Saturday, May 25, 2013

What I Can Do

For the last three years, we've wrapped up our year with a spring ballet show.  Like the music and movement of the ballet itself, it adds a rhythm to our days and weeks, as well as our ears and eyes.  It's a big commitment for everyone involved (especially Linus).  "Is it worth it?" some ask.

I found Sela's rehearsal schedule on the table this morning.  She had used the paper cutter to trim it so that it could be carefully glued together as a single sheet, and she marked her rehearsal times with neat stars.  Her bag's already packed for her next rehearsal.

So, yeah.  It's worth it.

To see her joy at the opportunity to be involved in a project that could only be experienced as a group -- is worth it.  It's one thing to have a good ballet "class."  It's an entirely different experience of childhood and of growing up to have the chance to be part of a "production."  It's a massive undertaking by her ballet teacher (and many others).  I can't replicate this experience for her.  But I can lend support to her, to the production, (and to little Linus) because: they are worth it.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Not-Quite-Nestle: A Story of Frivolity & a Dream Come True

I'm amused every once in a while by what I discover about myself -- like when I hear myself think, "I've always wanted..."  They're not predictable things.  They're not universal things.  I think I've written about how I had always wanted to learn to crochet granny squares, and I had always wanted a bird to make a nest in my yard.  I don't usually realize they're a "thing," until they happen.

Here's another: I've always wanted my chocolate chip cookies to be fluffy.  (Don't you just love people?!)  I've tried lots of recipes, none have panned out.  I've tweaked my favorite (Nestle Tollhouse) in many ways.  In the end, they never end up fluffy, but the flavor's good, so Nestle Tollhouse is my recipe of choice.

Well, almost.  I don't use their chocolate chips.  Those were traded out for fair-trade chocolate chips years ago.

Well, I made cookies the other night, and... they were fluffy!  They looked like I always wanted them to look!  And they tasted delicious!  (And not just the dough, which is what I mostly eat.)  But, the sad news was that I couldn't figure out why they looked different.  I thought at first that it was because I had the oven rack in the wrong place and then the cook time was off.  But, no.  I went to bed disappointed that this was the best chocolate chip cookie I've made, and I wouldn't. be able. to make it. again.

I woke the next morning thinking about this (what a great problem to wake to, right?): hmmm, what did I do?  the color is so light. why didn't the brown su- aaaaah, I forgot to add the brown sugar!  Hm.  

My new best recipe for chocolate chip cookies:

1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups flour
chocolate chips to taste

Beat butter.  Add sugar and vanilla & beat.  Add eggs & beat.  Add dry ingredients & (you guessed it) beat.  Stir in chocolate chips.
Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.