Monday, May 24, 2010

The Very Merry Month of May

May is a very busy month around these parts.

Shaun had a birthday on the 4th of May. I did not throw him a party. His folks fixed him a nice birthday dinner, though, and I did bake him Ina Garten's German Chocolate cupcakes. The frosting has sliced almonds AND pecans in it, so it is delicious. As always, Ms. Garten's recipe made an inordinately large amount of frosting. I ended up tossing out a good deal of it; I am not a strong enough woman to spend my days at home with a tub of homemade frosting without giving in to the urge to eat it by the spoonful until it's gone.

Two days after Shaun's birthday, we celebrated our tenth anniversary, which I did actually think to mention on the blog at the time.

"Oh no," I told Shaun ten years ago, "your birthday will not be neglected every year if our wedding anniversary is two days later." Ahem.

To be fair, we didn't do anything to celebrate our anniversary on the actual day this year, either. I tried to surprise Shaun with these cinnamon-pecan buns, but he got up really early and was almost out the door as I was rolling out the dough.

I can't remember what I said to him, but I know how I said it. Bitterly. Thankfully, Shaun is a seasoned pro now, with ten years of marriage under his belt, so he knew what to do. He stuck around for an hour until the rolls were done. And that, my friends, is love.

I was in an agony that the end product would be unworthy of all the hassle, but for all their pitiful looks, these cinnamon rolls are really good. They look like the canned variety, but they taste nothing like them. Cottage cheese is the secret to a dough that's faster and easier than a yeast dough but doesn't taste like cardboard. I recommend you give them a try. Just be warned that that the dough is crazy sticky. I needed a lot of flour to be able to roll it out.

Of course when we were talking birthdays and weddings ten years ago, Mother's Day was the last thing on my mind. But it turns out that Mother's Day is in May too.

Willem's preschool had a Mother's Day tea. The most remarkable thing about this event is that the children serve their mothers. They serve them very, very carefully.

The proud dimples of success; nary a drop spilled.

On Mother's Day itself we had a lovely brunch at home. The loveliest part was that Shaun did all the cooking. He makes a mean German pancake.

Also lovely were the flowers that Shaun's mom, Linda brought. I would say she has a knack, but putting it that way doesn't give enough credit to her always artful arrangements. She included the first peony bud of the season, because peonies are my favorite. She's thoughtful that way.

The following week, my very own mother stopped by for an overnight visit. Here she is reading to our newly minted Hardy Boys junkie. She read to Nels for forty minutes each day. He is totally obsessed; his head is full of outlaws and booby traps and fist-fights. He writes his name in code.

The drink on the coffee table is The Aviation Cocktail. Land sakes, is it good. Perfect for getting one through a Hardy Boys marathon, or for toasting the month of May.


peter owen said...

-love that drink / basically you got a singapore sling without all the bells and whistles
-few years back / had a co-worker friend behind some bar i was working time / took turns on slow nights trying variations on those two drinks / trying to out do one another / passing time like that made work seem like a hoot
-cheers to you and your family / it being may and all / and just because

alison owen said...

I love nels' rapt expression. Mac, too, is obsessed with booby traps, codes, and general sneakiness. I should find some hardy boys for him.
such nice pictures, all of them!

Annie Nannie said...

Dare we introduce Nels to my childhood favorite, Nancy Drew? I loved her because of her name, of course. The mystery and suspense kept me reading.

I saw a license plate that read NCYDREW the other day. I took about 3 pics of it.

I love Willem's expressions in these pics. Priceless.