle

Any other ideas?

(Jump-rope rhymes taken from Bread and Jam for Frances by Russell Hoban.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Our Detroit Tomato Excursion

What do Detroit's People Mover and a tomato plant have in common?

Not much, and that's what makes it so fun.

This morning, my 5-yr-old, a couple of friends and I had a mission: Ride the People Mover and take some fun pictures.

Here's what came of it:

While I was having a blast walking in an honest-to-goodness city again, the girls were enthralled by the escalators.

For them, the trip consisted solely of riding the escalator and asking when they could ride the next one. It was so fun that we briefly considered installing one at home.

In between escalator rides, we walked and noticed things. I'm pretty sure we walked through the Renaissance Center to the Millender Center.

We saw the river. We saw Canada.

There was some spinning at Hart Plaza.

and the world's shortest game of hide-and-seek.

We saw the fist of Joe Louis.

And Mariners Church.

By lunchtime, we were all tuckered out and slightly grimy, so we caught the People Mover back to our car and headed home.

Thanks, DB and LB, for accompanying us!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The May-June Monster

Oh my. The May-June monster got ahold of me. For a second there, my calendar was filled with events that only happen once a year.

What am I talking about?

Between the 1st grader's Art Show,

the preschool graduation,

the middle school Pops Concert,

the Greenfield Village field trip,

Young Authors' Night,

a throwback visit to Skateland West,

and the Farmers' Market

I've been a little, uh, occupied.

Not to mention these eager little seedlings.

And this crazy dog.

Oh, and a frantic visit from the plumber. On Mother's Day.

So, May-June Monster, I'm ready for you to step aside for the calm July breeze.