Kitchen Adventures, Picnic Party, and Grad School

This summer has been a whirlwind!  We were so lucky to be able to go on several trips all over the east; to St. Louis, down to Fayetteville for a (kind of) secret visit to my grandparents, to Athens, to Pennsylvania, New York's wine country, and Portland for me!  Jeez Louise.  Reading that makes me think I should go take a nap.  As a side effect, I haven't blogged much here.  I know, I'm sorry!  I did try to post some photos every now and then, mainly because if I didn't y'all wouldn't recognize that mini-adult we call Hazel.  She is so big!!

I took that photo this morning.  Can you believe those teeth?!  She just learns so quickly.  Last night we were eating dinner, after she had been fed, and she was calmly playing in her high chair.  I gave her a couple of my green beans, and she picked them right up and fed herself.  Then I tried some mashed potatoes and kohlrabi with dill, and she scooped that mess right up off her tray & into her mouth!  Babies sometimes have weird things about food textures, or can also get mad if their hands get all dirty, so I was super pleased to see her eagerness.  Plus, she loved the food.  We've been experimenting with seasonings & herbs in her food, and so far she hasn't turned anything away, including jalepenos (that was all Amos), dill, basil, cinnamon, and curry powder.  This child will eat anything, and that's just how I like 'em.

(I know this picture will be embarrassing to her later, but it's so forking funny.  Yes, I'm trying to say fork instead of fuck now.  I'm a mom, you guys!)

Speaking of all this grown-up-ness, Hazel has both a birthday picnic and a birthday coming up!  I separate the two because we're actually having her party this weekend on the 9th, as my dear, sweet mama will be here for the weekend (yay!).  I still have to buy the plates, forks, and bubbles for the small fete.  As you may recall, I bought her dress in Portland, which just happened to be orange and blue.  Since I love that dress and it's Auburn University's colors, her picnic is orange & blue themed.  Loosely themed.  Mainly I'm just going to get plates in that color, and try to find some sheets that kind of match for picnic blankets.  

One thing I did want to do, since this is a simple party, was to make some great favors.  I cogitated on that for a while, and finally came up with making peach jam (orange) tied with ribbon (blue).  Have I ever made peach jam?  Or canned?  No!  But I did it anyway.


I don't know what's gotten into me lately.  Maybe it's some belated nesting instinct, but I have been very interested in cooking all kinds of things.  Amos and I sort of share dinner duty, and these days I make most of Hazel's baby food, but my interests have been leaning towards preserving food and canning.  My grandmother has canned for longer than I've been alive, but I never paid much attention as a child.  Now I wish I had, but it's better to start now than to keep wishing she would mail box after box of canned vegetables up my way!  So I just jumped right in and made it myself, and it turned out pretty good!  Plus, it actually did seal, which is awesome.  I immediately tried to can some green beans after these came out of the pressure cooker, and not a jar of those sealed.  I'm going to keep working on it, of course.  I made these today, though they aren't canned, just in jars:

Speaking of working (do you guys like how I laid out this blog post, so as to get all three weird topics into some semblance of continuity?), I took the GRE yesterday and made the score I needed to get into grad school.  So I'm in!  I have enrolled in the online English master's program at Morehead State in Kentucky.  I'm only waiting on Auburn to send my transcripts and I can register for class.  I can't wait to start classes!  The GRE has an essay portion, and I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the challenge of academic writing again, albeit a small essay with no preparation.  I'm just built for school, I guess!

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6 thoughts on “Kitchen Adventures, Picnic Party, and Grad School

  1. I knew their birthdays were close, but I didn't realize they were only a week apart! I saw a woman yesterday who is due in 3 weeks, and it brought on such a wave a ambiguous nostalgia. I kind of miss being pregnant, but hope the next time I avoid the heat when I'm super big!

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