Tuesday, June 30, 2009
After much procrastinating, I have given in to the pressure from some of my most determined students to teach again. I cannot promise Rev. Bob's Miracles (otherwise I would have done them on myself post-partum) but I am certain we will have a good time trying.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Feeling intellectual and needing that harrowing "beauty-ache" feeling? Then a must-see is The Mirror by Andrei Tarkovsky.
Too much? Then QUICKLY after the above, check out, one of Georgia's favorites. Sorry if you are bobbing your head and humming the rest of the day. Uh huh, I am!
I have a new obsession: felt barrettes! Strawberries, apples, hearts, fried-eggs....you name it. I have been working on them slowly and plan on debuting a mini-line for anyone out there interested. Promise to have some more professional photos soon!
Friday, June 26, 2009
Peanut butter is hard to find in Brazil. And, when you do, a small jar costs about $15. So, a jumbo Sam's Club size jar of Peter Pan Peanut Butter is usually amongst the many "necessities" such as ziploc bags, peppermint tea, magazines, Starbursts, Bubblicious, Tootsie Rolls and so on that my dear Mom smuggles into Brazil every trip. It nearly brings me to tears. And so do these cookies!
Two years ago my father fell ill and I left Brazil to travel to Arizona to take care of him. While there I started walking in the mornings, taking in the desert scenery and reflecting on a difficult time in my life. The rhythmic walks served as a calming lullaby for my nerves becoming my own sort of daily meditation. Hence came the promise. I would walk every day thereafter for a year. Rain or Shine. Hot. Humid. Pregnant. Wherever I happened to be, I marched along in all directions every single day. The experience has changed my life and the benefits are too numerous to mention. So much so that even though the one year goal has been achieved....I keep on going and going and going....
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Like most women in the 70's, my mother-in-law had a trusty yogurt machine amongst her appliances. Like all good mother-in-laws (especially those that never throw ANYTHING away!), they are kind enough to pass these things along to their daughter-in-laws. Although it came without instructions, I have figured out the contraption. It is so easy. So, I have now added weekly yogurt batches to my bread baking.
Here's how: Heat one liter to 205 Fahrenheit (95 Celcius). Turn off stove and let cool to 110 Fahrenheit (38 Celcius) mix in a half a small store bought plain yogurt. Fill your containers (don't forget to take the lids off....duh!). Plug in the machine and go to bed. In the morning, you shall have yogurt!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Georgia has been working on the walking thing for a good month now. We had our first hesitant steps and then back to the trusty crawl. Then we had the Frankenstein phase...arms out and full speed ahead until something or someone stopped her momentum. Now she's got it, REALLY got it.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Monday, June 8, 2009
I will never forget the last party we attended in those final weeks of pregnancy. Felipe and I were both nervous about the recent onset of contractions and impending parenthood. I imagine everyone at the party must have sensed this because they were full of positivity and bubbling on and on about the joys of being parents. One story in particular stood out. This mom advised Felipe not to feel left out in the beginning as my concentration and attention would be pretty focused on Georgia. And, also, that because of breastfeeding and the recent rupture of the umbilical cord, I would be the center of Georgia's Universe....for a while anyway. But....oh how this will change she lamented. This morning my toddler daughter asked me if I would like to play Cinderella. She would be Cinderella, Daddy would be the Prince, and Mommy could be the Witch!
Need I tell you that little Georgia has found her prince?
Whenever I am back in the States and mention that I live in Brazil most people get an incredulous and almost envious look in their eyes and say, "wow, Rio de Janeiro!" Not exactly. Sao Paulo, actually. I guess it is when Brazilians meet Americans and find out that they live in, say, Cleveland (sorry, Clevelanders...) and not New York or L.A. Forgive me Paulistanos, I have definitely grown to love this town but, really, how can anything compare with Rio? I know the issues with violence. I know the economy can't compare to Sao Paulo. But, really? Could it be MORE beautiful? You don't need Christ on the Mountain to know this city was blessed geographically.
I think Felipe regrets a little taking me there for the best Mother's Day present to date (I know it is only my second Mother's Day but maybe he will take me to Rio again next year!). I cannot stop talking or imagining future job transfers. How well we fit in there as a family! I go to bed at night dreaming of riding to the beach in the morning with Georgia strapped in:
They even have little stroller "parking lots" in front of the beach. And, need I say, Georgia thought sipping a coconut water while strolling Ipanema was just swell:
In a hurry to have something homemade and somewhat presentable on the table for your family? Have some cheese or veggies you need to use? Without trying to be gourmet or roll out the phyllo dough, here is an easy EASY quiche you can make dirtying few dishes and still serving something delicious and nutritious...
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cup white flour or 3/4 whole wheat and 3/4 cup white flour
pinch or two of salt
Using a 9-10 inch (25 cm.) round pie pan, simply pour all the ingredients in your pan and stir:
Stir until it becomes ball-like and then press it into the pan:
Bake the crust at 350 (180 celcius) for about 15 minutes or until you see that it is golden. While the crust is cooking, create a filling with eggs and any ingredients you desire. In the photo, I have added 3 eggs a bit of milk, sauteed spinach, and goats cheese.
Serve with a green salad and bon appetit!
Friday, June 5, 2009
Thursday, June 4, 2009
About a month before my due date, I was invited by my super modern Japanese/Brazilian neighbor (yes, she has blue hair and is in her 50's--love it!) to have tea in her apartment. What a lovely afternoon tea--all the vegetables and fruit perfectly sliced with a mandoline. But what had me salivating most was the delicious bread she served. Upon leaving, I casually asked for the bread recipe and she told me that she would come over sometime and teach me how to make it. Upon leaving, she wrapped half the loaf for me to share with my husband. Well all it took was one taste and Felipe was hinting that I should get the recipe. The dilemma for me was knowing wether Emme wanted to share the recipe. Perhaps, her offering to "come over sometime" and teach me was a gentle way of safeguarding her secret. I decided to ask again! Why not? Kindly Emme obliged. When she came over she was holding in her hand a tupperware container of yeast....a gift for me. She told me the starter yeast was about 15 years old and had begun from an organic fig and now I had my own to take care of and continue the tradition! The bread had to be made weekly and the starter always fed. I was a bit overwhelmed considering that I would have my own living human specimen to take care of in a matter of weeks! But how could I turn down such a kind offering? Thus begins the story of the natural yeast bread. I have religiously baked a loaf a week since that March day--taking it with me or leaving it in good hands when I travel. And the tradition grows along side Georgia. I keep telling her as she sucks on the bread at breakfast.....this starter yeast is older than you and mommy began making this bread just before your born. I don't think she gets it....yet. But as I plan to continue the tradition, I hope, one day, she will be as impressed as I! Thank you Emme!