adam and i have had a busy night gathering, wrapping, and finalizing all of our gifts. i can't believe we finished! we are looking forward to a quiet day tomorrow opening presents with suki and sharing a meal with dear friends. we are also excited to be hosting our family christmas party on monday evening! we missed church tonight, because suki has a bad cold and a cough. i remember being sick on christmas as a child, such a sad time. i hope she wakes up less miserable and is able to have a fun special day. wishing you all sweet dreams of sugar plum fairies!
we celebrated at home last night, the first night of hanukkah, the festival of lights. it has been fun to watch suki experience the holiday traditions now that she is older. her imagination is so rich and everything is magical through her eyes. i love hearing her version of the stories we tell her.
here a kitchen napkin first played the role of a baby that was tucked under her shirt. after it was "born" and coddled in her arms for a while, she transformed it in to a superhero cape.
the suki superhero stayed for the rest of the evening- lit the first candle of the menorah, listened to the prayer, sang along to this song, and played with her wooden hanukkah set juan and laura gave her last year.
one of my favorite traditions came today- cookie making with my mom. this year was extra fun, because suki was able to help a little more. she was so happy that we were all wearing aprons, she exclaimed, "mommy blue, granny flowers, and suki man with gold tooth"!
we were not quite as ambitious as last year, and we only made one cut out style- the ooh la las from vegan cookies invade your cookie jar. however, they were a little extra fun thanks to the fluorescent food coloring adam brought home and the pink sprinkles i had on hand. after they were all packaged up, we had a blast delivering them to our friends in the neighborhood. knock knock! ding dong!
last year, the december days got away from us, and we failed to celebrate for santa lucia day. this year, we once again did not prepare in advance. yet, we could not let another santa lucia day pass without the joy of saffron buns. since i had a haircut scheduled at 8 am, and adam had to leave for work immediately following, we were not able to enjoy our lussekatter with rowster coffee. so we decided to make them late in the day and enjoy with a simple lentil soup.
suki patiently colored in her winter wonderland coloring book while i quickly made the soup.
simple french lentil soup
2 cups of french lentils cooked in 2 cups of water and 2 cups of veggie broth (i used a pressure cooker)
2 tsp. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoons of dried tarragon
1 cup veggie broth
1/4 cup white wine
juice from half a lemon
2 cups of chopped greens
salt and pepper to taste
cook the onion in the olive oil until they start to brown. then add the garlic, and stir for a few more minutes. add the white wine and tarragon. simmer for a couple minutes, then add the cup of veggie broth. once the lentils are cooked add them to the pot with their broth. bring to a simmer, and add the greens. once the greens have wilted, add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
all of suki's playdough time has paid off! she was surprisingly good at shaping the lussekatter. she was so proud and had a great time helping with this special baking project. i am looking forward to our cookie making day next week.
our dinner was completely delicious and full of light.
adam often has his sculpture class make an exchange project similar to a print portfolio exchange. every student has to create an edition of sculptures that follow a list of rules, which were drawn out of a hat. for the most recent project the rules were:
there must be antlers
they must be wearable
there must be a wheel
the sculpture must include a phone call
they must not be yellow
color and texture must not be altered
sculptures must use usps
must be collaborative
must be made by alter-ego
must be made out of recycled material
part must be invisible
must be deceiving
looking at this list of rules i was afraid to see what the outcome would be, but adam made these brooches and they are wonderful. i was very happy he let me have his! i have not yet seen all twelve sculptures.
hello, grand rapids folks! if you are in the mood for a special, deluxe dessert head on down to bartertown for the cupcake milkshake. adam, suki, and i stopped in to try one yesterday, and it knocked our socks right off. bartertown came up with this as a way to utilize the day old cupcakes and wow did they ever- this was by far the best milkshake i have ever tried. they are using adam's famous cardamom ice cream. so if you have been missing the rowster affogato this season, stop in to bartertown.
bartertown is also the place to get the some of the healthiest dessert in town. the raw pecan bar is a healthier dessert option every kid will love.
my wonderful friend, nicole, is raising money to take an herbalism class this spring in ann arbor, michigan. she is very gifted at making clothing for women and children as well as things for the home and for parties. i ordered an oven mitt and pot holder set for our kitchen, one for suki's kitchenette, and a set of small napkins. nicole is such a perfectionist; everything she makes is very well crafted, and she uses such lovely fabrics. contact nicole if you have been wanting something for your home or for yourself but do not have the time or know how to make it. this is for a great cause, nicole is one of the most kind, loving people i know and has great potential to help a lot of people in the future with the knowledge she gathers from this herbalism class.
p.s. she made the colored pencil case for suki on her birthday- so nice!
Cook noodles according to directions on package, but when you begin boiling the water start the lentils.
Combine ½ cup of red lentils with 1 cup of filtered water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and cover for about 25 minutes- until the lentils are cooked.
Press garlic or add minced garlic into the olive oil on medium heat. As the garlic begins to turn golden, add the spinach and tomato paste. Sautee for another minute; then add the crushed tomato and the cooked lentils. Season with cracked pepper, salt, and mix in the flakes.
suki and adam spent time together at the library, on a walk at the calvin college ecosystem preserve, reading, and playing with new hillery toys while i worked in my studio. i recently cleaned out my closet and put aside four pairs of too well worn leggings that i am making into pants for suki. i was feeling inspired by this book and the dress sarah wore to thanksgiving that she had made out of a bed sheet.