Holy leave of absence, Batman! Turns out my "brief respite" from writing my blog was more like a prolonged divestiture. My last post was in March 2014 and that was my only post The. Entire. Year.
All I can say to my loyal readers -- all 3 of you -- is that, well. . . meh. My kids stopped being funny for awhile, I got busy. . . life happened. Sorry.
But I'm back with some random observations of our recently completed holidays.
1. The season Will. Not. Cooperate.
We planned a trip back to the Homeland for Christmas -- in place of our usual, more easily travelled Thanksgiving trip -- reasoning that Boy #2 had never seen snow at Christmastime. How sad. All these years! He had an empty place! What kind of parents were we?
It didn't snow in the Homeland. In fact, it was colder at The House than it was in the Homeland region. We did see snow near Christmas because clever family members had planned a skiing trip while we were visiting -- and there was an hour or so of actual snow to top the man-made stuff on the slopes -- but not on the day itself.
Thankfully, it did not snow at The House while we were gone. I couldn't have handled that kind of irony.
2. Southern boys -- who've never even seen skis -- can ski.
I have to take others' word on this (being an avid non-skier myself) but, apparently, my boys did a bang-up job on their first day skiing. Never mind that every time I looked out the window or ventured onto the patio, all I saw was one or both of them being hauled back to their feet by somebody else.
Those who know say they did really well. And Boy #2 has already placed his order for going again next year. . . or maybe going skiing instead of to the beach for spring break. Isn't he adorable? He's completely lost his mind, of course, but still adorable.
3. Gluten-free pizza crust tastes better than dairy-free mozzarella "cheese."
Once we were back home, we decided to stay in for New Year's Eve and have our own little party -- no crowds, no cold, no annoying revelers and all the comforts of home. The food line-up included make-your-own individual pizzas. . .which is all well and good except for those of us who can't have pizza. (There's gluten and cheese involved and, really, we don't want to eat anything that tastes too good.)
But I had a plan. And I had gluten-free flour! So I made my own.
I'm slowly learning a lot about gluten-free baking, primarily that whatever works once might (or might not) work the next time you try it. Colors are a little "off" (as you no doubt noticed with the pizza) and taste is inconsistent.
But the standing rule so far is that, no matter what you make, it always tastes better the second day. And it's 100% better than any GF stuff you can buy premade. Guaranteed.
4. I love my Crock Pot in the summer and hate my Crock Pot in the winter for exactly the same reason.
It doesn't heat up the kitchen.
This is important when there's already enough heat (and humidity) in the atmosphere for an extra continent or two, but it's sadly lacking when it's cold. And right now, it's cold.
Oh, my house smells lovely -- I'd like to develop a spray or diffuser that works nearly as well as Food Cooking in the Crock Pot -- but I'm still cold!
5. My sister-in-law knows stuff.
Never again will I demur or even balk when she offers me red wine. I'll just smile -- hopefully without trepidation -- and taste the stuff. Because she knows. Oh yes, she knows the good stuff.