Saturday, October 31, 2009

Wildflour Pastry, Charleston

Mother took us to Wildflour Pastry this morning. It's on Spring Street, not far from the bridge that takes you to West Ashley. As you can see above, it's cute as a button, all done up in red and black and cream. Miss Wildflour (AKA Lauren Mitterer, the chef) is button-like, as well. Did I mention you can smell the cinnamon when you walk in? Yeah. Yahhhh.

In the pastry case: mini cupcakes, cool soda, and a tiny little coconut cake. Oh, wait. That's not there anymore. Sorry!

Pretty, right? In case you were worried that there's not much seating...stay tuned. Outside, gated courtyard filled with plants and little iron tables coming right UP.

In the meantime, check out the item I got for my second breakfast (yes, we are Hobbits). It's a folded-over pastry with a filling composed of pesto, sundried tomatoes and a little cheese. Imagine if the best biscuit you ever ate had a baby with the best pizza you ever had.

Would you like a closeup? 'Kay! Check out the buttery bottom on that baby. Yes, I said that.

As promised: the courtyard. That handsome fella is related to me. See how his Grandmother serves him? We all serve him. The episode was all about: "oh, napkins!" "Oh, a cup!" "Oh, water!"

Iain had a chocolate croissant. Note how he probes the bottom to see if it's crispy. Iain has advanced pastry-judging skills already.

Then, he tastes. If you look at the side you can see that our little engineer figured out that there are four sides to a chocolate croissant. Two sides are folded, and therefore primarily dough. Two sides are edges, and therefore have bits of chocolate peeking out. Naturally, Iain took a bite out of the chocolate end first.

And here you see the result:

I had to strip him. I mean, STRIP him, after. He kept digging around to get out the chocolate (its small-batch chocolate from Colombia. No, really!), then nibbling on it, then wiping it on his face/pants/shirt/water cup. He enjoyed himself immensely, which was good since I sat there watching and thinking, "DefCon 5!"
Anyway, delicious, friendly and cheap (!! three pastries, a huge bowl of coffee, a can of fizzy water, four day-old pastries at .50 each, and a small coconut cake for...$20. My mother told Ms. Mitterer that she doesn't charge enough, and I have to say: she's right.). You should go there. Today.

Hideous - Just Ugly

My parents' back yard. I know, it's embarrasingly unattractive. And that marsh! Yuck.

Iain was mostly interested in the turtle. Also, yes he is dressed in a diaper and T-shirt. Why? Stay tuned. All I'll say is that it involved a chocolate croissant.

This is how Mother relaxes. I could, too, if only I could keep from falling out. Ahem.

Mother showed Iain our john-boat. and the watermelon she's growing from the compost pile. And the marsh, dock, two egrets, and some crabgrass. Also, mud. Iain refused to walk because he thinks grass feels bad on his precious feets. He is, truly, The Pasha.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Whoa, Dude

So...I got up this morning and The Staff seemed kind of rushed. They rushed me through brekkie, threw some clothes at me and off we went to the "airport." I dunno what the point of that place is, but I can tell you that there are no good games and the people are all talking on their phones.

Anyway, after a bunch of, frankly, crappy episodes of being strapped into my carseat, stroller, carseat, stroller, carseat, carseat, stroller, we finally arrived someplace hot and humid. HOT, and HUMID.

The consolation was this:

Leather seating! No, I mean Grandma. And Betty Boop cartoons.

The grands have a new deck. We checked it out, just to make sure the craftsmanship was up to par. It seems ok, but I think I'll have to do a secondary inspection. Just to be sure, you know.


Grandpa wears his binoculars outside because you never know what you might see. I tried out the hammock, for example, and at that very moment a huge hawk flew into the tree above me. Huge! It was amazing.

I was thirsty after flying, so Grandma made me an iced cran-water. It's a hot cocktail in my circles, but I don't expect you to understand. You're old, right?

Tomorrow: farmer's market, Hyams nursery, the beach, bakeries (galore), and probably a nap.

[Note the fact that Iain is wearing his emergency shirt purchased in Heathrow when he threw up on me before our flight back from Miriam's wedding. Why is he wearing that? Is it the super-cute outfit he wore to the Lexington airport? Why no. No, no, no. It's the shirt I put on him after he drank apple juice given to him by a helpful flight attendant who saw that he was melting down because of the hour-long delay in our departure from Charlotte. He drank a bunch of apple juice, yes. But he also donned it, dripped it, spilled it and otherwise transferred it to his rainement. I had to change him as soon as the seatbelt light went off.]

Deja Vu All Over Again

So you know how Iain has that great toy from IKEA that's a tractor and it has a magnetic pulley that picks up blocks from its trailer. Remember? Huh?

Guess what Iain encountered at my parents' house tonight. No, guess!

Everything old is new again, y'all. Please excuse me, I have to go eat some shrimp.

Traveling with a Toddler: How Not To

1. Wake at 5:33am with toddler screaming his head off.

2. Wake with a migraine.

3. Toddler should reject breakfast.

4. Toddler should toss breakfast on the floor.

5. Computer should crash.

6. Fuse should blow, rendering coffee-maker inactive.

Good morning!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

On the Road Again

Lessee, I need a book for the plane. This memoir by Frank Bruni might do. All about a little boy who likes to eat. Seems perfect!

Tomorrow Iain and I set out for The Holy City, endowed with a full diaper bag, a sippy cup (empty until we get through security, natch), and a recent tendency to scream until we get to watch YouTube. I can hardly wait.

But once there, we will be treated to fresh local shrimp (ok I will be - no shellfish for The Pasha for another 6 months - !!), constant pampering, and a nice, long dose of Grandmother and Grandfather. Iain can hardly wait to see his fan club. And it's so close! Only one more wake-up.


Image from The Liberator Files, where you should go right now

Outstanding high-res images of William Lloyd Garrison, various New England abolitionists, and other excellent things! Love it!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Food Is So...Trendy

I know, not a big surprise.

But the point was illustrated for me just now when I went looking for a recipe for glazed ham. I am making a ham in 2 weeks. I've never done it before. So off I digited (like toddled, but with my fingers) to Foodgawker. A search for "glazed ham" turned up four hits, only 2 of which were for ham. One was for the glaze, not the ham, but the other was for a proper baked him. The real thing. Perfect. The recipe even came with a super-cute photo of the cook's baby son.

I thought, "maybe there are more examples. I'll search 'baked ham.'" And I did.

This is what I got.

What I find amusing about that page is that there are 8 recipes that involve baking a little brekkie in a ham/toast cup. Eight out of 22! Nearly half!!

In other words, Foodgawker reflects the fact that food blogs tend to echo one another. Sometimes, that's purposeful - such as when the Daring Bakers choose a theme or when it's "Tuesdays with Dorie." But other times it's just a trend. At the moment it's soup - pumpkin, butternut squash, sweet potato, rinse repeat. Other times it has been pizza or bread-in-five-minutes-a-day, or whatever.

Looks like glazed ham is definitely not trendy, though.

That's Some House, Gracie

Boris's girl friend Gracie bought a house. Apparently, she lets her staff (Dr. M) enter the house to provide food and administer belly rubs. But the house belongs to Gracie. Personally, it seems like a lot of house for little Gracie to live in all by herself. Maybe she should consider getting hitched. I know a certain boy dog who would propose in a second (if he wasn't so scared). And with another 117 (!!) pounds of dog living there, the proportions might be just right.

No More Pumpkins!

Thank goodness the pumpkin fest is over. I can get back to playing with my truck and eating cereal and begging to watch "lala" and all the other stuff I was doing before I fell in with The Pumpkin Crowd.

And yes, since you asked, I am wearing Elmo jammies. I love them.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Last Pumpkin Post, I Swear

At the end of our visit to Evans Orchard, we put Callie and Iain atop some hay bales and took their picture. As you can see the two little ones were DONE.

So it was back to Casa Iain, with a brief detour to Ramsey's for coloring and milk. You might think they would eat dinner at Ramsey's, which is - after all - a restaurant. But you'd be wrong. They ordered dinner, mind you, but did not actually eat it.

Back at the casa, it was time to inspect the haul. Styrofoam box ca. 1990 from Ramsey's, 2 tiny pumpkins for Callie's dinner table, 1 medium sized pumpkin as a transitional piece, 3 huge jack-o-lanterns, and a bag of apples. See Callie skipping with delight? See Iain's hilariously filthy trousers? That boy knows how to get dirty (my son!).

Too Much Orange!

Callie picked out a pumpkin for moi. It was a modest little thing, sized for my hands. Not like these:

Yeah, wow. Big pumpkins you got there. I could even sit on them, they were that big.

Callie took the opportunity to give me a little love. That girl. She's all about the love. I hope she's not lonely today without me. I'm home, see, because I have a fever. I get to pat Juno on the butt, draw on my easel, and take Cherry YumYum every 3 hours. It's not so bad. But poor Callie has to soldier on without me today.

Hey, wait. That means Callie has Miss Donna all to herself. No wonder she's so happy:

MOM! I want to go back to school, Mom!

[Health update: Charles seems about 20% better, and Iain is cranky and feverish but otherwise pretty normal.]

Monday, October 26, 2009

Breaking News

We interrupt our current feature (10,000 Pictures of Evans Orchard) for this breaking news:

Both Iain and Charles are ill. It's true. I'm the only healthy person here, and I think "healthy" is probably stretching it a bit.

Anyway, lest you should think Iain is riding a wave of happy pumpkin fumes into the week, he's actually sleeping soundly thanks to Infant Tylenol. Apparently, though, when sick an entire kiwi is the only acceptable dinner. FYI.

Transport, Pumpkin Style

First, you have to appreciate that Callie's mom is a competitor. She's going to win, and the best thing to do is join her team, because then you'll be a winner, too. So imagine her chagrin when the crowds at Evans Orchard made off with all the super-cute, red-walled wagons. We had to make do with a wheelbarrow!

Of course, Callie was unfazed. She totally wanted in that thing, and she happily rode down the hill in it, while her mom and I winced at the squeaking noise it's front wheel made. But to the left! What's that!? There, abandoned by someone else, was just the thing we sought. Callie's mom pounced on that puppy (see above, leaving our wheelbarrow as an offering to the parking gods).
Yay! Success. No - Victory. Callie transferred her affections and off we went. But Iain, tucked into the BOB, decided that if Callie was going to ride in a wagon, he should, too.

At first, he wasn't really sure if he liked sharing his Callie with 40 lbs of pumpkin, but she assured him that she had a firm grip on the stems. So they rode together up the hill with Callie's jack-o-lanterns in the cart (and they are fine specimens, aren't they? My boy has good taste in girls with good taste.)
Check out Mr. Cool. "Hey, Callie. I like your ride."

Next: they visit the Patch of Really Big Pumpkins


After apples but before selecting the perfect jack-o-lantern, Iain and Callie needed a snack. The Staff needed to put all those apples in the car, too. The BOB is wonderful, but it can't carry 50 lbs of baby, 30lbs of apples, plus pumpkins. There's a limit.

So Callie's mom went inside to pay for the haul, and Iain waited with Callie outside. At first (above), they just hung out. But as time passed (the line was looong), they got more cuddly:

Notice that Iain is stroking Callie's face. I begin to see why her dad wants to ban bathtime. These two are getting pretty chummy.

Anyway, Callie's mom emerged not just with apples but with apple slushies and a fritter to share. Iain found the slushie fabulous. He went at it, and as far as one could tell never struggled against brain-freeze.

He wasn't as interested in the fritter:

Callie, by contrast, thought the fritter was a highlight. Possibly the best thing since...ever.

After snacktime, it was time to go check out the pumpkins. You've already seen one part of that, and another is coming...soon!

Not Exactly the Harlem Globetrotters

Here are Callie and Iain in the pumpkin patch. What I learned about the "pumpkin patch": it's a field where they put some pumpkins so you can pretend to pick them. I did not know that. I thought they were actually growing there. Of course, I *do* recall being kind of curious in September (the last time we can out to Evans Orchard) why there weren't any pumpkins growing in that field.

Anyway, Iain and Callie walked out there. Iain couldn't quite navigate the very scruffy ground, and kept falling. Right away, he fell butt-first into a broken and rotting pumpkin. So that was awesome. But Callie's Mom wiped him off and he just kept on trucking.

Meanwhile, as usual, Callie showed Iain the ropes. She was all, "see this little pumpkin? I picked it for youuuuuu!"

And Iain was all: whack!

And the pumpkin fell down. It was fine, thanks for asking. But I don't think Callie and Iain have exactly mastered the art of the passing game.

Next, we'll examine their mode of transport. I'll give you a hint: at first it included 3 wheels, then four.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Quite an Afternoon

After naptime was over, Iain and Callie took The Staff out to Evans Orchard for a bit of outdoor fun. Callie rode reverse-pillion on the BOB, as you can see above. Iain was actually more gracious about it than he looks.

They rode happily through the beautiful apple trees, pushed by the chauffeur. As you can see, the trees are full and lush, having just finished their fertility cycle. Pretty soon they'll drop their leaves, but for now the orchard is really perfect.

Iain took a bit of a walk through the paths.

He was interested in the trees, in the apples on the ground, and in Callie's excitement. Boy, was she excited.

They walked hand in hand, inspecting everything and helping The Staff pick apples. Both Callie and Iain picked several apples by themselves. The Goldrush apples, in particular, were low enough on the tree, and plentiful enough, that each kid could have picked a peck of them, no problem.

In this, the first part of the fun, Callie and Iain each came away with about a peck's worth of apples and Korean pears. They loaded the haul into the BOB and commanded "up the hill!" So we went. Next stop: the pumpkin patch. Stay tuned...

Breakfast For Dinner

Why...whose bum is that, sitting so nicely on a proper chair? Could it be a certain little man? Could it be The Pasha, who abandoned his high-chair last night to join the grown-ups for dinner? Could it be Mr. Feed-Me-It's-Five! eating dinner at 6pm?? No way! Way!

We had brekkie for dinner, which means that in the last 24 hours Iain has had brekkie 3 times. But no matter. Since he eats a different brekkie every time, it's not a problem. As you see, we had sausage links (the only kind, so far as we are concerned), scrambled eggs, organic tater tots (because yes, they're tater tots, but at least they're organic), sliced kiwi and banana. Iain ate a lot of kiwi and banana, some scrambled eggs and tots, and exactly zero sausage. Naturally.

But he seems to have enjoyed himself. Having a real plate, a fork and spoon, and of course the seat at the head of the table - all contributed to a fun dinner for him. And look, Ma, no bib!