No school on Friday meant we could stay home. It meant not having to get into the van and wait until the kids spent five minutes buckling themselves up in their car seats. It meant not having to fight the holiday Friday crowds at the grocery stores with three children. Instead, Friday was a "fun" day.
The weather was warm and signs of spring were showing in the backyard. Although parts of the lawn are green, a greater portion has died off and will need to be replaced thanks to the drought that Texas has been experiencing during the past few years. Despite that, the children enjoyed playing restaurant in their little playhouse tucked in the shadows of the overgrown bushes. It's been quite some time since I've seen them play in that house so I was glad they were taking advantage of it.
Meanwhile, I was sitting inside at the kitchen table watching them play while writing recipes. My husband was away on a business trip. When your children choose to run and play outside instead of inside, you learn to cherish those peace filled moments. At one point, my older daughter decided she was finished playing outdoors and joined me at the table. She saw that I was writing. I told her I was working on my cookbook. So, she ran upstairs, grabbed a sheet of clean paper from the copy machine and an entire stack of the discarded printed papers lying on the side of the printer. After taping the "spine" of her book together, she announced that she is also writing a book called "resupe's cake" (that would mean recipes in her world).
She sat on the chair next to me and wanted to write a recipe of her own. I first gave her a copy of one of my unfinished recipes that had been sitting in the Notes app on the iPad since last summer. The motivation for that was for her to practice her handwriting - which she did not inherit from me. She will never hear the words "Oh, it looks like you typed this!' or "Um, you need to fill out this form" (after I'd already filled it out).
After this exercise, she asked what are the basic ingredients that go into cakes. I told her flour, sugar, butter, and eggs were the building blocks of all of my cakes. "How do you spell pounds?", she then asked. "Grams", I replied. "We'll be using grams." But that's another story. She wrote her recipe, which included vanilla and lemin as the flavors then went to play some more.
Seeing how the day was coming to an end, I wanted to make a ricotta cake with the revisions I'd written in my journal. Adding a little more ricotta turned the previous recipe into more of a cheesecake. I loved the taste and the fact that I now had two recipes from one. I had intended on keeping this cake for the following day - my husband's birthday - but my oldest insisted on eating a piece that night. After the homemade pizza.
Saturday was a special day - it was my husband's birthday. So we had cake for breakfast. We started our day earlier than usual since he had a haircut scheduled before noon. The children all wanted to go with him. I had almost the entire day to myself as they ended up going to the park afterwards and then on a few other errands. Apparently, they grew restless and bored while at Fry's.
I chose to use three of those hours cleaning up around the house before I went grocery shopping - alone. It might not sound like a big deal to go grocery shopping alone, but when you have three small children all fighting to sit in the cart (which means I have no place for groceries) going alone is a zen like moment - although it's still a chore.
This weekend's movie feature was a new 3D movie that the children and hubby bought while out running errands. I've never heard of it, but the animation was amazing in 3D. The story was pretty good too - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole.
Both girls decided to get up early on Sunday morning. Saffron took charge of organizing the "egg" hunt for her and her siblings - going so far as to draw up a map of where she intended on hiding them. They weren't real dyed eggs. Simply plastic eggs filled with quality European chocolate and the mini Haribo bears.
She did such a great job of it but later remarked that next year I can hide them. I guess it's not much fun when you already know the hiding places. It was nice of her to volunteer with this task as it gave me a chance to make a special Easter breakfast cake.
Almond meal, sliced almonds, Amaretto, and sour cherries. Granted, sour cherries are not a seasonal ingredient for spring but it's great to have an excuse to try something new.
Clouds rolled in shortly after noon, followed by rain and thunder. It was perfect for kneading a batch of Neapolitan pizza dough. This version of the dough was made entirely with all-purpose flour as opposed to the Caputo flour I've been using. The resulting texture of the baked dough was not bad, just not as chewy as I'd prefer. My next version will be equal parts all-purpose flour and cake flour.
The toppings were simple, with a hint of spring. Pencil thin asparagus topped the pizza before it went into the oven. Fresh arugula graced the top of the baked pizza right before serving. Of course, only on half of the pizza, as the children have not yet developed a liking of the more complex flavors beyond Kalamata olives and Greek feta.
Not a bad way to spend a special 3-day weekend.