Thursday, October 26, 2017

Summer of 2017: A scrapbook

This is late and incomplete, which actually makes it a pretty good metaphor for 2017, but here's a quick recap of the summer that was. As you may note from the photos below. It was a really fun summer, a welcome and restorative respite after a really lousy first five months of the early year.

In late May/early June I took an amazing vacation out West. I posted a detailed recounting of our awesome itinerary. The trip took us to South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana. DH and I are working toward seeing all 50 states together before we turn 50, which is just around the corner.

The National Parks we visited were amazing. And exciting as you can see:


Father's Day fun.



An epic pie competition. I lost the contest at the farmer's market, but I won it on social media.
Impeach pie


Learned to make lots of cool stuff at mHUB. I got skillz!







See what I read this summer by clicking here.

Someone got his wisdom teeth removed.

Another someone lived in the city and was completely self-supporting (after mom took him on the most expensive mall trip of her life) for the summer. I'm super proud of him.



Thursday, July 20, 2017

(Im) Peach Pie Recipe

Im Peach Pie recipe
History has shown that I'm unlikely to win the pie contest at the local farmer's market, so I only enter if I have a reason that is compelling enough to help me ignore the sting of defeat. For example, one year I made a cricket flour crust. The sweet filling masked the Earthiness of the cricket flour (and it was blended with traditional flour, anyway).

I hadn't planned to enter this year, but then, inspiration struck when I wondered aloud on Facebook whether one could make a peach pie with nectarines. Duh! It occurred to me as many friends chimed in to remind me that, that would be a nectarine pie. I hadn't heard of such a thing. But that got me thinking about fake peach pies and fake orange things and fake presidents.

I had my 2017 pie! It didn't win the contest, but it won on social media, which is all I really wanted, anyway.

PEACH PIE description:

This pie is the BEST, probably better than any PIE that has been entered into this contest for the last TEN YEARS. I had to build a WALL around my kitchen last night to keep my family from eating the pie. That's how good it is. ENJOY!

Ingredients
The BEAUTIFUL bottom crust was made with oil, flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, and vinegar.

The TREMENDOUS filling was made from nectarines (#FAKEPEACHES) sugar, lemon juice, salt from dried up liberal tears (Kidding! Just the regular kind), cornstarch, covfefe (a proprietary blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom), and vanilla.

The flaky top crust was made with flour, butter, and salt and has an egg whitewash.

***
I neglected to mention that my recipe riffed off of a nectarine pie recipe that was supposedly a favorite of the Obama White House. (Its crust calls for butter, lard, AND cream. Can you imagine?)

Several people looked at the pie and clearly saw "I'm peach" and thought it was simply a cute declaration. Others picked up on my more subversive message, even without the description. #winning.


I'll save you the search. Here's my triple berry cricket pie from 2014.



Thursday, June 22, 2017

Why I Can't Have Nice Things and BTW, There's a Folktale on My Face

Yeah, I thought this blog had outlived its usefulness, too. But it turns out there ain't no pity party like the one I can throw myself here, so let's get to it. I'm rapidly approaching 50 and my skin shows it. A few years ago when I pointed out various white spots (basal cell cancer!), dark spots (melanoma!), blotchiness and wrinkles, to my dermatologist she gamely described them as "signs of maturity." She also noted that I probably had a lot of fun in the sun when I was younger. You know, back in the olden days when tanning oil was in vogue and the term SPF hadn't been invented.

Anyhoo, I was overdue for a skin check. And now my skin is more. More freckly, more wrinkly, more discolored and as blotchy as ever.

But I recently learned a secret that apparently most women my age and older already know: getting work done. Work as in facial peels, laser treatments, chemical fills, Botox! Apparently, I missed this stop on the crazy train of life, the one that helps older women look younger and fresher.

So I was excited to see the dermatologist and learn about my treatment options.

Introducing the new Kim Moldofsky!

via GIPHY

I was eager to clear up my skin. You know, make my outside reflect my inside and all that. In theory, at least. The truth is my inside is kind of a mess right now.

Which is essentially what the doctor told me. No fancy facial treatments for you, missy! He pointed out that my arthritis is flaring, my medication is still in flux, and anyway many immunosuppressants make the skin super sensitive to sunlight...and things like lasers. You're a candidate for complications, things going wrong. It could lead to trouble.

I look fine for a woman my age, he reassuredOr maybe he called my skin appropriate. He might have thrown me a bone and tossed out the word good-looking, but I think I'm making that up. Perhaps he used that most passive-aggressive of medical terms, unremarkable.

At any rate, either I have to apply a shit ton of makeup (and manage not to have it drip down my face during a sweaty hot flash) (aso, I'd have to buy the makeup and learn to use it) or I just have to deal.

But then, as my appointment was ending, I called his attention to a small red spot on the side of my nose. It kinda looks like a small sore, but it's not. Every now and again, it gets a small scab. It's been like that for years.

Suddenly, his eyes lit up*. He grabbed his liquid nitrogen and froze that motherf--ker into oblivion leaving me with dime-sized blister on the side of my nose. Not just a mark, but a thing with a bubbly three dimensions. Think about it. A dime is not small unless you compare it to, say, a silver dollar.

A week later the wound has flattened out but looks like a ginormous zit that has been obsessively picked over to the point of major skin damage. A bandage over the conspicuous area calls attention to it as much as the uncovered version does, though the bandage adds a sense of intrigue, I suppose.

Any day now it will turn into a more typical scab. Probably.

Because I hang out with a lot of middle-aged folks, they understand that it's an ugly dermatological intervention and not a disgustingly gross overpicked zit, but still. I feel worse than ever.

And then last night I recalled an old Yiddish folk tale.

A poor shtetl couple lives in a cramped, noisy, overcrowded house with their six children. The parents are at their wits' end. They consult the rebbe, who advises them to bring their dog into the house. They are confused, but do what the rebbe says.


via GIPHY

The situation gets worse, so they consult him again. This time he advises them to bring in their goat. So they do. The unceasing bleating adds to the chaos.

Back to the rebbe they go.

This time he advises them to bring their cow into the house.

More mooing, more mess.

Back again to the rebbe, who suggests they bring in the sheep as well.

Finally, they can't stand the noisy, crowded messy hovel anymore. "Rebbe, help us! The situation is intolerable!"

This time he advises them to remove all the animals. They do. And it turns out that having only the noise and the mess of their children is not so bad after all.

So it is with my skin. Or put in modern terms:

Me: Doctor, my skin is a mess. Help me face the world with confidence.
Doctor: Hold my beer.

Once this festering very visible wound is gone (God willing, in a week or two assuming it heals normally and there is no potentially cancerous sign in its wake, which is the presumed outcome), I'll look at my uneven, blotchy face in the mirror and remind myself that it could be worse.

*I jest