February 5, 2017

Let them eat cake

We had no school on Friday due to an in-service where the teachers spent the day wrangling proficiency-based learning. When we have these long weekends, we try to send one child to D.C. for some special grandparent time. It was Lilah’s turn to go, so I had a house full of boys. Lots and lots of boys.

 
Because I grew up without one, I am fascinated with all that composes childhood. I want to encourage it, make space for it, protect it from the forces that erode it. You only get one childhood. There are no do-overs. There’s a reason we all love Calvin (with his sidekick Hobbes). He does childhood.

 
On days off school, then, I encourage people to drop their kids off at my house for the day. “Drop them before breakfast if you need to,” I say. “And it they’re still here for dinner, I’ll feed them.” It’s not really extra work for me. The kids play with each other and we have a big space. At some point, I usually kick them out and insist on some outdoor time, and at some point I start baking.

 
I make challah on Fridays, and since I knew we’d have multiple extra bottomless put human people at the dinner table, I wanted to make dessert. I got beets in my CSA, so I set out to make red velvet cake. Because cream cheese frosting.

 
However, it turns out several of the beets were yellow beets. So I present to you my moist, delicious, brown velvet cake:


With cream cheese frosting.

 
Saturday, I made peanut butter cookies for the boys to bring to the houses where they were having dinner. I could unload a whole day’s baking on other families while working through the rest of the brown velvet cake. I had sent Benjamin’s friend home with brown velvet cake on Friday, and figured the family was good for some cookie consumption, as well. This plan would have worked perfectly if the dad hadn’t decided to make cookies. He sent Benjamin home with our container filled with cookies. “Well,” I said to Jeff, “he’s apparently of the belief that two can play at this game.”

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