Thursday, January 04, 2007


This morning, the Toddles had a conversation with me.

To be fair, we've had conversations before, mostly consisting of this:
Oh, is this [food] for me?
*shakes head*
is it for you?
*opens mouth and leans forward*

We repeat this as necessary.

This time, however, it was more the Toddles, trying earnestly to communicate with me. And perhaps it was less of a conversation than a monologue with audience participation - you decide. Here's how it went:

[The Toddles enters the room, holding a book]
[holding up the book] Booh!
[pause, checking to be sure that I'm listening] Bah!
[cocks head] Nah!

Translation: the Toddles came into the room, holding a book. Book! he said. It's a Bartholomew book! He says 'nah!'

I had to agree. Bartholomew (also called 'Ba' in the book) is funny when he says 'nah.'
Later today, the Eldest took a bath. Sternly warned against splashing water, he was testing this boundary by creating big waves. Look, Mum, I'm an earthquake!
I thought it over. He is, you know. But extremely lovable, for all of that.

The past few days have been full of conversations: with the Eldest, about the on-going problem of rough play in the classroom (Mum, we push X and he laughs!), with the school we applied to, with my publisher over my latest column, and with various folks about the grant offered to our synagogue.

While I can see the morass of work that this grant offers, I am temporarily relishing the opportunity to spend some time with some lovely folks, having playdates while doing a quick bit of conferring about some of the hurdles. One such conversation sparked a desire to reinvent some of my wheat-based pasta recipes, only to discover that no such reinvention is needed. Here it is below! Time to dig out the rest of the book.

I must confess that all of this conversing has inspired nothing more than a desire to stay home. Quietly. I enjoy my social opportunities when I get them, but I feel somewhat overwhelmed by too many nights out working, meeting, writing. It's not stress, it's the overuse of a typically underused social muscle.

Just in time for the Eldest's birthday bash, which metamorphosed from 'you can invite one child per year, sweets,' into a big family affair. Yowza.

Hmm. Maybe I'll serve the pasta?
Cranberry Pasta
serves 6. Adapted slightly from James McNair's Cold Pasta.

1 bag pasta - if gluten free, use Tinkyada pasta. Be warned: the frilly shapes tend to fall apart with the slightest provocation. I recommend the sturdy shapes: penne, elbows, etc.

just under 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
4-5 Tb fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp cumin, ground
1 and 1/2 tsp tumeric
sea salt
fresh pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup fresh, chopped parsley
1/4 cup fresh, chopped mint OR 1 TB dried crumbled mint
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3-4 chopped scallions
optional: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, pine nuts (when feeding Imperfects, omit or use peanut-free sunflower seeds)

Cook pasta, then pour into a colander. Rinse briefly under water, then toss with sauce.

Note: this pasta looks very pretty, with the red cranberries, the green herbs and the yellow sauced pasta. Serve it for any occasion and watch guests ooh and ahh.


dykewife said...

i got to play peek-a-boo with a teeny toddler tonight on the bus. we were both very entertained :) i think the rest of the bus was too.

i miss that age, not being that age, but boy being that age. however, i don't miss knowing what he was distressed about when he'd cry. it always distressed us.

mama o' the matrices said...

Yes. Somehow unknown sources of pain are much easier to soothe.

jgfellow said...

I had a conversation with a toddles. I said "would you like some of this?" And he said "nooooooo." He's good at "no."

auntie a said...

Mmm, cranberry pasta looks good. Might have to add to my slowly-burgeoning repertoire. The falafel from your last post also sounds good; however I think I will stick to the legume-based kind, of which I recently had much of in the Holy Land.