Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day - Doing what I like

Genesis 3:20 
"Adam named his wife Eve, 
because she would become the mother of all the living."

Riley had hinted to me that my daughters were planning something for me for Mother's Day, and that was nice to hear. I eventually found out that it was to be a lovely breakfast at Heidi and Annie's house. But I kept wondering what I was going to do about my mother. Because I've been sick I didn't want to do anything that included a bunch of my siblings. Well on Saturday my mother called to wish me happy Mother's Day, and I could tell that she would like me to do something, so I told her that because I'd been sick I really didn't want to go anywhere, but would she and Dad like to come over for dinner on Mother's Day. She very gladly accepted my invitation. I then called and invited Ken and Marilyn, because I knew they would like to see my parents. Soon afterwards Sarah and Zac called. They wanted to come over and go out for coffee and cards and then have dinner with us. I told them about Sunday dinner. They were coming for the breakfast at Heidi's, but they wouldn't be staying for dinner, as they needed to get prepared for something at school on Monday. So that made 10 for dinner - a nice number. I was still wondering what I would serve. I went to the basement to get something out of the refrigerator and there it was - a great big ham. I'd have to think later about what we would have with the ham. So for the time being we all went to Starbucks on 20th and played cards, and then, after a failed attempt to go to Nicholas' (a huge crowd was waiting outside to get in), we went to Cha Cha Cha for dinner. I had a cheese quesadilla and it was really yummy. Afterwards we all went back to our house and sat around and talked for a long time. At one point Corey came home in a panic because she couldn't find her wallet. In the end, after talking with her about all she did during the day, I think that it fell out of her purse and is now in the possession of a stranger. She was understandably distraught. She was going out with her co-workers to a place to see one co-worker who was in a band. She knew she would need ID, so she got her passport. I sure hope she eventually finds her wallet. I HATE losing my wallet!!!

Sunday morning I woke up early coughing really badly, so I got up. I hadn't been up long before I decided that what I would do was cook. I love cooking in a clean kitchen early in the morning. Once I made eleven desserts by one o'clock. Being busy nicely took my mind off my problem of excessive coughing.

The first thing I made was an orange flan. I didn't get enough on cinco de maio. I needed to have it done enough to be able to put it into the refrigerator before going to church, I got it into the oven by 7 o'clock. [On Monday I went to have the left-over flan for dessert and it turned out that my daughters had eaten it. So now I need to make some more.]

Next I made cockeyed cake, because my Mom is a vegan and that's a vegan cake. I decided to put the batter into two small bundt pans, with a view to giving my Mom one of the cakes to take home. Well in the end I forgot to give it to her. So before going to bed I wrapped it up and put it into the freezer. Odd thing is that on the next morning I found it sitting on the kitchen table. I got the cakes into the oven by about 7:30.

Then I decided to make an orange almond angel cake because I had 10 left-over egg whites from making the flan twice in one week. I found a recipe on a cooking blog in Malasia for an orange angel food cake. Being very fond of orange flavored desserts I went for it. the recipe very nicely gave measurements in grams, so I was able to make it fit exactly to what I had. Unfortunately the cake did not stay as high as when it went in. So in the end I made a orange brandy syrup to spoon over the cake. So even though it wasn't exactly an angel food cake it was tasty.

And finally, I got bread started. I did a 1.25 pound of flour dough. And then I charged upstairs to take a shower, having 28 minutes still left before the angel food cake came out of the oven. When I got back from taking the shower there was 19 minutes still left. While I was sitting waiting for the cake to come out Riley came and gave me a Mother's Day present - tickets to the Irvington Home Tour, which was a delightful surprise.

When the cake was done I again charged upstairs to get dressed for church. It was so nice that my whole family was at church, as Sarah and Zac came into town to join us. So that was Riley and I, Annie and Corey, Heidi and Christian and Emily, and Sarah and Zac.

After church Riley and I headed to the nice new nursery in our neighborhood, Garden Fever. I wanted to get a plant for each mother in the family that I would see today.

For Sarah, who isn't at all interest in flowers, I got an heirloom tomato plant - brandywine tomato.

Then for Heidi I found a a tray with mixed gourmet lettuce. She want s to lose weight, so lettuce seemed like a good idea.

Then for my Mom I found a terrific sunflower called lemon sunflower. There were three lovely plants in the pot. The plant only gets to about 4 feet tall, which I think is a good thing, as sunflowers are a bit too tall, especially if you're short, as my Mom is.

I then went home and wrapped up the plants, putting bubble wrap around the pots, then white tissue paper, and then a nice big ribbon.

I was worried about getting to Heidi's house late for breakfast, but is was definitely not ready when we got there. I didn't realize it at the time, but Heidi was sick. That explains why she was so grumpy. I asked if I could help and she snapped at me. So I went and sat in the living room. While sitting there Emily came into the room bearing what was obviously another present for me - a new watering wand for the garden. My old one was squirting all over me. It was seemingly a present from Emily and Riley.

But when breakfast was finally ready it was quite delightful. We had bacon and sausages, pancakes, fried mushrooms and tomatoes, and strawberries and tea and orange juice. And when we were mostly done eating I asked Emily if she would go over and get a present for me. She went right over to the side table and brought all of them over to me. I'm so amazed of late at how well Emily understands what I am saying.

Heidi, Annie, and Corey gave me a cooking class in French Provencal cooking at Sur la Table. At this hands on event we will be cooking Pissaladière - Bouillabaisse Served with Rouille - Classic Bistro Roast Chicken with Ratatouille - Profiteroles with Honey Lavender Ice Cream. I'm really glad it's hands on, though they probably don't want to let everybody be hands on to everything. And then when done, we get to eat the food.

Sarah and Zac gave me two lovely embroidered hand towels to go with the new piece of furniture in the second floor bathroom. I think I will need a new towel rack. And then Riley gave me a third present, one that I had requested, a lovely knitting book called Little Knits.  I've been eying that book since September, and I've already put pictures of the sweaters in my iPhoto.  The book is a story book as well as a knitting book, which Emily loves.

After breakfast we headed home, knowing that I at least needed to get the ham in the oven. The menu for the Mother's Day Dinner was to be:

baked glazed ham
French bread and butter
roasted potatoes
fruity green salad
garlicky green beans

cockeyed cake
orange flan
orange almond angel food cake

After the ham was in the oven we went for coffee at a local Starbucks and did a puzzle or two. There was still stuff to be done, and I couldn't remember when I told people to come over, so we didn't linger too long. All in all, everything went very well. Corey surprised me by coming home and helping with the cooking. She was actually a very big help, which is usually not her way when it comes to cooking. She did the potatoes and the green beans and helped with the salad. One could almost say that she cooked the dinner.

When Ken and Marilyn showed up they asked how they could help, and I set them on the dining room. Marilyn tidied up all the toys and Ken helped me clear off the dining table, and then they set it. One funny thing was that Marilyn asked if she could do something fancy with the napkins, and I said "certainly". She laid them in the middle of the plates. My parents soon settled in the living room and Riley provided everyone with a drink. Heidi and her crew arrived quite late, but I suspect this was because she was sick.

It was a lovely dinner, and even the angel food cake was well received. My Mother seemed to enjoy herself very much, and was a bit disappointed when my Dad said that it was time to go home. Being 89 years old he doesn't want to be driving in the dark. Unfortunately Marilyn came down with a stomach ache. I found her sitting in the living room looking very miserable. After questioning her about her symptoms I told her that she could use to drink some French green clay. She consented, so I went a got a very small glass of water with a teaspoon of green clay in it and a spoon. Standing beside her I stirred it all up and told her to chug it. She did, and with in no time she felt a lot better.

“Enjoying the joys of others 
and suffering with them
 - these are the best guides for man”
Albert Einstein

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