Saturday, September 5, 2009

Commitment is . . .

finishing a gallon-sized jug of soy sauce. Monday was our 7th anniversary. In many ways, it doesn't seem that long ago, but there's been a lot of life lived since this picture was taken.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Thomas's World

Why does Dada work? "Dada go work. Buy more O's." (Yep, gotta earn that buck ninety-nine.)
Why is he wrapping his play colander in a beach towel? "Thomas make col-der feel better."
What are you making in the play kitchen? "Thomas cook pasta. Thomas make milk." He also talks about making juice, popcorn, chicken, & cupcakes. Oh, and tea. Lots of tea. With milk.
"I luv you, Mama." "I love you, too, Thomas." "I luv you, one, Mama."
"One, two, free, five, nine, ten, eleven. ELEVEN!!!"
"Here you go, Thomas." "Fank you, welcome."
"No ride Mama's car! Ride Dada's BW (BMW) car! PCW car." (Kid's got taste.)
"R, S, T, W, car, Y" (more BMW's)
Playing with Ruthann: "Peep-by-you, Roo-fan!"
When he's feeling lazy and wants carried: "Thomas no want walk on floor!"
"Mama, music a bit loud."


I love warm pudding. It just tastes like comfort. It's also fast and easy and you don't need to keep a dorky box of mix around. Here's my recipe that I just made up.

Fast Chocolate Pudding (with a minimum of dirty dishes)
Equipment: Small pot, whisk, 1/4 c measure
1. Whisk together 1/2 c sugar (i.e. 2 of your 1/4 cups), 1/4 c cornstarch, 1/4 c cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt in the small pot. Make sure to break up all the lumps in the cocoa.

2. Stir in 2 c milk (I just use the 1/4 c measure and count to 8) and a splash of vanilla. Whisk well to dissolve the cornstarch. You'll be left with a foam of cocoa powder floating on the top.

3. Turn the heat on to high or medium-high and whisk constantly. Don't let gunk accumulate in the corners of the pot. The cocoa powder will dissolve when the milk gets warm. When it comes to a boil, the cornstarch will activate and it will get very thick very fast. Turn off the heat.

4. Gently whisk in another cup of milk to cool the pudding to the proper warm temp for eating. If you like it chilled, pour it into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Keep the wrap touching the surface of the pudding to avoid forming a skin. Stash in fridge until cool. But really, it's better warm.

I was in the mood for Mexican chocolate, so I added a teaspoon and a half of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne to step 1.

Other ideas: add in some chopped chocolate after step 3 for added decadence. Replace some of the milk with cold coffee for a mocha flavor. Leave out the cocoa for a vanilla pudding. Warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and black pepper are all possibilities. Vanilla + nutmeg = eggnog flavor. Replace some of the milk with fruit juice (may want to reduce the sugar). Chocolate orange maybe? Imagination is so tasty! Just don't add lemon or lime juice or the milk will curdle (not good eats).

And now my bowl is empty. It's time for a refill. I'm going to warm it up on the stove a bit first. Mmm! Mmm! Mmm!