Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Learning curve

I was reading the comments to one of the Deseret News blogs and someone was saying women would have an easier time if our society didn't put so much pressure on them to have a dozen kids and to be stay at home moms and not work outside the home and to be the submissive wives that we should be. Well, I can say, I live in this society and I don't feel any pressure to replenish the earth with children. Larry and I know what is good for us and we have two beautiful boys that we absolutely love. I don't feel pressure from society to be a stay at home mom. I have adapted my hours so that I am home with my boys after school and I think we get the best of both worlds (work and home time). I am far from the 1950's wife and am much more outspoken and challenging to my husband than what he probably would like but he doesn't expect dinner on the table waiting for him when he gets home or that I have the house spotless. I'd like it to be but he has no expectations of me.

The one thing that I feel I am inadequate and am not up to "societies" standards is cooking and baking. I should be able to cook and bake but I'm just not that good at it. I know it's a practice thing. So, with the holidays I wanted to make a yummy treat that I could share with the neighbors. I always get homemade goodies from neighbors but I am the one who goes out and buys something from the store. So, my challenge this year was to be a good neighbor and "bake" something. I told my sister my plans and she said she had a great recipe that she shared with me. Easy enough...

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup Karo syrup
1 stick of butter
1 can condensed sweetened milk

Off to the store I went to buy the items on the recipe. I know, it's pretty sad that I don't already have these items in my cupboards, but I don't. I bought what I needed and set the items aside until the following night. My evening was already booked with my husband, a tile float, and grout.

Last night was the big night. I started out putting the brown and white sugar in the saucepan, next was the Karo syrup and then the butter. I finished with pouring the evaporated milk in. I mixed and mixed and waited for the rolling boil. It came but the carmel just wasn't thickening up. I won't tell you how many times I had already talked to my sister on the phone but this time I asked her why it wasn't getting thick. So, we went through the ingredients again. Yep, I have the sugar, the butter, the Karo syrup, and the evaporated milk. Evaporated milk? Yeah, that's the same thing as condensed sweetened milk, isn't it??? That's where we found the problem. I know she was laughing on the inside but she didn't let me hear it. First batch of carmel saw the inside of the garbage to the store I go in the snow storm to buy condensed sweetened milk...mix in the sugar, again...butter, again...Karo syrup, again...and condensed sweetened milk.

So, after the learning curve, I got it. And, I have to say, I think they look pretty darn good for my first time!!! (patting myself on the back) Not to mention, tasty too!

My inspiration
My reality

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Birthday Boy

Larry had his birthday this past week and the boys were excited about it all week long. Dresden knew what he was getting and kept the secret like a pro. We went to dinner at Royal India which we all enjoyed. In fact, Dresden said it was his favorite dinner ever. Nothing like getting our kids to love curry early on. Mention shrimp and they will eat anything!

We came home to a surprise cake that I made, which the boys were waiting all day for. I read that Tiffany Arnold came across a R2D2 cake pan at a garage sale months ago so I asked if I could borrow the pan for Larry's birthday. She graciously loaned it to me and I thank her for that. It looks like I might need it a couple more times for the boys birthdays. The cake was just a box mix but Dresden said it was the best cake he has ever had. I suspect that's only because he was eating R2D2's leg.

Anyway, I am grateful for Larry and the things he does for our family. He is witty and smart and loves to live life to the fullest. Happy Birthday, Larry. I love you!

R2D2 (it's been nearly five years since I made a cake with stars so I was pretty out of practice on this one.)

Larry acting surprised for the sake of the boys.

Larry carefully cutting out the drawing Logan created.

It's hard to see but Logan drew a picture of the four of us holding hands and wrote "Family" above the picture. Pretty cute picture.