Welcome Back

Hey friends, its been a while. Between the pandemic, grad school (translated all of Beowulf last semester), having THREE kids to raise and educate, and Instagram rudely shutting down my main account, I have been absent without leave. Since Instagram has – rudely – continued to remain silent on whether I will every get my account back, I have opened a new account there @lorehousemother where I will hopefully continue feeding my kids.

In the absence of all those photos, captions, videos and reels-that-were-never-quite-made, it seems to me to be the right time to reactivate this blog. So let’s review a few food-based adventures of the last month.

Butter and jam tea sandwiches, shortbread cookies, clementines, tea in teapot

Getting us through the darkest days of the year have been tea parties. This one was just a general mid-afternoon tea, but we have had them for breakfast and lunch too. The coziness of the warm tea, and the fun, snacky finger-foods encourage my kids to eat. We have had peas, sliced sweet peppers, broccoli sticks, apple slices, and other delicious treats with our tea parties as well. One particularly cold day we even had a hot chocolate party. Definitely a kid-approved meal.

Apple wreaths in puff pastry

These inadvertently disastrous and hilarious beauties are apple wreaths. I cored a couple apples, sliced them across the middle, wrapped them in strips of puff pastry, and covered them in cinnamon sugar. Then I baked them. They didexactly what my knowledge of baking warned me would happen. The sugar melted into puddles of caramel – delicious, but messy. The apples were soft and floppy and the puff pastry was so soaked in the liquid sugar that it had no structure of its own. After gingerly moving them to the cooling rack, the next obstacle occurred. The sugar solidified around the grid of the rack and they were stuck fast. I took cookies I’d had set aside to my girl’s night instead and left these for my husband and children to snarf. They tasted terrific.

Banana Lentil Muffins

Finally, because I’m still feeding my kids every day, I made a triple batch of these banana lentil muffins with chocolate chips and froze them for high-fiber and high-protein snacks. They saved us from severe hanger meltdowns on Christmas eve, and from mommy-meltdowns when I realized I still had to feed my kids on Christmas day too. That’s just disrespectful. These muffins taste really good and some day I will share a recipe, but until I do, let me direct you to The Lean Green Bean and her terrific recipe. I use red lentils in mine because they seem to be the only ones I ever have.

The best story, however, was when we traveled to my Grandpa-in-law’s house for Christmas. There was no bed for Aya, my one-year-old, so we set her up on the floor, where she went to sleep with surprisingly little fuss.

Lo, it came about that in the middle of the night, when all small children are supposed to be sleeping with visions of sugarplums in their heads, that Aya awoke. Upon finding herself alone, and uncontained, she ventured forth to find her fortune in Mothers Bag of Mysteries, which usually contains snacks. And behold! within the greater Bag of Mysteries, she did discover a smaller bag, containing, like a dark, shining jewel, a muffin. This muffin she did extract and clutch within her tiny hands, as a the Shepherd of the Family, one Daddy by name, discovered her in her journey, loosed from her place of repose. Like the giant he seemed, he lifted her with ease and deposited her in her bed, surprised at how little she protested. For he did not know that she yet retained her midnight treasure, a small feast upon which she might nibble until sleep once again took her.

And that’s the story of how we found her covered in crumbs with chocolate chips melted into her hair on Christmas morning.

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