Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Bugs

I spent this week away, in Wisconsin, for a work trip where I spent most of the time hanging out at Frank Lloyd Wright's house and having no internet or cell service. I know the last part sounds terrible but it was actually pretty great.

Debbie and the Bubses

Debbie and Elliott

Debbie and Martin

Before I left our friend, Debbie, was visiting and she was finally able to meet the Wombats as we organized a plan to get them to the beach.

Beach Day

Beach Day

Debbie with Elliott, Daddy with Martin at the Beach

Beach Day

The beach trip went much better than expected and certainly much better than their first trip to the beach.

Grilled Fennel Pasta

While I was at work Jen and Debbie went to the farmer's market where they picked up this baby fennel. I grilled it and put it in pasta with black olives, anchovy, chopped tomato, chopped basil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

2013 Stone Ledge Farm Share (Week 3)

Jen picked up the farm share this week. We got garlic scapes, bright lights rainbow chard, summer spinach, red leaf lettuce, romaine, green leaf lettuce, and butter lettuce.

Wisconsin Beer Cooler

While Jen struggled to pick up the farm share, I struggled to sample as many Wisconsin area beers as was humanly possible.

We all have our roles to play.

Jen and Nate in Tarrytown

I got back late on Thursday night after many delays because of a tornado watch in New Jersey. Thursday was also Jen's birthday so we had a series of plans for Friday, all of which were foiled.

We were going to go to the The MoMA to see the Rain Room until we found out the lines could be almost six hours. Then we decided there may be better ways to spend a rare six hour chunk of time without babies. Most importantly: napping.

We then planned to go to Kykuit until the sour old bat at the desk told us that the only tour would be in three hours in the rudest way she knew how. We decided to go down to the park and see the lighthouse after that.

Weird Dental-Themed Park

On our way to the lighthouse, past a group of people grilling and blaring loud Christian music, we came across this odd children's park with a dental theme. The benches were toothbrushes and there were giant molars you could climb on.

Tarrytown Lighthouse

Then we saw the lighthouse and made our way to the path to it.

Tarrytown Lighthouse CLOSED!

We were greeted with this sign informing us that we would not be seeing the lighthouse. If we'd been feeling more adventurous we could have easily crawled through the hole in the fence.

Beach Closed

We then went to go see the beach and were greeted with this sign.


It was all for the best as a quick glance through the fence revealed that it didn't look like we'd be missing all that much.

Jen Next to the World's Largest Blackberry Bush

Then we encountered the world's largest blackberry bush. I would have figured it was just a tree until I got under it.

Blackberries and Bologna

That's when I saw lots of crushed blackberries and an empty container of bologna, the trademark of your average blackberry bush.

Martin's First Polenta

Elliott's First Polenta

Back at home we were able to give the babies their first taste of both polenta and cannellini beans. They tolerated both until they got bored and decided to toss them both to the floor in disgust. I was not offended by this as lately they have become incredible picky.

Lettuce Soup with Toasted Pine Nuts and Olive Oil

For dinner I tried to use up some of the immense amounts of greens we had by making this lettuce soup out of green leaf, romaine, garlic, onion, vegetable stock, and almonds. I pureed this with a little salt and pepper then sprinkled with toasted pine nuts and drizzled with olive oil.

Brewery Ommegang Fleur de Houblon

For beer I had this Fleur de Houblon from Brewery Ommegang. This was a really nice beer and bore a very strong resemblance to my first home brew.

Tour de France Biscuits

On Saturday I woke up feeling lousy. Really lousy. We had our traditional biscuits for the first day of the Tour de France. I still felt lousy. At first I just figured I was really tired from travel and the wrangling of Bubses but after taking my temperature and going to the doctor it was determined that I had a virus so I took a monster two hour nap while Jen kindly took the babies out for the afternoon.

Elliott Swinging

Martin Swinging

She took them on a great tour of local town swings.

Bubses and Boats

And down to the shore so they could glower at some boats.

Martin Playing with Light

Back at home I miraculously felt tons better after sleeping and Martin showed me how much he missed me by trying to topple all the lamps in our apartment.

CampoMoro Piemonte Barbera

As fast as this virus came on me it departed and I even had time for a nice glass of wine with dinner.

Birthday Fruit Tart

This year I had to purchase Jen's birthday fruit tart to keep up with her lackluster birthday as well as my inability to make such things.

Martin with Beth and Mummy

Beth Photographing Elliott

Today we had a nice afternoon visit from our friend Beth who had fun photographing the guys.

Martin Asleep in High Chair

Elliott Asleep in High Chair

Afterwards, Jen went to drop Beth off at the train. While they were gone I started cutting stuff up for them for dinner. After returning to the living room I found them both completely asleep in their high chairs.

Here's a video of what I returned to after a mere four minutes in the kitchen.

Spicy Seafood Boil

For dinner I made a spicy seafood boil per Jen's request. I cut up onion, potato, sweet potato, garlic scapes, rainbow chard, chorizo, shrimp, corn, seafood broth, La Chouffe Blonde beer, black peppercorns, hot sauce, and bay leaf. The end result was great except that I keep forgetting Jen is unable to eat corn on the cob since Elliott knocked out her tooth.

Andean Brewing Company Kuka Tripel

For beer we had this Tripel from Kuka - Andean Brewing Company, a local New York brewery using ingredients from the Andes. It was one of the more flavortul tripels I've ever had and went very well with the seafood boil.

It was a trying week for Jen and merely a tiring week for me. Next week we head for Rhode Island. Here's to hoping all goes smoothly and they are just as worn out and ready for bed there as here.

If not, there's always Baby Benadryl.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bachelorette Week

A lot has happened since Nate last posted. This entry will deal with almost none of that stuff.

Nate is in the beautiful state of Wisconsin this week for work -- he is, in fact, in the beautiful, cheese-loving city of Milwaukee (Algonquin for "The Good Land") -- so it has been me and my two main men all week. (In re: the title: can it really be a bachelorette week, I ask myself, if a lady hangs out with two small dudes all week? I think it can.) So this entry will focus on our crazy bachelorette shenanigans. Nate, once back in the bosom of his family, can go back in time to recap then.

Debbie and the Bubses

Anyhow, it's been an eventful week. On Monday, our friend Debbie -- who had spent the weekend making the acquaintance of the guys -- left, along with Nate, just as dawn's rosy fingers were streaking their way across the sky.


I fed the guys, Martin hugged/oppressed his brother, and then it was off to daycare/work until we reconvened afterwards for a quick dash to get the vegetables (to be covered in Nate's post, since I don't actually know how to get pictures from his camera) and then lots of fun times standing up in various cribs. During the standing party (also a climbing party, in Martin's case), Martin's enthusiasm for his newly discovered skill got him a little overambitious ....


And he gave himself a nice juicy fat lip, which showed its fullest form the next morning. Happily, It didn't seem to bother him.


Tuesday I rushed home after a post-work celebratory cocktail party for a coworker to get the dinner party started. Elliott was a big fan of dinner, apparently -- I walked into the room to see that he had dislodged Martin's supper bowl and was emptying the contents into his own bowl.

Elliott Tackling Martin

But that wasn't the night's biggest achivement. After their bath, I left Martin in the hallway on a towel while I carried his brother into the Bubserie to get changed. And the I heard it. Slap slap slap slap slap. Yes, the distinctive sound of a small child crawling down the hallway. Martin, two weeks after his brother, was rejoicing in a sudden, astonishing mobility.

I annoyingly missed getting a video of the sight, but I DID get this snippet of the boys in action this morning. Immediately after this video, Elliott commenced a repeated hug-tackling of his brother that didn't stop until Martin shrieked and I separated them. Brotherly love is a beautiful thing.

Today my munificent employer allowed me to work from home, so I was in better shape than normal when I picked up the guys from daycare. (Where Martin reportedly spent the day sleeping almost not at all in favor of exercising his new abilities at all times.) But while things started off well, they went south fast. There was more hug tackling. There was a Martin so tired and presumably gum-sore from teething he refused to eat his dinner, and then refused his bottle after almost falling asleep in his chair. There was an Elliott shrieking in rage because his dinner was interupted in favor of putting his brother to bed. There was a Martin crying piteous tears because he was given Tylenol for his teeth. There was a Martin throwing all of his meager dinner up in protest of the Tylenol. There was a mother-son bathing experience. There was an Elliott who, shockingly, fell asleep in his clothes eating his bottle. There was a brother who then refused to sleep.

Anyhow, the boys were both asleep by 8:30, but I felt a strange malaise that was hard to shake. Being vomited upon, I suppose.

However, boys are asleep, lunch is made, and there are still a few hours of this day left to do a few last labors. As much as I have enjoyed my one-on-two time with the guys (barf-malaise aside), we are all looking forward to Nate's return tomorrow night. There are a few things to be done beforehand. Make room in the fridge for all the cheese I presume he's bringing home, for one -- if you're returning from Wisconsin, it's the only polite thing to do.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Breaking Down the Walls of Peruvian Cooking

As we got ready for work this morning we set the Wombats up to play in their little play area.

Martin with Tambourine

Martin had a good time with the tambourine as he often does.

Elliott Standing at Wall

Elliott had a great time standing up and being proud of himself.

While getting ready in the other room there was a great crash which made me run into the living room. This is what I saw.

Elliott Bubsy . . . Tear Down This Wall!

Elliott was not hurt, he was just upset that this flimsy wall had toppled over and left him unable to do his favorite activity: standing.

I tried to cheer him up by saying, "Mr. Bubsevhev, tear down this wall!"

He was not amused.

Pisco Sour

After work I decided to make some Pisco sours, a drink I don't think either of us had had since we attended a food show in 2004 at the Jacob Javits Center. While the sours lose points for not being made by a Peruvian they gain points for not being made at the Jacob Javits Center.

Papas a la Huancaína

For a starter I made this dish called Papas a la Huancaína. It's basically some boiled potatoes on greens which is coated with a sauce made of milk, feta cheese, crackers, and aji amarillo. It's garnished with black olives and hard boiled eggs and it is delicious.

Cristal Beer from the Andes

With dinner I had this Peruvian beer, Cristal, from Union De Cervecerias Peruanas Backus y Johnston.

It was exactly what you would expect: an import lager from South America. It tasted like every other import lager.

Painted Goat Feta

We also snacked on this feta cheese we got from the farm share. It was fantastic with some fresh bread.

Pan Seared Paiche with Corn, Avocado, Tomato Salsa

Keeping with the Peruvian theme I picked up this paiche which I pan roasted with olive oil and adobo then topped with a slasa I made out of tomato, red onion, olive oil, corn, avocado, salt, and lime juice.

Cusquena Premium Cerveza

To end the evening I had this Cusqueña from Compania Cervecera Del Sur Del Peru S.A. This was also another import lager. It was a little sweeter and came in a cooler bottle. Other than that it was unremarkable.

Sadly, with crying babies, I did not have the opportunity to make anything for dessert. I did, however, have the opportunity to rock Elliott back to sleep and get drooled on.

And with something that sweet, who needs dessert?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Little Italians

On Monday morning I woke up with a severe pain in my neck, so bad that I almost couldn't get out of bed. Jen had kindly done all the laundry for me on Sunday, dragging the Wombats with her to get it done, so that I could enjoy my day on Monday. What ended up happening is that I was just glad I didn't have to lug anything up and down stairs.

By Tuesday the pain had subsided quite a bit and I stayed home with the Bubses all day.

Early Morning with Bubses

The day started with an early morning wake up call and me wrestling with the Bubses in bed for a while before walking Jen to the train and bidding her farewell for the day.

Bubses at Rye Playland

I took the guys on a walk to the beach and to Playland. It was a very cool and breezy day that soon turned extremely humid and stuffy.

Bubses Under Rain Cover

Then, at our farthest point from home, it began to rain. I was able to fish out the rain cover and clumsily rest it over the top of the stroller. Elliott, who doesn't like to be covered by anything, managed to poke a toe through the bottom and stick his foot out the bottom getting it wet with rain water.

Romaine with Grape Tomato, Olive, Pine Nuts, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Vinaigrette

After getting them home, and to bed, I started off dinner with an Italian theme. I made this salad with Romaine from the farm, grape tomato, olives, pine nuts, mozzarella, and a balsamic vinagrette.

Italian Style Bok Choy with Parmigiano-Reggiano

I also made another Italian dish with this classic Italian ingredient from the farm: bok choy! I sauteed it with some olive oil, garlic and onion, then finished it with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Frozen Wild Salmon

Since the Wombats have moved on from purees and spoon-feeding we had a little bit of a backup in the freezer. I had all these ice cube-shaped bits of salmon that I needed to use up.

Capellini with Salmon White Wine Cream Sauce, Roasted Tomatoes, and Fresh Oregano

I decided to cook them up with some garlic, onion, olive oil, butter, white wine, cream, oregano, and roasted tomatoes to make this capellini. It ended up turning out really good as a pasta sauce.

Evil win Brewing Femme Fatale Blanc

To accompany all this I enjoyed this Femme Fatale Blanc from Evil Twin Brewing, an anniversary gift from Jen. This was a very nice, very light, very refreshing IPA.

Sweet Sopressata and Camembert

Tonight, after a very easy night of getting the babies to bed, I put together this sweet sopressata plate with Camembert while I waited for Jen to get home from work.

Mixed Greens with Avocado, Mozzarella, Shrimp, Tomato, Lemon, and Olive Oil

I also made this salad with avocado, shrimp, grape tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella with lemon and olive oil. I put peppadews on my salad as Jen sort of hates peppadews.

Founders Brewing Co. Cerise

With dinner I had this Cerise from Founders Brewing Company, another gift from Jen. Then I realized that this beer was way too sweet and sour to have with dinner so I put it in the fridge until I could enjoy it as an after dinner substitution for dessert.

At the NICU one nurse, also the mother of twins, let us know that just when we think we've figured things out the babies would switch things up on us. She could not have been more right. While weeks ago Elliott would go to sleep with basically no effort, lately he eats has his entire bottle then looks at us wide awake and ready to party. Martin, who used to be such a challenge, falls asleep almost instantly after starting his bottle.

So it is that we take things day-to-day and try to enjoy those small slivers of time where we think we have it all figured out. It's best to support the illusion.

We totally have nothing figured out.