02 September 2009

whipping up a whole new supermom

It started out so well.

I planned to bake. And bake some more. I checked out Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours from the library, picked out some promising pastries and set to work. I bought shiny red fabric for that Mega Mindy costume I planned to make for Jules for Halloween, started in August so we'd have plenty of time. I harvested fresh tomatoes from our garden and paired them with corn from the organic fruit and veg bin to whip up what was guaranteed to be an amazing corn and tomato pie. My hopes were high, my ambitions were grand, I'd do it all.

I did do it all. Well, with the exception of the costume, which thankfully still lies unstitched in the plastic JoAnn Fabric bag it came in. Jules has changed his mind a dozen times about what he wants to be. Could be a doctor, a superhero, a strange bug with spray-painted ice cream cone horns. I think we'll wait until the morning of October 31 to decide on that.

But back to baking and Dorie Greenspan, who is, apparently, an authority on baking, according to many of the foodie blogs I've been reading (which shall remain nameless because, right now, I curse you all). She's a regular contributor to Bon Appetit, has written another book, Baking with Julia (yes the Julia), that was also well received. Her own baking book is supposed to make baking accessible. I beg to differ. It wasn't that any of the recipes I followed were particularly bad, they just weren't particularly memorable. To date, I've tried:
cardamom crumb cake

apple coconut family cake

cottage cheese pufflets (with chocolate and strawberry jam)
Pretty, no? I would love to tell you that these were all delectable creations, and share the recipes with you, and gloat about how my kids helped me make them all, sharing a sweet little anecdote about how Jules ate more chocolate than actually made it into the cookies. But I'd be lying (about everything but Jules and chocolate, at least). They were fine. Edible. And I won't be making any of them again any time soon.

Truth be told, I'm a little tired of all the gushing (about our food, about our kids, about our amazing parental achievements in the blogs I've been reading), and the last week has been a big reality check for me. Kasper's been teething, barely sleeping, Jules has been his usual garble of sweetness, effervescence and tyrannic fury. And I've been trying. Really hard. To be the best mom I know how to be. To not blow up at my kids (OK, I don't blow up yet at the baby, but I like to include him in my writing) at the tiniest little thing, to indulge them in their fantasies (shoot 'em up or otherwise), and to feed them, and myself, well.

This week I was mediocre, at best, at all of the above. Next week, I'm hoping for better.


  1. Almost every day for a month before Halloween, I go around the circle of kids and ask them about their costumes. Some have something new every day, others stick with the same idea week-after-week.

    I had one boy insist every day for a month that he was going to be a Powerpuff Girl. On Halloween he showed up dressed as a lion. I said, "Jace, I thought you were going to be a Powerpuff Girl."

    He looked at me as if I was crazy, "I AM a Powerpuff Girl!"

  2. Logan wants to be Mega Mindy now too :) And you ARE a supermom - because you try. And really, trying is all we can do! Now when are we getting that drink??? I don't know about you - but I could use one :)

  3. HA Teacher Tom! That's hilarious. Yes, now Jules wants to be a "sausage baker" and a bat-shaped cookie he saw in a Halloween magazine I picked up in the store. I think his costume in the picture might earn him a "Best Powerpuff Girl" Award from Jace, though.

    Thanks for the pep talk Jessica. And drinks, yes please.


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