May Flowers?

Random Bits o' Fun

One exciting thing that happened in May (okay, the very last week in April, really) was the arrival of our new coffee table (a long saga involving a delayed email, a stolen shipment, a re-shipment, and a painful slog up the steps for me and the coffee table, alone, on its eventual arrival).

I toyed with the idea of putting up a "What's on our Coffee Table Tonight?" webcam; it's great because I can leave Robert notes on it (think of giant "TAKE OUT TRASH TONIGHT" notes on Monday nights when I go to bed and he's still up playing--er, working). It's also great because it lets me hone my woefully underdeveloped (as you can see at left) dinosaur-drawing skills and because leads to endless fun at parties--amusing friends' children and other friends' boyfriends alike.

For some reason, we took a bunch of food-photographs this month; at right, you see Robert eating the pathetic remains of an oven-baked baby Dutch pancake with raspberries. Though I usually take a picture of a dish before someone demolishes it, I think the really amazing thing about this picture is the staggering amount of powdered sugar--on the pancake, the plate, and, oh yes, the table.

At left you see a nice poke I made one night toward the end of the month, when spring weather finally started appearing and when lovely fresh tuna went on sale; it's here made into a basic soy sauce poke served on slices of mango and Maui onion, sprinkled with Korean hot pepper powder. I could eat this every single day. Really. . .

DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park

We love the Bank of America May promotion, "Museums on Us," and we were excited to get to go to the DeCordova on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. First we went to Verrill Farms to pick up our raised-from-seed heirloom tomato plants (currently happily installed in our garden), and then we made it out to Lincoln. The museum itself is great, with a nice rotating selection of photographs (mainly) and modern sculpture and paintings. The grounds were great too, even though Robert complained because I made him wear sunscreen and bug spray. It was very hot, and though it was a little overcast for part of the day, very sunny at other times. Here you see Robert walking around the outdoor sculptures, but not (of course not!) touching them. Below you see me, in what Robert calls my "I'm a crazy eccentric feminist woman writer-hippee" look, standing in another sculpture. I was comfortable, at least, and happy, and I didn't get sunburnt (though I did get two of those huge mosquito bites that swell up terribly and make me feel sick and woozy--those seem inevitable, though, so having only two was probably a good thing).

Later in the day, Sarah, Suzi, Sean, and a bunch of Sean's friends joined us at the park to have a birthday picnic for Sean. There was at least one game of Ultimate Frisbee, and and ill-fated lost Zipcard, but the day was lovely overall.

Memorial Day Barbeque

To round out the weekend and the month, we had a barbeque on Memorial Day itself, late Monday afternoon--it was a great day, with 22 adults, 2 children under two (Liwen and Tyrone's and Olga and Kristijan's sons, in descending age order), and 2 more in the womb (those would be Ben and Lise's twin girls) present. The weather was perfect--upper 70s, nice and breezy, with a few sprinkles in the morning but beautiful sun turning into dusk on the roof in the afternoon and evening. There were beer can chickens, lamb, hot dogs (including salmon dogs!), and lots of chocolate--what better way to begin summer?

At right you see me (62 inches tall) and Liwen and Tyrone's son Nathanael (reportedly 31 inches tall). Robert thought it would be neat to take a picture of me with (in his words) "something exactly half your height."

Below you see some of the appetizers for the day (I said there were a bunch of food pictures!). First, we had Greek deviled eggs, made with tomato paste, red onion, olive oil, and just a pinch of salt processed together with the yolks and then piped into the whites. They look kind of messy on the plate, though, despite my best efforts.

Next, at right you see the Kool-Aid pickles I made after reading that New York Times article everyone's been talking about (at least everyone in the food-focused circles I travel in, anyway). I made Berry Blue (at left), Fruit Punch (center), and Lemonade (right), as well as Grape (not pictured here). The lemonade were the mildest and the blah-est--almost not worth being Kool-Aid-y at all. The Berry Blue were very, very strong and assertive. The Grape were incredibly grape, so strong smelling that I almost couldn't have them in the house (hello, children's cold medicine! yum!), and almost black in color. The basic red Fruit Punch pickles were hands-down the favorite Kool-Aid pickle of the day: I still can't decide whether I find them addictive or repulsive, but they are odd and possibly pleasant. They definitely have that "Hi, I'm artificial" flavor going for them--sort of like a pickle texture plus a Sour Patch Kid flavor is a good way to think of them--and they're definitely related to li hing mui-coated candies, fruits, crackers, and other Hawaiian treats. I probably will make the red ones again (I basically have to, because I've got a lot of Kool-Aid left), but I'll skip the others.


Below at left is a picture of one of the two chocolate cakes I made for dessert--you have to have something patriotic in color on Memorial Day, I think, and a berry-topped cake fit the bill. (For the record, it's the whole wheat zucchini chocolate cake from the King Arthur Flour whole grain baking book--an excellent fudgy cake, very moist and delicious, and definitely able to hold up two cups of raspberry mouse and a pint of berries and still sit at warm room temperature to serve a bunch of people.)

Finally, take a look at three of the couples who were in attendance that day: me and Robert, married just under a month shy of nine years (note that Robert wore his pineapple shirt for his traditional associations with welcome and hospitality, since he was the official griller and co-host; I wore a Star Wars tee shirt, since it was the 30th anniversary of the original release of Star Wars this weekend), Sarah and Sean (who'd had a hard day involving missed busses and lost wallets and were exhausted), and Jef and Jin Yoon, married just over three weeks.

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Created: 5/29/07. Last Modified: 5/29/07.