odds and ends

February 1, 2011 Comments Off on odds and ends

5:45 date with the snowblower this morning.  I had every intention of quietly shoveling the 2″ we got last night, but hearing the symphony of light machinery in the neighborhood I figured I’d add to the chorus.  That’s the Snow-&*$%er 3000 there to the left.  Extra-long snout to prevent snow buildup on Dad.  It worked, mostly.  Despite what you hear on NPR, we’re supposed to survive the next 24 hours, actually–probably another 4-6″, which the extra-wide augur ought to handle like butter.


Great googly moogly…we finished the pudding.  Or, rather, the kids did.  The dessert rule is that Dad gets one of whatever it is–peanut butter cookie, bowl of pudding, whatevs, and then the rest is for the kids.  Have to say, it doesn’t photograph well even when it’s gone, does it?

Full recovery by the O from the flu.  And despite a new sniffle over the weekend, C seems to have recovered as well, though he was almost convinced he was coming down with a new flu after talking with K this weekend.  Fingers crossed, if the snow clears out and everyone’s healthy, maybe we’ll try Minneapolis this weekend instead.




chocolate pudding

January 29, 2011 Comments Off on chocolate pudding

You know what doesn’t photograph well?  Pudding, that’s what.

O had a late and rough start this morning.  She opened her eyes at about 11:30, a good fifteen hours after she sacked out, and she looked awful.  I had her hit the showers, and then she reeled back into our room.

“I think I’m going to throw up, Dad.”

Now, at this point, I realize that chocolate pudding doesn’t really seem like it’s going to figure in this particular plot.  But trust me, there’s a happy, chocolatey ending here.

So we sat in the bathroom for a while, she praying to the porcelain god, me praying to everything else.  This was one of the things the doctor told us to look out for, and I had visions of C and I keeping her company in the hospital until help arrived.  But finally she decided she wasn’t going to lose cookies, and I took her temperature and it was mercifully normal.  “Maybe it was oversleep,” she thought, but I thought it was more like she hadn’t had anything to eat, basically, in 24 hours.  “Let’s get some Gatorade and applesauce in you and see if that helps.”

It did.  She perked up considerably with some sugar and fluids, and then I suggested she move up the ladder to Jell-O.  “I hate Jell-O, Dad,” she said.  I know, I thought, everybody hates Jell-O.  “Unless it’s pudding.  Do we have any pudding?”

“No, but I’ll bet we could make some.”

“You can make pudding?”

Now, I didn’t know if we could make pudding, I just knew that it was theoretically possible.  So we decamped to the kitchen and started reading up.  We had just enough semisweet chocolate chips, and there was some corn starch leftover from the great non-Newtonian fluid experiment a couple of weeks ago.  No light cream, but I figured half-and-half would work, and sugar, eggs, etc., we had by the bucket.  I started melting the chocolate chips, we whisked stuff together, and pretty soon C came around the corner wondering what we were up to.

“Making pudding,” I told him, and he looked at me kind of funny.  “Grab a whisk.”  He sensed the presence of chocolate, butter, and a ton and a half of sugar, and gamely chipped in.

We chunked it all together and brought it to a boil, and I’ve never seen anything go from raw ingredients to finished product so impressively.  I’m sure it had something to do with the corn starch suddenly activating, but one stir it was just brown gunk, and the next it was…pudding.  Of course, it was boiling hot pudding, but the consistency was suddenly smooth and creamy.

We put it in the fridge for half an hour, which wasn’t nearly enough.  It came out still warm, but the O wasn’t waiting any longer.  “It’s warm,” I told her, “I think it would be better if we let it sit another thirty minutes or so.”  But by now her brain’s nomming centers were fully activated.

“Give me pudding,” she said.  And I did.  And it was like someone had lit a match underneath her.  With a massive hit of protein, sugar, and carbs that her body had obviously been craving, she was back to her old self.  Still coughing up a storm, and tired tonight, again, but a good afternoon for her, and it’s nice to have her back.  Never doubt the power of pudding.

Of course, we made a whole recipe, which I realized late in the game served 8.  So we have what appears to be the nation’s strategic chocolate pudding reserve left in the fridge.


January 26, 2011 Comments Off on ibuprofen

I picked up C from school today and told him there was good news and bad news. Good news is we’re having pizza tonight because I actually remembered to defrost the dough.

“The bad news is that–well, remember how you were feeling crappy the other day, and you didn’t want to go to school, but we decided you could tough it out and go anyway?”


“And you know how we’re always saying that when you two get sick, Olivia just shrugs it off, but you need some extra attention and mothering?”


“Well, you had the flu.  And now, Olivia has the flu.  The only difference is, your terrible father made you go to school, and Olivia is at home flat on her back.”

“So I’m tougher than Olivia.”

“Yep.”  And your Dad, I wanted to say, is stupider than your Mom.


“Not today you’re not.  We need to go get her some ibuprofen to help bring her fever down.”

“How bad is her fever?”


“Wow.  Another five degrees and she’d be dead.”

“Yup.”  He looked up at me.  I looked back down at him. “We’re getting the ibuprofen, dude.”

“Awww, DARN IT!”

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