Saturday, August 30, 2008


Thursday was Zack's first trip to the dentist.

He knew nothing of dentists until this week when, by providence I'm convinced, I happened to let him watch the first ten minutes of Reading Rainbow. It comes on after his normal show, and we don't usually watch it. I can't remember if I was feeling weak-willed or was busy or what, but I agreed to watching one story. It was a book about a girl who looses her tooth in Africa, and afterward there was a segment on going to the dentist. In the segment, the dentist explained each step in a kid-friendly way, showed each instrument with fun names for them and explanations, gave an array of flavor choices, and generally made it so easy and natural for the child.

Zack: We should go to that sometime.
Me: Really? How about Thursday?
Zack: Is Thursday next day? [He says "next day" for tomorrow. I think it's cute so I don't correct it.]
Me: No, it's the day after.
Zack: Can we go next day?
Me: No, we have to have an appointment, and we don't have one until Thursday.
Zack: Mmmm.... Ok.

Our actual trip to the dentist was, amazingly, a near carbon copy of the idyllic Reading Rainbow segment! I'm so thrilled we followed our doctor and a friend's advice and went to a Pediatric Dental practice. Since when do they even have marshmallow flavored tooth polish? I can't remember there being 3-D toothbrush art on the walls of my childhood dentist. All the instruments sounded like lots of FUN (yikes), and Zack had a totally positive experience. Incredible, but true.

At the end of the appointment he got to pick a "treasure" out of what looked like a pirate's treasure chest. He's been playing with that small stretchy frog since like it was the best thing in the world.

If anyone is interested, I highly recommend them. I'll be back to edit with the details.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


In case you are wondering, MegaBloks are sturdy enough to make it through two consecutive washing machine runs, extra rinse cycle enabled.

Oh, the diaper and the day that produced this scenario...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Roasted Poblano

I shouldn't watch Rick Bayless and then go to the grocery, especially without a plan. Everything on his show looks so great but it's all "authentic Mexican" and I tend to fall down on the "authentic" part. This time, though, it worked out- albeit on a small scale.

At the grocery the poblano peppers looked and smelled so fresh and delicious that I got one without a hint of a plan. I know fresh poblanos are not exactly exotic but they also aren't in my regular recipe rotation. It languished in the fridge a few days until I had James grilling for supper. I rubbed it with some olive oil and sent it out to the grill, over protests that he didn't know what to do with it (uh... me neither. not the point.). It came back lovely and charred, semi-soft and blackened in spots. By the time dinner was over the skin peeled off easily and I dropped it in the blender (actually, it's a Vita-Mix and I love the thing, make all the infomercial comments you want).

I also used Rick Bayless' method of roasting individual cloves of garlic in a dry pan (as in this gazpacho recipe). I had hoped for the super soft and sweet buttery roasted garlic they serve as a spread for bread at my favorite restaurant, Hudson's on the Bend, but they didn't quite get there. They had a roasted flavor, but not the mildness or softness. I mixed one with butter for the bread at dinner instead of spreading all three on the bread. Maybe I needed a higher temperature; I'm definitely going to try it again. So, I had two flavorful but strongish cloves of roasted garlic left and they went into the Vita-Mix as well.

Meanwhile, as James was grilling, Zack was running crazy around the yard. James sent him to the garden to look for anything ripe - mostly to give him a task. Over the course of several trips we netted six or eight small ripe tomatoes. I put those in the skillet with some olive oil and salt and left them, shaking occasionally, for a long time, while we ate and I cleaned up. They burst and blackened in spots, leaving a gorgeous crust of caramelization in the skillet (why didn't I think to take a picture?). I dropped those in the skillet, deglazed the pan with a little water, poured that in too and blended to a rough puree.

Since it was then 9pm and I had nothing to do with this invented roasted salsa, I stuck it in the fridge and went upstairs for the night.

I ventured to taste it today. O, the roasted goodness! It was my sole dinner, with some chips to hold it up, and it was delicious. Hurray for random salsa discovery!

The Problem of Blogging

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time reading blogs. It started with Gretchen's, where I discovered that my friend of many years is a funny, clever writer and, with apologies to Mommy Town (the next blog I began to read, a friend who has a lovely voice-in-print), that she "has her hands full". My husband listend to my amused retelling of friends' antics many times before mourning outloud that the silly or brilliant or poignant moments with our own children are not being similarly recorded, but are slipping away in the press of life. Well. Now the pressure is on.

Meanwhile I read more blogs, and the blogs they link to, and the blogs of the commenters... Does everyone have a blog? One of my favorite friends started her own, and I can hear in her latest post the same trepidation I have about attempting to join the likes of the amazing bloggers out there.

The final straw was, ironically, an incredible, crisp, intensely creative one, SouleMama. I found her (surprise), through another blog, and found many more blogs through hers, plus books I now need to read (currently on request at the library) and projects I want to do. Of course I began with what I now gather is a familiar response of "How can she DO so much!?", which touched off a few days of moping and complaining that "I can't get anything DONE!" (maybe because I'm reading blogs all day, hmmm?). But as I dug deeper and read her response to this question (a "frequently asked" one, I now see), I understand that she doesn't do everything, but she does focus on what she really means to. And since I am ever reminded how quickly the days of having babies and young children pass, I'm going to try that too.

So, I expect a flurry of posts based on everything that has been brewing in my head, then nothing as the newness fades, and then... who knows. I am telling myself I'm just *trying* it.

Oh gosh. The title "Deanna's Blog" is so boring.