Thank you for eleven wonderful years. I love you.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Thank you for eleven wonderful years. I love you.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I certainly hope so!
Because while keeping up with him,
cheering on her,
and watching the scallywag hone his love for a favorite game,
we've been preparing for an impromptu one of these*,
while Husband and I have been preparing to celebrate the day we did this!
Eleven years...my, my, my.
So if you'll excuse me for just a bit longer... We didn't bring additional party accoutrement, and I need to grab some of these pretty things,
arrange to pick up a few of these earthy beauties,
then make sure Eldest and the Scallywag are ready for tomorrow's ASIJ Halloween parade and carnival by washing both of these:
We Blossoms have been nice and busy, but it would be unusual if we weren't. Thank goodness we'll be able to slow down on November 1st! Nothing says relaxation like a three day weekend with my three favorite people on Earth...
except perhaps a delectable apple crisp! Recipe to follow.
A lovely, and hopefully dry, October Thursday to you all!
*certain details blacked out on the invite for obvious reasons!
Friday, October 22, 2010
We've even been able to wear sweaters and scarves day round!
To celebrate Autumn's lovely turn, I decided we needed a deliciously warm drink. Nothing is better than a hot libation to chase the cold night chills away!
It's still a little early for our family favorite, Hot Buttered Rum, so I put the question to my daughter. She said whatever I surprised her with would be fine. The only request was this: no pumpkin.
This may have been an indication that my obsession has gone overboard, but that's allright. I'm flexible. There's always another trusty fruit ready to be enjoyed during these crisp, blustery days: the apple.
After considering the options I decided to go the classic route and make apple cider. But being as we're Southern, and we simply cannot do without those extra little lagniappe's. I decided to do classic...with a twist.
I decided to make Caramel Apple Cider.
Mmmm...sounds delicious doesn't it? Apple cider and caramel apples are two wonderfully yummy things to look forward to in the Fall. And while I'm sure it's not too uncommon a drink, you would have thought I'd struck gold when I asked Eldest what she thought.
She was a little excited.
I was a little daunted.
Again I ran into a stumbling block while searching for the primary ingredient: apple cider. The only ones available were sparkling, and my daughter doesn't drink the bubbly stuff.
In the end I made my own cider~which was surprisingly simple~but I'll save that for another post. I'm pretty sure y'all have plenty of cider on hand back in the States.
This sweet drink was also very easy to make and the end results, divine.
Caramel Apple Cider
Apple Cider or Apple Cider Mix
Whipped Cream (homemade is best!!)
Take your mug of choice,
and pour caramel sauce into the bottom. As I have yet to master homemade caramel sauce~and believe me I have long been trying~bottled is fine. Just make sure the caramel coats the bottom of the cup...or even more if that's your bag.
If a little of the sauce gets onto the side of your mug, don't worry about it!
I suspect someone in your home will be more than happy to assist in this clean-up.
Pour your heated cider into the cup o' caramel and stir.
Your cider drink will be a milky, caramel color and smell just delicious. It really did remind me of caramel apples~and for good reason!
Once your caramel and apple cider is mixed well, add a dollop (or two or three) of your whipped cream on top.
Again, I recommend homemade whipped cream as it's easy to make, and so much better than the store bought stuff. Whip one pint of heavy whipping cream while slowly adding one cup of sugar and a touch of vanilla flavoring if desired. Let your mixer whip the mixture until it has semi-stiff peaks and resembles whipped cream. Your taste buds will thank you for it!
They'll also thank you for this:
Pour a little more caramel sauce atop your whipped cream and enjoy!
Now tell me friends, when you're facing another chilly Fall night, don't you think something like this will warm you right up?
According to my daughter, it will do that as well as leave a happy smile on your face. But don't take our word for it~try it out for yourself!
I'd love to hear how it turned out for you.
A lovely Sautrday to you all!
Saturday, October 16, 2010
We were always well-stocked and prepared!
Now that we live in Japan, football isn't exactly the sport of choice...unless you attend an American-based school that has a football team.
Eldest just happens to, so can you guess what we were up to this afternoon?
Today was ASIJ's Homecoming and Spirit Day. We were all in attendance~with about every other family at the school~to cheer on our Mighty Mustangs!
I'll do a more in depth blog about the rest of Spirit Day later. For now I have to tell y'all about the most delicious, wonderful thing that awaited us at ASIJ's homecoming...here's a hint:
It rhymes with Brispy Breme Bonuts...
Mock me if you will, but once you've been without real donuts-as in the best on the face of the planet donuts-you may go to some interesting extremes once you find some.
We may or may not have done such a thing.
Any guess as to how many of this dozen are left as I type?
Winner gets to wish they had a Krispy Kreme!
A happy, Krispy Saturday evening to you all. I'll see y'all when I come down from this sugar high.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Hey y'all! I'm the scallywag, better known as Farmer Scallywag today because of my outfit. Oh, Mama.
I guess you're wondering why I'm talking to you today, and not my Mama. Like she has other things to do, right?
Actually I'm here for a pretty simple reason: I want to talk about food.
I think about it pretty often; begging my family for it when they're eating and I'm not. When I was a baby, my Mama used to call me a bottomless pit (or something like that). My appetite has changed as I've gotten bigger and I don't eat as much, so it's good thing I'm not a picky eater.
I love me some good grub and I eat it well.
Did you know Fall is a great time to eat good, hearty meals? I keep hearing this so I have to ask y'all if it's true. I hear they'll keep you filled with energy so you can play all day, then help you sleep better at night.
Or maybe you sleep better at night because you're playing all day...hmm. I am a pretty busy guy.
I guess I'll have to think about that one.
Either way, I'm really lucky because both of my parents fix my sister and me yummy meals.
So here are some thoughts from your friendly neighborhood Farmer Scallywag about this particular subject.
Meat. I really love this stuff. For this reason alone I think you should always eat your meats. It helps little guys like me grow to be big and strong.
You know, more big and strong than I already am.
My Mama makes a great chicken with balsamic vinaigrette.
Your grains, dairy, and veggies are super important, so you should eat plenty of those, too.
Mama makes great pasta dishes! I've only started to like them, though. I never liked rices and noodles before we moved to Japan. Now I love them!
Now, I don't know about your Mama, but my Mama says that if it's chilly outside, you need to eat something nice and warm. It makes you feel like you're wearing a coat on the inside. I'm not sure what she means when she says that, but it always warms my tummy and puts a smile on my face. This warm food on chilly days thing really works for me.
My Daddy makes a delicious potato and corn chowder. It was so good it actually disappeared after one night!
It was like magic...kind of like breakfast. You need to make sure you eat breakfast each and every day, or so says Mama. It's said the most important meal but I beg to disagree. EVERY MEAL IS THE MOST IMPORTANT (or maybe that's just my tummy talking).
Still, breakfast is sort of special. It helps silly, energetic children like me get going at the crack of dawn. Seriously. At the crack of dawn. Just ask my Mama and Daddy.
And if french toast won't get you to sit down at your table, nothing much else will. Maybe my Mama will share her recipe for pain perdu with you all.
What do you think, Mama? Will you share, please?
You know what, bebe, after that truly amusing narrative and good manners I think I will!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Husband had to return to work yesterday, which wasn't great, but there's another weekend right around the corner!
Since it was just the three of us, the children and I decided to take advantage of the lovely breezes and inviting sunshine and venture out. Our destinations? Omotesando and Harajuku.
Eldest loves navigating the subway systems and does so beautifully, but this was a special day for her. While her brother had been on this outing several times, it would be her first.
After checking our maps, we waited for the subway,
looked for our connecting stop at Aoyama-Itchome,
held on tight, and enjoyed the ride.
Oh, those hands. I just love my daughter's hands. There are so many reasons why, but I'll save that for later.
Our day in Omotesando and Harajuku was very nice. We wandered down the tree-lined streets and window shopped at all the high-end stores. We took our time, snacking and chatting along the way.
There was no specific place we had to be, no real location in mind, so we were happy to stroll about. Somehow we always seemed to be always behind this beautiful young woman with the scrunchie.
A scrunchie. In many respects the Japanese are very stylish and fashion-forward. But on this one they take a serious hit.
The scrunchie and its owner did part ways with us at a major intersection (so sad to see it go!), but our fun was still ongoing. We made it into Harajuku while the traffic was still light. We watched the Lolita's selling Halloween gear and were chastised for taking pictures,
we then stopped to drool over the delicious crepes at various stands.
Making an unexpected detour while wandering in Harajuku, Eldest found a scarf for the cooler months.
I preferred these,
but Eldest knows what she likes, and the buffalo check suited her.
We managed a quick stop or two more before the scallywag became antsy, then hopped back onto the subway. We rode back, at which point bebe was on foot. It usually ends this way on our trips: I'm pushing the stroller, he's walking and holding my hand...
Which brings me back to my daughter's hands.
Ever since she was little I have loved her hands. There is something about them that always captures my attention. Long, tapering fingers, beautiful nails, the graceful arch of her palm...there isn't anything about them I don't love. They look delicate and gentle, but are deceptively strong. They're a perfect reflection of her.
Yesterday her hands were very busy.
Our neighborhood park is on our walk home from the subway and guess who wanted to go play?
His favorite playmate was with him, so he completely bypassed me and took to the safety of holding his sister's hand.
I swear he knows no stranger.
There was nothing more the scallywag wanted to do than run around with his sister, and always glad to do so, Eldest ran along with him.
With those hands I love so much, she helped her brother along unfamiliar terrain,
waited to catch him at the bottom of every slide,
gave him a boost as he climbed back up,
and lifted him up when he needed it.
Boy, do I love this girl!
The wee one does too, and decided he could help her get down the slides with a little assistance from his own helping hands.
Before heading home for a lovely pancake dinner, the two climbed to the top of a white dome and sat side by side. They talked loudly and laughed, and used those lovely hands of theirs to playfully push at one another.
I suppose at the end of the day siblings will be siblings. Right?
Their smiles told me that neither one minded the others antics, so I chalked it up to a fabulous way to end our four days together. It makes me look forward to vacations and summertime, simply so I can have my daughter back home with me. That is always such a treat.
A wonderful Wednesday to you all! What do you all look forward to?