Monday, February 24, 2014

Baby, it's (Not) Cold Outside*

In fact, this is the forecast for today.

But, since one member of our family is considering relocating to a place where February looks like this**:

Evening snowfall

It seemed appropriate to turn on the oven and roast veggies for soup.

Cauliflower florets

Of course, even the snowiest days are always better with a little California sunshine thrown in.

Cauliflower florets ready for roasting

Roasted Cauliflower & Leek Soup w/Crispy Capers

Friday, February 14, 2014

My Funny Valentine

He makes me smile with my heart.

The hands down best version of this song, ever.  Dare you to listen and not get goosebumps.

Iced Sugar Cookies

Every single day.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Best Buds

Big Game Evite

Ever since my son left elementary school, he and his friends from those days have had an annual tradition of gathering at our house on Superbowl Sunday.  In the early years, the parents came and hung out, too.  We'd be in the kitchen catching up, and the kids would be piled onto couches down the hall. Later on, the boys would be dropped off, clutching a two liter bottle of Sprite and a bag of Doritos to contribute.  They'd cheer and yell at the game and the commercials, run out every once in a a while to refill their bowl from the snack table, play a massive game of touch football at halftime, and generally have a total ball.

Westland crew, 5th grade
Some of the crew, in 5th grade.

At first, the boys were still seeing each other fairly frequently despite being spread out over the city at different middle schools, but as time went on, this became the one day each year that everyone would get together.  Despite each and every one of them towering over me, with their deep voices and facial hair, come February, it was like no time had passed at all for me, or for them.

The boys, all grown up
Six years later

Knowing that almost all of them are now seniors, and will soon be scattering even father apart, I assumed this year's event would be even more of a memorable reunion.   I began pestering my son for details.

Me:  So, have you sent out the invite for your Superbowl party yet?  
Him:  No.
Me:  Oh. OK.  Well, we've been invited somewhere else but I said no.  I was thinking of making you guys some homemade soft pretzels, since everyone loved the pretzel dogs so much that time.  Do you think we should bring back the cookie dough dip, too?  And the wings?  They plowed through the wings last year.
Him:  Um...
Me:  I can't believe this'll be the last one. Wow. 
Him:  Can we talk about this later?


Me:  OK, what is going on?
Him:  Mom, my friends are all mostly 18 now.  They want to go to parties where they can drink and watch the game, and I don't want them doing that here.  So, let's just skip it, OK?
Me: [Dying a little inside] Oh. Right. Got it.


Good choice, good choice.

So, when I was hanging out with the parents in the kitchen at someone else's house, and the beer commercials came on, I got choked up and more than a little teary as the lyrics played:

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go

Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go

Not because of the adorable puppy crawling through the fence*, but because of how the brand behind those gloriously maned horses, and all of its brethren, impacted what were supposed to be lifelong friendships.

Best Buds, indeed.

Baked White Cheddar and Leek Dip