Tuesday, October 31, 2006

happy halloween


our lion and dinosaur rooooaared their way through the neighborhood and scored tons of sugar.

I'm enjoying the changing of the season and the shifting light. This time of year makes me feel like simplifying and slowing. Staying at home and cooking, napping, reading, planning. I never realized how much the Fall was associated in my mind with my Gram. It must have been the Nebraska farmgirl in her, but she was keenly aware of the light and weather and temperature. Halloween was also my Pops birthday and I always called her to say I was thinking of him (and her) in the years after his death. This year I'll just put it out to the universe that they're both on my mind and try and keep them close as we run around picking up the kids, making chili, lighting pumpkins and pulling Halloween costumes onto our little trick-or-treaters in the early darkness.

Monday, October 23, 2006

tiny monsters (and I'm not talking about my kids)

So the preschool rules for Halloween have been sent down: No costumes at school on the 31st (wouldn't want to stain them prior to trick or treating!! read: we really don't what to deal with you hysterical parents) :: Please send your child in their costume on November 1 and 2. Uhm...okay cause it won't be trashed by then :: & Please send your child with 30 treats, but if at all possible, don't send candy.

I know you think I'm about to rant here, and as much as I relish my righteous outrage at the preschool leadership, I was happy to be challenged on the 30 non-candy treats thing. It provided a good excuse to order oodles of my favorite version of crack for kids.

A few years ago, I bought these little beauties for MAS and then baby-Bean's stockings and they've since provided hours of fun. We've managed not to lose most of them (a miracle in and of itself, maybe they're infused with actual magic). Buddha loves them beyond explanation and MAS has come up with a new technique of using the finger puppet opening to suction cup them on our checks - as in "hey, Bean, there's something on you're face!" followed by peels of laughter and "do it again!".

Cheap at any cost.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I realize that when most people think of Fall they think of leaves turning, kids going back to school, fires in the fireplace and all that. Not me. For me, it's not Fall until my house smells like these. This version of Fall happens to be in the form of mini muffins (better to pack in Bean's lunch & no, it.is.not. a treat. sshhhhhh!). In the past its been in the form of bread. The best pumpkin bread in the world bread. This is my Auntie Kay's recipe and as kids we used to stack piece upon piece on our plates until the whole pumpkin bread tower would topple over. That's how we knew we had enough to get through Thanksgiving dinner. It was the only recipe I asked for the first year I decided to have Thanksgiving with friends in my little San Francisco apartment right after college instead of going to the big family dinner 40 miles south. It just wasn't going to be right without that bread.

Forget the cousins and the turkey, I needed the bread.

Auntie Kay's Pumpkin Bread

4 eggs (slightly beaten)
3 cups of sugar
(I've only been using one cup so it's not so "treaty" if you know what I mean.)
2/3 cup of milk (whole milk is best)
1 cup of oil
2 cups of canned pumpkin
3 1/2 cups of flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. baking powder

bake at 350 degrees
(5 small bread pans: 45 minutes)
(2 big bread pans: 1 hour)
(muffin pans: 20 minutes)
(smally muffins: 13 minutes)

I literally throw this all in one big bowl and mix together with a whisk or spatula. So easy and good.

Happy Fall.