Looking Back. There’s so much I have to say from my third pregnancy: funny anecdotes, hard times and memorable adventures. I believe it’s difficult to move forward until all that remains unsaid, unaccounted for and unclaimed as a complete memory is stitched together to a present quilt in time. Here is one of those squares…
Shutter to think, blink of an eye and: our first baby is starting to read, our second is riding a bike and speaking toddler sentences, the sailboat is ready to haul itself out of the salty sea, our house kitty has full-blown arthritis, our puppy is a mellow-ish [large] dog, we drive a minivan, and I’m about 34 weeks pregnant. Oh, and I’ve written a play. A real play. It has a director, a production date and a great performance space.
Sometime in the midst of beach play dates, excessive pregnancy vomiting, camping trips, exhaustion delirium, swing pushes, and kitchen cooking adventures, I’ve written a fifty-five page poetic narrative play about a lighthouse keeper’s wife and her family. And, it’s non-fiction. We should name the babe Shakespeare for all it’s drama-exposed breath [hey, Shakespeare and I do share a birthday]. Something had to give for a play to become a reality and it was, in this order: gardening & landscaping, blog entries, sewing & knitting, fiction & poetry reading, daily floor cleaning (It’s true. I was once an avid mopper.), and digital photography downloading/editing.
We try to soak up the last few rays of summer with beach forts and play-performances-by -Betty at South Beach. Below, she acts out a scene of an uncomfortable woman pregnant with rocks in her belly. Seems like I might be her inspiration.
Really, Betty dramatically says, I just can’t do it anymore – this big, big tummy is heavy and all these beach rocks will call me Mama and I don’t know if I can do it.
Summer rolls to a close and we build beach forts and look for whales that most likely have gone on to warmer waters.
You should see my cave, Mama, Lucy says, crawl in on your belly like this. Can I live here? Can this be my home? Can we come back tomorrow? I love the beach.
Yesterday was the last day of summer. I wish we could have said we spent it sailing & sweating from the still scorching sun. But, the boat sat idle at the marina while the girls rode bikes for a better part of the morning – tummy full on freshly baked egg-free carrot, walnut, wheat germ, and yogurt muffins and peanut butter and banana smoothies. At mid-afternoon, a nap held the household captive for close to three hours while a humid breeze had the curtains waving. Then Betty started dance season, clad in a white leotard and eager for jazz/tap. Lucy and I picnicked under the apple tree with her cowgirl-on-a-tin-horse lunch box. She calls the lunch box her “E-I-E-I-O” and it comforts her to carry food with her throughout the day because if you know Lucy, you know she’s a champion hours-long eater. Since Betty packs one for preschool each day, Lucy figured she needed one too. Good thing I never parted with my vintage lunch box collection.
After dance, we picked apples from the tree. I was feeling huge and exceptionally tired, as always, and the girls began jumping up and down saying how great it would be if we could make a pie.
Yeah, yeah, yeah Mama we could roll out dough — Betty
roll it roll it Lucy roll it roll it! — Lucy
and peel apples and make one banana pie yeah — Betty
nana nana nana — Lucy
[for Betty’s fructose allergy] and stir in sugar and look in the hot window and watch it cook and then we could eat it — Betty
yeah yeah yeah.. — Lucy
I wanted a nap, some E! news and someone else to make dinner. Luke was working super-late on a power outage.
Clean laundry was chanting: put us away, please, we’re folded and ready.
We decided on an easy dinner: local nitrate-free bacon sandwiches, oven roasted on parchment paper and sprinkled with maple sugar, with grilled sharp cheddar on semolina bread with a side of steamed organic peas. I put on slippers and a nightgown and grabbed my favorite home cookin’ cookbook, Margorie Mosser’s Good Maine Food with notes by Kenneth Roberts.
Hot Water Pastry
1/2 cup boiling water 3 cups flour
1 cup butter, unsalted 2/3 tsp baking powder
2 1/4 tsp salt
Pour boiling water over room temperature butter in a stainless bowl. Beat with a fork until it is a smooth liquid. For best results, I like to half submerge the bowl in a sink of very hot water. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into the liquid. Stir together and chill on parchment paper. Roll out. Since the air here is salty and humid, I like to roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper.
Luckily, the girls are exceptional crust rollers.
Line a pie dish with pastry. Pare, core and slice tart, juicy apples. I like to dip them in a bath of cold water sprinkled with lemon juice and salt to keep them from being brown. In this process we learned how good of an apple peeler Betty is. Place them in the bottom of the dish on their sides and close together. Add 3/4 raw organic sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon and dots of butter. Wet edges of bottom crust’s rim, put on upper crust, pressing the two together with a fork, using a crisscross pattern. Before placing the top pastry, we used a favorite cookie cutter shape, just for fun. Bake at 450 for ten minutes, then reduce heat to 350 for forty minutes, or until done. Bake on bottom rack for best results.
Betty’s Banana Creation
As we all know, Betty can’t eat fruit, so apple pie digestion is out. She cut three ripe bananas, placed them in a metal bowl and added [of her own suggestion] 1/4 cup wheat germ, dots of butter, sprinkles of cinnamon and, much to Betty’ s dissatisfaction, not a cup of mustard like the recipe she wrote asked for. We rolled out the left over pastry and made a pocket with the banana filling, of course first using a cookie cutter to decorate.