musings in mayhem

writer, mom, tutor, superwoman

Archive for the tag “food”

strawberry jam and letters

Last year, when a bunch of us went strawberry picking for Mother’s Day, we got together later in the week and made jam at my super friend’s house. She is super busy this year and the next thing I knew, my berries were starting to go, so I hunkered down, bought Ball jars, found a simple recipe online and went at it.

Below is a pot full of layers of berries, sugar and lemon juice. What we make is more of a saucy whole strawberry preserve thing than a jam, and when you spread it on toast or pour it on ice cream or waffles or pancakes, the berries smooosh or melt in your mouth, succulent, sweet and tart.

Toots was an excellent helper. She stirred. Grandma helped, too, my time window was shrinking quickly as I hulled a gazillion strawberries. So while Toots stirred, Grandma and I were elbow to elbow, with berries and sharp instruments. FYI, the burner was off while Toots stirred.

I love when the berries start to weep from the lemon juice and sugar and turn all glossy.

As the strawberries started to heat up, Grandma went out for the mail, and found a letter for Toots from her youngest cousin on my side, D. He was about 3 when she was born, and used to call her his baby. He has adored her ever since, and we don’t see enough of my family since they live in Connecticut and we live in Virginia, the southeasternmost part of Virginia. We’d probably visit a lot more if we lived closer to DC.

He even drew a map to show where we live and where they live. He really is a sweet kid, and how wonderful for Toots to get an old fashioned letter! Thanks, D! The sweetest part about it is the date on the letter is my brother’s birthday. I wonder if D was inspired after we called to sing to his dad?

Double, double toil and trouble; 
    Fire burn, and caldron bubble.  ~William Shakespeare

This smells like heaven.

Toots and I ran off to our mommy & me belly dance class and Grandma jarred up the jelly after the jars finished being sterilized.

Don’t they look luscious?

Pardon the cell photos, phone was handy and I didn’t plan to blog it, but  we had so much fun creating the jam together, I had to share.

When strawberry season hits your area, please go pick and jam it. So easy and worth the trouble to do it yourself rather than buy a jar in a store.

cookie day

Cookie day got off to a late start. But I now have one batter in the fridge for its set time.

The baking may have to wait until Friday the way this day is going, and tomorrow is booked solid out of the house til 9pm.

My helper may be disappointed.  She went up to nap after first dough was done.

She didn’t want me to take her picture, no matter how cute she was with flour on her nose.


Happy Hanukkah, and Merry Solstice to those who celebrate either. I am partial to celebrating anything that can be celebrated, especially the promise of growing light to come after tonight’s longest dark of the year. At this darkest time, it’s nice to know, spring will come.




Honey’s birthday was yesterday. Toots couldn’t contain her excitement over helping to mix the batter for her daddy’s cake. She was rather obsessed with these candles, too.

Just ignore the crazy lady who had just walked the cake in, singing happy birthday. How did I get that look on my face? And why did Mr. Cynic take the picture just then?

Toots really loved mixing the batter. She mixed it so much I thought it was going to be a tough cake, but it remained fluffy. 


Captain Comic got right down to the business of eating cake, because there is cake, therefore it must be eaten. Mr. Cynic got down to the business of texting under the dinner table.


Speaking of celebrating:

We have had a rough go to the start of Captain Comic’s school year with some bullying I couldn’t quite get the school to believe was happening how it was happening. As is often the case with aspergian kids, their reactions to situations become the focus of situations in which the source then takes a back seat. Poor kid’s situation had been escalating for months, but the admin wasn’t willing to pay attention where I was directing them to – namely the bus- until it got to the point of my having to involve the police. I didn’t want to, but the principal gave me no choice, in fact, she told me I should. If she had just gotten on that bus back in September, his grades wouldn’t be suffering, he wouldn’t be going back into a more restrictive environment for his education and going back onto the sped bus.

But now that a deputy spoke to the bus load of students, and the principal finally did the same day, when I notified her about the deputy’s plan to do so – we’ve got the ball rolling, found the perpetrator of the biggest offense and now there will be a meeting tomorrow morning in the principal’s office with parents of both parties involved.


But that sure took a disproportionate amount of footwork on my part – as if I didn’t have enough mayhem on any given day. And a new job.



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