Saturday, March 20 2021

apple sauce, grandma and grandpa, and a hawks game nap



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Dear Journal,

Good evening, everyone! Happy Saturday. I hope you got a chance to get out and enjoy the first day of Spring, but not too much. Winter is a jealous season, and the last thing we want to do is enjoy it a little too much and provoke one of those weird post spring snow storms. Hang outside and go for walks, but make a point to loudly complain about how cold it is just to keep the jealous rage of Winter under control.

Sip. Only Saturday, but already a great weekend. The kids are in bed, both Miles and his older brother Spider-man. Rodney is keeping with his theme of wearing his Spider-man costume at all times. This morning he played with the little girl who lives nextdoor and twice during the play date he had to abandon her in the sandbox alone so he could take a potty break. Since he was in full Spider-Man garb, this meant each time I had to unzip his costume, remove each of his fingers from his gloves, and finally yank the whole ensemble down to his ankles just so he could relieve himself. If this continues, we’ll have to consider modding his Spider-Man suit with a flap or some other mechanism for more expedited bathroom breaks.

It’s nice that Rodney is playing outside again. Now that the weather is so nice, I feel absolved of all the guilt I felt watching him practically claw at the walls all winter. He was so tired yesterday that he fell asleep in his room on top of a pile of Spider-Man comic books.

2021 03 20 sleeping spiderman

This was the weekend that Grandma Jane and Grandpa Dirk, now vaccinated, were going to visit us for lunch. Miles would be held by his Grandma and Grandpa for the first time in his short ten month lifespan. Marissa and I stayed up late getting ready. She baked cookies. I made pizza sauce and whipped up a big batch of homemade apple sauce. I went with Fuji apples this time. After laboriously peeling, coring, and dicing each little apple and throwing it into the bin, I triumphantly grabbed my stick blender. “Ready for this?” I snickered. “This is going to be gratifying.”

2021 03 20 apple sauce

The blender purred, then stuck. It caught on the apples. I dug and stirred it around, but I couldn’t get any of the pieces to break down. What was happening? Did this recipe not work for Fuji apples? Did I somehow skip a step in this incredibly short recipe?

“Aren’t you supposed to microwave them first?” asked Marissa sheepishly. I covered my face in shame.

“I was getting worried for a second,” I sighed. “I was gonna say, I don’t remember this being so difficult for my first batch.”

For my fellow blossoming apple sauce makers reading along at home, I stumbled onto another good tip. Fair warning - don’t add any sugar until you’ve left it to sit in the fridge overnight. I noticed my first batch was way too sweet, so this time I left the raw apple slurry sit out in the fridge, and sure enough the lemons did a fine job breaking and releasing all the natural sugar. The next morning it practically tasted like candy.

Grandma Jane and Grandpa dirk arrived. They made their way into our house just in time to see the madhouse in my kitchen trying to get the first batch of pizzas started. While the oven roared, mushrooms sizzled on the stove, and corn meal ran all over my flour covered counter top, I spun away to give my parents our first hug in a long time. We had a wonderful visit. We had so much to catch up about, the hours glided right by.

2021 03 20 grandma jane
2021 03 20 grandpa dirk

My parents left us with some beer, a plate of desserts, and a frozen bag of the mysterious “Pig Wings” my father has been raving about. It was the perfect survival pack for a rare early afternoon Blackhawks game. We put the boys in there rooms, and managed to get so cozy on the couch that neither Marissa nor I stayed awake to watch the game. Both of us were in and out of a nap for all three periods. We woke up with a few minutes left in the third, and the hawks were getting buried.

“Doesn’t look like we missed much,” said Marissa.

“Actually, we did,” I said as I rubbed my eyes. “It looks like they had some fun with this game. I think they knew they were going to lose so they were goofing around a bit.”

“What?” said Marissa, confused.

“I think it was in the second period. I woke up, and they were doing this thing where they were taking turns flipping the puck as high into the air as they could, and while it was in the air all the players were sliding on their bellies like penguins to try to get under it.”

Marissa began to laugh. “No,” she said. “This didn’t happen. You were dreaming.”

“Here, I’ll find a video,” I said. As I flicked through my twitter feed looking for evidence, I came to my senses. n “OK, you’re right,” I laughed. “I definitely just dreamed that. But still, that would have been pretty sweet, right?”

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful day, everyone.