Monday, July 27, 2009

Twerps and castrators

No, not Fintan. He's not a twerp. Well, he sometimes is a twerp, I suppose, but I've never called him one! "Twerp" is what he calls the waistband of his pants. I don't know where this word came from. When we play tickle games and he's "trying" to get away, he'll yell "catch me by my twerp!" as he runs by. The first few times I said, "huh?" Now I find myself thinking: "Where's my belt? My twerp's riding a little low."

Whenever we play "store" Fintan tells me to wait while he goes and gets his "castrator". It's a small device with a door that dings open when you press "cash" and it has lots of little numbers on it. It looks like a cash register but apparently it has a little calculator buried somewhere in its ancestory--soooo, it's a castrator!

Wanna play, guys?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Let there be beans

The snap-beans have arrived in bulk and I am glad. But...I don't know how to can them. I can freeze them but I don't really like frozen beans much. I'd rather eat them fresh while I have the chance, but how many ways can you eat snap beans?

Here's one. Green bean soup. It's every bit as good as the author says it is. I made it with real potatoes, though. Two baking sized potatoes, peeled and diced and simmered in the broth (six cups) and water until they became soft and I could mash them with the potato masher. I just kept going back and mashing until they had "disappeared" to thicken the broth. Potato flakes (as in the recipe) would make this a super quick meal, though.

I'm actually going to copy and paste the recipe here, just in case the other page ever disappears. I don't want to lost this one!

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup water or milk
1/2 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 quart fresh green beans, snapped into bite size pieces
2 eggs, well beaten
3 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot, bring the stock and water to a simmering boil. While waiting for it to heat up, start snapping the beans. Add the potato flakes and pepper. Stir occasionally as the potatoes dissolve to make a thickened soup base. Add the prepared snap beans and continue simmering the soup. Meanwhile, make the dough for the dumplings. Beat the eggs in a bowl with a fork, then stir in the cheese and the flour. You should have a sticky dough that's just solid enough to pull away from the edges of your bowl into a big lump as you stir. If in doubt, add a bit more flour. When the beans are tender-crisp (nearly done), it's time to add the dumplings. Use two spoons to dip up and scrape off lumps of dough into the bubbling soup. The dumplings cook quickly, in just a few minutes. When they bob back up to the surface, they need just another minute or two until they're cooked through.

The hungry-boys both loved it! And snap beans from the grocery would serve just fine, too--except for missing out on watching the purple ones turn green in the hot broth. That's all sorts of scientific fun.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Growing in the garden

My boys are always hungry. Always. Especially the little one. And finding a snack in the garden is a fun way to keep his bitty belly full.

This is quite easy to do because he thinks mulberries are tasty.


This tasty!


And tomatoes are good. Very very good.


P7130027 P7130045

But he has to share the mulberries with the birds and the cherry tomatoes have been slow to blush--we get only a few a day, much to his dismay.


So Coen has to be resilient and move on to the next thing that's as tall as he is. Squash. Mmmmm.


While Coen is eating, Fintan is harvesting. His favorite phrase in the garden is "Holy cow, look at the size of this one! It's enormous!" Whether he's talking about a toad, a tomato, or an overripe zucchini.


Here's a picture of a recent harvest. We love to harvest. Harvesting is fun.


And even though we've grown our fair share of weird veggies in the garden,


we sure grow some cute boys out there!



Monday, July 13, 2009

A very good question

Fintan was sitting on my lap out on the porch this evening, blowing bubbles towards me and asking me where they popped.

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my shoulder."

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my cheek."

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my tummy."

"Where did that one pop?"

"On my forearm."

"Where's your ten arm?"

*pause* (reflect)

"That's a good question."

Oh dear

I'm sick with a cold today.

And Coen, while nursing, will not stop trying to stick his fingers up my nose...

Sunday, July 12, 2009


So Coen is a one year old. He's huge. He's walking. He's so not a baby anymore. But he will always be my itty bitty baby.

His first birthday party was a blast. The weather was perfect. Everyone was happy and the day couldn't have been better.

Since Coen didn't seem to have a preference about cake decorations I turned to his older brother for suggestions. Fintan was sure Coen needed a toad cake, but we settled on a frog cake and lily pad cupcakes.

P6270009 P6270010

Coen loved his squishy frog cake.

P6270021 P6270020

Just loved it.


Doesn't he look like he loved it?


Flash forward a few years and he'll be saving Scotland.


But he will still be my itty bitty baby.