Archive for August, 2010|Monthly archive page

To Jean-Paul

In Uncategorized on August 18, 2010 at 7:52 am

The edge of my shirt is damp

From your mouth, so perfect,

So relaxed in the crook of my neck.

You, falling, literally,

Into sleep,

Into me,

As if you never left.

As if you were still inside me,

Below my heart instead of above it just now.

My own exhaustion falls away

For this tiny



Where I am all you need.


big girl

In Family, On My Mind, Uncategorized on August 17, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I felt like a big girl today, went to the local lumber yard all by myself to get wood for a garden frame. Pulled up in my mom-mobile next to the big trucks of general contractors and handymen. Told the guy at the desk I didn’t know what I was doing but I knew what I wanted. He was nice and took care of me in a jiffy, loaded my 2x8s and sent me on my way.

The last time I was in a lumber yard since I was about seven, tagging along with my dad on one of his many woodworking projects. The visual memory is hazy, but I remember the scent of sawdust, so fresh and sharp I could taste it.

I want to finish building the frame by myself too, though it’s the kind of thing I’d usually ask Richard to do for me. But it’s the kind of thing I’m perfectly capable of doing myself, and it’s a project that I’m much more interested in than he is anyway.

Nothing stands between me and that finished frame but a saw and a drill. I can handle power tools. I’m a big girl now.


In Family, On My Mind, Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 10:20 pm

Some big news arrived in the mailbox. My little Daxie will start kindergarten soon, and a letter arrived telling us his teacher’s name. We’ll be meeting Mrs. Davis soon for a conference. What should I tell her about my middle child? I’ve tried to pay closer attention to my middle child lately. He’s been dealt quite a hand lately, what with becoming the middle child and all. How can I sum up in a few minutes’ discussion everything this woman should know about my sweet boy?

Dax is a force of nature, afraid of nothing, save spiders and zombies. He’s a snuggly bug, but less so since his baby brother was born. He’s been known to suck his thumb, pick his nose, and hold onto a swing chain all with one pudgy hand. He has lots of girl friends whom he adores. He’s happy to chase behind them in the woods or have a tea party, and lately he’s begged me everyday to play tennis or baseball with him. He would eat grilled cheese sandwiches and nothing else if I let him. He’ll never tell me he’s excited about starting school, but he dons his backpack any time we go anwhere near the place and asks when he can go in and meet his teacher. He’ll be 4 still, when school starts, for just a few days. And I’m worried that he’ll have a hard time, have trouble sitting still, have trouble learning, or liking school. Before I had him I was petrified of having a boy. I didn’t have a brother, and boys just — confuse me. I had no idea how much I could love and connect with a son.

He was just born, my little Daxie-roo. And off he’s going to school.

make this cake

In Family, Food, In My Kitchen, In Other Words, On My Mind, Uncategorized, Writing on August 9, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I hate when bloggers write about why they haven’t written in a while. “I’ve just been so busy!” Yada yada yada.

Well, here’s why I haven’t been blogging for a while. When I thought about writing, all I could think about was stuff about my dad, and I’m guessing there’s only so much of my feeling sorry for myself any reader can take.

But someone gave me a kick in the pants, so here I am. Pity party and all. We’ll call it a segue to less self-indulgent topics.

I made a cake Saturday. A lot of eggs, a lot of butter, more than a few tears. It would have been Daddy’s 83rd birthday. German chocolate was his favorite.

It was one of the best cakes I’ve ever made.


If you like German chocolate cake, or if you like chocolate, pecans, coconut, and creamy caramel-ly frosting that you would eat by the spoonful (not that I’d ever do such a thing). Make this cake. Pronto.

German Chocolate Cake (adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe)

Yield: Serves 12
For cake
1/2 cup water
6 ounces German’s Sweet Chocolate, chopped
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For frosting
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
5 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 7-ounce package sweetened shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

Make cake:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter two 9″ cake pans and line with parchment paper. Bring water to simmer in small saucepan. Reduce heat to low. Add chopped chocolate; whisk until smooth. Cool.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended. Beat in yolks 1 at a time. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk. Using clean dry beaters, beat whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold into batter in 2 additions. Pour batter into prepared pans. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool cake for 10 minutes in pans then turn out onto wire racks and let cool completely.
Make frosting:
Combine first 5 ingredients in heavy large saucepan. Whisk over medium-high heat until mixture simmers, thickens and leaves path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across, about 18 minutes. Mix in coconut and pecans. Place one layer of cake onto a platter with chocolate chips up. Spread warm frosting over top of cake, but not sides.  Let stand until frosting sets, about 2 hours.

Share, but only if you must.