Archive for October, 2008


Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Ronin and me

[Right after a nap.]

I take back what I wrote last week about how Ronin’s sleep was getting better because it’s not better anymore. She has been doing the whole spastic scream, scrub at mouth with fist, tear into fist with the gums like a rabid animal, then cry miserably thing again. So I get the Tylenol, which, I should add, Ronin really likes. Baby acetaminophen is an acrid grit suspended in grape-flavored mucous; both Joshua and I tasted it to be sure there wasn’t something we were missing out on but it’s pretty much disgusting. Disturbingly, Ronin stops crying and opens her mouth wide when she sees the dropper. Kind of makes me wonder what sort of an eater she’ll eventually be.

Or maybe the problem is crawling. She takes hours to get to sleep but can’t stay asleep more than 40 minutes it seems lately. We hear strangled sleep-cry noises and go in to find her on all fours, rocking. Half asleep, super tired, and just miserable and crying. Poor thing.

At any rate, we keep trying to get a photo of the teeth but every time we approach with the camera, she clams up or tries to get the lens cap, leaving us with tight-lipped blurry photos. I did find this one though where you can sort of kind of see them.

Ronin and me

[In lieu of sleep, we just spend a lot of time lolling around the bed. Trying to learn to crawl, etc.]

A fuzzy close-up of the teeth. They stick up about maybe 1mm now. Slow going. I can’t believe we have to go through this for all twenty teeth. I think the bags under my eyes will be permanent by that point.

Wild Blueberry Pie

Monday, October 6th, 2008

wild Maine blueberries

Two years ago, we were in Maine visiting Kurt and Ilana and we went on a hike at Mt. Pisgah looking for blueberries. We found no blueberries but we did find a bunch of chanterelles! So this year, we loaded up the car with paper mushrooming bags, babies, baby gear, baby diapering accouterments, baby snacks, baby toys, baby carriers, and extra baby clothing in case of extreme cold or diaper escapage, and went out on the very same hike with chanterelles as our foraging target. Sadly, after much peeling of eyes and stomping around in the underbrush, we gathered only a handful of soggy, maggoty specimens. We resigned ourselves to a nice hike in the mosquito-rich environment and climbed the fire tower, which incidentally seemed scarier this time around with babies in tow. On our way back to the car via the fire road, we encountered the blueberries! LOTS of blueberries. Our vestigial monkey brains took over from there. We would have gotten more had the mosquitoes not been so gnarly (or the babies so crabby).

Happily, we had just the right amount for a pie. Here’s the recipe we used.

WILD BLUEBERRY PIE (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)

Crust: (We made a vodka crust, which turned out great. The crust is important but it’s not Thee important part of this pie. Whatever usual crust you like to make will work just fine.)

This vodka crust recipe is standard mostly:
* 2.5c flour
* 1t salt
* 2T sugar
* 1.5 stick butter plus another half cup (1 stick) shortening, which is a lot of butter. Not that I’m complaining.
* Then you add 1/4c ice water, and
* 1/4c vodka (preferably out of the freezer). This makes the dough very malleable and easy to roll out. Divide into two parts, press into two thick discs, and refrigerate at least 45 minutes before using.

Take one half of the pie dough, roll out and fit it into the pie plate. Put it back in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

blueberries and apples

[The goods: seven cups of blueberries, apples, and a spiraling/coring machine.]

crazy with vodka

* 6-7c fresh wild blueberries that you just picked on your hike back from Mt. Pisgah (which is really just a hill)
* 1 apple, peeled and coarsely grated
* 2t grated lemon zest and juice from 1 lemon
* 3/4c sugar
* 2T tapioca flour/starch (you can grind up quick-cooking tapioca in a coffee grinder, etc.). I imagine you could use corn starch if you have no tapioca but be sure to check conversions: corn starch sets up much more robustly than tapioca. You need much less is what I’m saying.
* Pinch salt
* 2T butter, cut into pieces (for on top of the filling)

Take half of the berries and heat on the stovetop (med. heat) until they release their juices, mashing them a bit if necessary. Cook around 8 minutes until the berries have broken down somewhat and thickened. Cool slightly, then mix together with the apple, rest of berries, rest of ingredients. Mix to coat everything evenly.

Remove the crust from the fridge, pour in the filling and put butter bits over the top. Roll out the other half of the pie crust and place over the top. Crimp edges, decorate decoratively, etc. You can brush the top with egg whites (we did I think).

Bake at 400 deg for 30 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350, baking for an additional 30-40 minutes (until filling is bubbling and the crust is nice and golden).

wild Maine blueberry pie

[Blueberry pie awesomeness.]

We also made an apple rhubarb pie out of rhubarb from the garden. This is an excellent combination. I don’t know exactly what we did for the filling but I would imagine some sugar (enough to counter the tartness of the rhubarb), cinnamon, and maybe a bit of flour went in to coat the apples and rhubarb. We used the same vodka crust.

wild Maine blueberry pie and apple/rhubarb pie

Throttle the Turtle

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

hand knit turtle

This awesomeness was hand knit by Ilana for Ronin. We call him Throttle.

hand knit turtle

hand knit turtle

Cheyenne Weil, Joshua Coxwell