Let Them Eat Waffles

I would have thought everyone has their own favorite waffle recipe. Some may use store-bought mixes, others have their handed down for generations way to do it. Some swear by buttermilk, others use yeast instead of baking soda, and I have heard of people who separate eggs and fold in the stiff egg-whites into the batter.

I grew up in a completely waffle-free household. Maybe my parents weren’t keen, maybe waffles have no tradition in Romania, I don’t even know. It is fair to say waffles are, for me, an acquired taste. I can’t pinpoint exactly when I started noticing waffles were a thing, but I do remember they became somewhat of a tradition when I met my husband who first introduced me to the concept of homemade baked goods (also not something that happened on the regular at our house when I was a child).

One secret ingredient I use for my waffles is grated orange zest, which adds a fruity zing, and the other is some sort of ground nuts, which gives them a bit of crunchiness. I’ve made and served these waffles, to great success, at countless kindergarten parties, birthdays, school bazaars – and just this past weekend, at the hockey club, too.

I had signed up for waffles, as I always feel better behind a counter doing something useful than just standing around and making small talk (I wrote about this recently). So I was on waffle duty, and of course I had brought my own batter. 2 hours later I was told I absolutely needed to make those waffles again, like, for all occasions to come. It would seem the way to hockey people’s hearts is, just like to other people’s, through their stomachs.

IMG_8933

Waffles for a Crowd

8 eggs

250g butter

0,5 – 0,75 l milk

250 g sugar

1 p vanilla sugar

Zest of 2 oranges, grated

3 tbsp cinnamon

pinch of cardamon

2 pinches of salt

2 p baking soda

Flour (I used spelt), min 500 g, 1 kg if you have it. I needed to improvise as I’d run out, and used

300 g potato flour instead, as well as

200 g ground almonds (hazelnuts work beautifully, too)

All ingredients should have room temperature for smooth mixing and results.

With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add grated orange peel, salt, vanilla, cinnamon and cardamon. Beat in eggs one by one. Add 0,5 l of the milk. More may be needed after you put in the flour. First, add the almonds. Then, add the flour and beat until you’re happy with the consistency (a little thicker than (US) pancake batter, smooth and creamy).

You may add more milk and flour as you go, as needed. The 8 eggs can certainly accommodate more, and you want this recipe to feed the masses.

Add the baking soda at the very end and vigorously beat for another minute before letting the batter sit for a bit.

Fire up the waffle iron and pour in as much of the batter as needed (depends on the size you have.) For mine, pretty much the regular German round-shaped waffle iron with heart-shaped sections, I pour in 1/2 ladle.

Top with powdered sugar to taste. (This is why the batter itself isn’t very sweet. Kids always want powdered sugar, and this way they don’t overdose right away.)

Go nuts with the toppings – not for a finger food occasion, but if you’re making them for a sitting down to eat setting, you can serve them with whipped cream, fresh berries, jams or warm cinnamon cherries, sprinkles, Nutella … anything sweet that makes you happy is allowed. And now, go spread some sweetness ;-).

As for crafts, it is as I feared with the stripy sweater. Good news is that I’m happy with the new design (left side). Bad news is I get to unravel the first attempt (right side), as neither the proportions nor the width of the stripes please me, so it needs to go. I already vented about frogging mohair yarn, but I can’t not do it because I need all the yellow yarn I have. Sigh.

But: I’m really pleased with how it’s coming together. I’m aiming for a sort of a Swinging Sixties vintage look. Bless those who are able to just put what they have in mind into practice at their first attempt. I am not one of them, that’s for sure!

Have a happy week, everyone!

Werbeanzeigen

Knit, Frog, Repeat

IMG_9193Have any of you ever unraveled mohair yarn? It’s a b…, let me tell you. It had to be done, though, because I was dead set to use up yarn from my yarn stash, and there was this random back piece I had knitted ages ago, that had the most hideous armholes you can imagine, also it was ribbed and frankly I don’t even remember what the heck I had in mind when I made it. It needed to go.

Slow progress doesn’t begin to describe the frustrating hours that followed, and had it not been for the fact I got to re-watch Moana with my little squirrel while I was frogging, I might have thrown out the whole thing. First world problem you say? How exactly is my recycling yarn not sustainable? It’s the very definition of being mindful with my stuff, and _not_ toss anything I’m tired of right away.

IMG_9334After I was done unraveling, getting started on my stripy sweater was my reward. So I did, and in the meantime, I have figured out, with the help of my lovely mathematician friend P., the raglan sleeve, and finished the front piece:

IMG_9333.JPGMy daughter named it the bee sweater – and she has a point, it’s exactly what it looks like. Unfortunately, the longer I look at it, the more I feel I got the proportions wrong, sigh. It needs to be less wide, and the rib at the bottom needs to be longer. If it weren’t for the rib, I could live with the sweater being a little baggy. But that rib needs a few more centimeters, and if I pick up the stitches at the bottom, you’d see it. I’ll either have to live with imperfection or buckle down and unravel once again – not sure what I’ll do yet.

Knitting aside, I had a busy beginning of the year. I translated a cookbook, which was fun and lovely. I helped a bit with my son’s school workload.

And, with somewhat mixed feelings, I just submitted the translation of a mediocre romance novel that the author tried, imho, to stuff way too many things into (love story, middle agers, teenagers, murder mystery, genre picture and gender). She’s also introducing too many characters, she has a knack for using weird metaphors, and the love scenes seem a bit generic, carefully scripted to tick off the usual tropes. Kiss, check. Hand job, check. Oral, check. Full-on penetrative, check. True love happening somewhere along the line.

I know that the art of romance writing is to make every story that meanders from meet-cute across some sort of conflict towards the happily ever after captivating, and I’m sure it can’t be easy for writers to stay away from the clichés. That said, I can name a good many examples (not to bore you, but I really could ;-)) for stories that pull this off, excelling at it even. Let’s just say that this wasn’t one of them. As a translator, you can only do so much – if the story sucks in the first place, it will suck after translation, and try as you might, you can’t really help that. I won’t be getting a lot of favorable mentions for this one, that’s for sure.

Moving on, I next get to translate a few chapters of a book on micro-brewery. Not that I even like beer, but what I’ve read of the book so far sounds fun. Also I’m dipping a careful toe into copywriting again; an old client whom I have a lot of respect and affection for asked me, so how could I say no? It’ll be a change of pace, and that is a good thing, always.

It’s almost mid March now, and we’ve had a few spring days already. Of course, in our neck of the woods, this means nothing. Temperatures dropped again, we’ve had a doozy of a storm over the weekend, and it even snowed a little last Sunday. But the days are getting longer, and being on the third floor, we do get our share of sunlight. IMG_9189.jpgThis was the other morning when we were getting ready for school. A good way to start the day – I find myself being highly susceptible to lux as I get older.

To top off this post, I’d like to mention a recipe I’ve been honing for a few years – it’s a classic cheesecake, which may sound a bit boring, but I assure you, it’s anything but. If things go well, this is what happens when I make it:

IMG_9098.JPGIt’s a creamy, fluffy heap of gorgeousness with a hint of vanilla and distinct lemon flavor – think of a soufflé rather than of your regular American cheesecake (no disrespect to the spectacular New York cheesecakes I’ve had, but this is just more my bag).

In my baking book, the caption literally says: This is a cake you get proposed for. I only discovered this way after I’d gotten married, so I can’t confirm or deny. What I can tell you is that my son has been asked for his mom’s cheesecake recipe :-), so high praise from the teenage front.

Cheesecake for Champions

For the crust

50 g sugar

100 g butter

150 g flour

1 yolk

pinch of salt

Make a shortcrust, wrap in foil and put in the freezer for 30 minutes to rest (if you’re not in a rush, you can put it in the fridge for 1 hour or longer). Take out and carefully roll out the dough to 3-4 mm thickness. Place in a spring-form pan lined with baking parchment and bake for a few minutes. Whether you want the crust to come up to the sides is up to you. If you want to be anal about this (I’m not), place a second piece of parchment on top of the dough, add a handful of dried beans or peas and bake in the oven at 160 °C for 15 minutes. Let cool for a bit and start on the filling in the meantime.

For the filling

500 g full fat Quark (could be substituted with cream cheese, but you should add 1 egg white if you do, as it’s heavier than our German variety)

150 g sugar

1 p vanilla sugar

2 lemons, peel grated

1 tbsp flour

1 tbsp cornstarch

7 eggs, separated in yolks and egg whites

50 g sugar

pinch of salt

Place Quark, 150 g sugar, lemon peel, vanilla, flour and cornstarch, egg yolks and salt in a large bowl, and I mean large. With an electric mixer, beat to a smooth paste. Carefully clean the whisks before moving on to beating the egg whites with a pinch of salt and 50 g sugar very, very stiff. Then place on top of the Quark mixture and gingerly fold in with a spatula. You don’t want any more air bubbles to escape than is absolutely inevitable, so please be gentle.

Spoon the mixture onto the cooled crust and immediately place the cake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not open the oven as your soufflé-like cake may collapse if you do.

Serve warm. If you want to be really fancy, serve with fruit puree – strawberry, raspberry, or mango.

It should make an impression.

 

Headache Post

img_8990Reader of this blog, be warned: I might not make a lot of sense right now, for I have a migraine (throb behind my right eye) and, much as I would like to work, I’m finding myself unproductive as f…. despite having taken my meds and having had 2 coffees and lots of water already.

So, a rambling little catching up blog post seems in order – after all, it’s a writing exercise too, and those are always beneficiary for my line of work.

Hope you had yourself a merry little Christmas and a cool start to the New Year.

Ours was mostly quiet and uneventful. We spent a lot of time at home, recovering (husband had a hip replacement after Thanksgiving and may now be addressed as ‚Bionic Man‘), regrouping (bad news about taxes that is throwing us back a couple months, ugh) and sleeping in big time (much needed after a couple intense weeks at school and work following our transatlantic travels).

There was cooking, baking, knitting and making good use of our Netflix account. There was quiet reading, listening to music, many hours of playing board games and also some me time, which is always welcome. Oh, and I stumbled across an intriguing cultural phenomenon from Norway, the remarkable 2016 (or 2017?) TV show SKAM. Check it out if you’re into Young Adults stuff, and let yourself be wrapped up in the lives of a group of lovable highschoolers played by amazingly talented, really young Norwegian actors. I leave it to you to guess who my favorite characters were ;-).

img_8876Since the weather has been like this mostly ever since we’ve been back from California, it was a bit of a stretch to actually get my butt out there and take walks, but I went anyway, as often as I could make myself. Funny how important lux is, after all we’re not plants, and can survive just fine without sunshine (as people in Norway and Finland and Iceland can testify to). But I’ve missed it, so much, and getting out of bed to do the school morning routine for my brood in the pitch dark has been challenging.

My latest translation project was a heaven-sent serendipity, as it’s a cookbook on the cuisine of the sunny, tropical islands in the Indian Ocean (Mauritius, Seychelles and such). Beautiful pictures, yummy recipes with a zing of curry, chili and lime, and quick and easy work to boot. A good way to kick off the work year, for sure – so thank you Ms. H. at Dorling Kindersley :-).

Crafts-wise, I designed a pair of wrist-warmers before the holidays. After some trying and unraveling and trying again, I had worked out the pattern, and even though I already managed to ruin the prototype

in the wash (pics were taken before, when they were still soft and pretty), I’ve made a couple more pairs in the meantime. Making wrist warmers is perfect if you have leftover yarn from some other project, and Lord knows I have those in spades in most colors of the rainbow. On the back of the hand, I’ve used a relatively simple lace pattern from one of my ancient knitting books:

IMG_9035From all the pics you can probably see it best on the red pair. I think it’s lovely, and the wrist warmers are keeping me cozy as I type away on my cookbook manuscript, and I’ve already made two pairs as birthday gifts to my sweet friends N. and M.

The photo story above is a nice way to wrap up – and also a very personal homage to a charming, grumpy old lady of a cat. There’s actually few man foods she finds even remotely appealing, and butter is probably her favorite, smart animal. It was French master chef Auguste Escoffier who replied, when asked about the secrets of great cooking: „Il y en a trois: du beurre, du beurre et du beurre.“ Cats are so wise, aren’t they?

And now, back to my manuscript. It’s been a very nice way to spend my lunch break, as always. Have a lovely weekend, everyone!

Still Here!

IMG_8275IMG_8302This year, I was the Wicked Witch of the East for Halloween without even realizing. We were in a rush to get out the door, I hadn’t even planned to dress up at all, then I put on that fabulous nose just for kicks, and when there was a leftover wig, I grabbed it too, on an impulse.

Trick-or-treating is a completely different thing in the U.S. than it is here in Europe (duh, you say) – the effort people make with their costumes, and the open house atmosphere, the general joy and goofiness is really heartwarming. One family installed a huge Zozobra in their front yard, complete with a gloom box. Whether they actually set fire to him, I don’t know, maybe that happened later on, but he was scary and beautiful even when he wasn’t burning! Anyway, I grabbed that wig on a last minute impulse, and ended up having great fun with my silverfoxy mane while strolling around the neighborhood chaperoning two young’uns on their quest for candy. IMG_7362.JPGHere they are, dressed up as Chewbaccas, dubbed „The Wookie and his Cousin“ by the locals, and may I say they were very successful indeed and came home with _a lot_ of candy.

As you may have guessed, we spent the last two weeks of October with our folks in the States, in lovely Santa Barbara, CA. They were wonderful, generous hosts, and we had a great time, practically extending our summer by two weeks. Mostly, we did normal stuff (for there – obviously, the beach is usually not a part of our everyday city life here!). I wanted the kiddos to experience what their American family’s life is like. So we cooked, played games, grocery shopped, went to the farmers market, ate at their favorite burger, pizza and taco joints, enjoyed the year-round abundance of fresh (and tasty) fruit and vegetables, and of course we also stocked up on sunshine and spent as many hours as humanly possible by the always magnificent Pacific Ocean. My son surfed, my daughter and husband boogie-boarded. I tried it too, but got weirded out by the speed, man, those things can go fast! Absolutely not my bag. So I sat by the beach with my knitting, which of course is. So was walking Sully, my folks‘ supersonic Border Collie, caught here in repose – a rare occurrence with that gorgeous, hyper dog dude. On most other pics, all you see of him is a black and white flash.

IMG_8397The day after we arrived, my daughter turned ten. It was her birthday wish to go whale watching, so we got on a boat and spent four hours admiring those gorgeous (if smelly) creatures who came really close, being amazed at the many graceful dolphins who came even closer, and commiserating with the locals about the ugly oil rigs the ugly government recently had installed all along the coast. The little princess also got her ears pierced in Santa Barbara, here she is with her new cute little glittery rainbow flowers.

IMG_7463 The second weekend, we took a memorable trip up to Yosemite. There is a great deal of hype going on about that place, and I admit I was a bit indifferent about going at first. Now, I’m so glad we went, because despite it being such a corny line I read in one of the brochures, Yosemite does change you. Walking through the forest, gazing up to the massive El Capitan and Half-Dome granite rocks and watching the sunset from Glacier Point was just as awe-inspiring as my visit to the grand Canyon decades ago had been.

That said, my personal highlight was Mariposa Grove, hands down, walking in the presence of giants: the sequoias.

IMG_8162Some of them have been around for more than 2000 years, and they’re as tall as 25-story buildings. It’s hard to put into words what a quiet, commanding presence they have. They seem powerful and gentle, and unlike the rocks, I didn’t find them threatening. Much like you would in a cathedral or museum, we automatically spoke in hushed voices (little else but monosyllabic ‚wow’s, ’see that’s, and deep sighs), sat down every once in a while and soaked up the vibes of the ancient. It was a spiritual experience, and a happy, happy day for me.

A good thing to remember on Thanksgiving – happy Turkey Day to those of you out there who are celebrating today :-).

Upon returning to Santa Barbara, we did a few more mundane things like shopping and walking Sully and spending every minute we could by the beach before heading back to LAX, taking the scenic 101 by the coast. Two days later that very highway was up in flames, so I’m calling that great timing. Our folks are not affected this time around, another thing to be thankful for.

Settling back in, I’ve been doing new client acquisition (sigh), taxes (sigh again), and prepping for the upcoming annual Winter Fayre at my son’s Waldorf school (yay)!

IMG_4519Making little snowflake dudes like I already showed you last year;

IMG_8546Crocheting potholders that are both functional and cool looking (in my opinion anyway);

IMG_8527Crocheting adorable egg warmers, resurrecting a design I had already made a few years back, using natural fibers this time (never any other way again!).

Since my son’s class is in charge of the espresso bar this time, we obviously needed to make Cantuccini cookies in advance, their being vegan a nod to the classmates having chosen that lifestyle as much as a necessity, because the regular recipe was a disaster!

The Fayre’s day after tomorrow, so we’ll be doing little else the next two days. After that, there will be more work on ‚my‘ new book; I was asked to translate a romance novel by Amy Lane, and even though it’s very much a grown-up love story, most of it takes place in a (Californian ;-)) high school, so my young adults itch will be scratched too.

In case you were wondering what I was doing with myself all this time since my last post in late August, I was working, handling some school kerfuffle and doing more mom/little people stuff than usual. For the most part, I was editing the heck out of the cowboy novel manuscript I had due shortly before leaving for the States, which culminated in a week all by my lonesome out in our cottage, better to focus on the manuscript without having to deal with kids, household and school matters. I buckled down, and it was a very productive week indeed. Except for a stroll before sundown, I didn’t really leave the house.

Manuscript submitted, we packed, bought gifts, organized cat-sitting and away we went – and the rest you know.

You guys in California, if you read this: thank you again. We miss you!

Luxury Problem

IMG_6672I _almost_ feel bad because of what I’m about to do: lament the summer vacation’s being over. Gone are the days of daily swimming, crafting whenever I felt like it, no parents rep responsibilities, actually no responsibilities period, beyond being with the kids and catering to everybody’s culinary and recreational whims. Sigh.

It sounds like a lazy time, reading through that first paragraph, and some days were certainly slow-paced enough to call them lazy. Not that we actually did _nothing_ that much. There was swimming, playing, reading, cooking and baking, and I actually managed to finish sweet A.’s sheets, check ‚em out: IMG_6659Doing the math makes me realize what took so long. I was going to have the project finished by mid July, and I was done with the crochet part by then. But: Darning in threads in 60 crochet flowers (4 apiece) takes time, and is extremely tedious work. I was done with that by early August. Then there was the color sequence to figure out. Thankfully, I had help with that:IMG_6638Once that was done, the flowers pinned to the sheets, there was the step I dreaded even more than darning in threads: stitching the flowers to the bedsheets.IMG_6691I don’t know why I don’t mind knitting or crocheting for hours but find sewing so painful – but it is what it is. Some days, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I guess that qualifies as lazy all right ;-)). But in the end, the flowers were in place and the pins back in their glass jar, so. IMG_6731Now all I need to do is pack up the sheets and send them on their way so A. and her husband can have sweet dreams in them :-).

I saw less of some friends over the vacation weeks than I would have liked, and more of others than I would have thought, and, oddly, I did not miss the city one bit. I’ve been back for a couple days now, and although I appreciate the restaurant and organic foods situation, as well as being able to hit the stores for my kids who managed to grow over the six weeks like you wouldn’t believe, I can’t help wishing I was back at the cottage and packing up the swimming gear,IMG_6676goofing around with my baby girl

or baking with my boy

Instead, this morning my husband took the red-eye, the kids trotted off to school heaving long-suffering sighs at having to be up at the ungodly hour of 7 a m, and I have a translation to sink my teeth back into. I also am really and truly all by myself for the first time in weeks.

Although the heat called for a lot of fruit and salad, cooking did occur. For instance, I made a somewhat unorthodox quiche-like affair with store-bought puff-pastry dough:IMG_6441Leeks, chanterelle mushrooms, cashews, cheese, eggs and cream, and no crust to prepare – that was one easy dinner right there.

My new favorite salad is this:
IMG_4868It’s boiled green beans, blanched and seeded tomatoes (great for using up tasty, over-ripe ones that have become too squishy for regular salad), a chopped shallot and olive oil. Salt and pepper. Lovely as a side dish for barbecuing, or with a pasta dish, or all on its own.

Also worth mentioning because it’s such an old favorite of mine I had all but forgotten about: the Taco Salad :-). Our friendship stems from my healthy-diet-be-damned, happy-hour-after-work-heavy advertising days in the Nineties. Every once in a while, it’s a very happy Tex-Mex indulgence, even though I wash it down with iced tea instead of Margaritas, these days.IMG_6207.JPGIt’s easy enough to make, if you want to try.

Tempting Taco Salad

1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into strips

5 tomatoes, cubed

1 can chili beans

1 can corn

1 store-bought salsa

1 bag corn chips

large handful of grated cheese

1 container sour cream

200 g ground beef, browned in olive oil with a chopped shallot, a handful chopped cilantro, seasoned with chili flakes, cinnamon, cumin, salt, sugar and pepper

After browning and seasoning the meat, layer (in a glass bowl for a better visual, if you have one) from bottom to top:

shredded lettuce

meat

chili beans

corn

salsa

sour cream

tomatoes

cheese

one half of the chips, crumbled

Decorate with a row of whole tortilla chips all around the rim of the bowl and sprinkle with pepper. Serve with extra chips & salsa, queso if you’re so inclined, and guac.

There. Now my lunch-break is officially over, and I’m hungry. Go figure!

Have a great week everyone, and smile at a picture my kids took after I failed to clean up after myself like I usually scold them for doing:IMG_6671No worries though, my legs are still their regular shape :-).IMG_E6727To Berlin-based readers, happy first day of school, and to everyone, enjoy another week of this spectacular late summer.

 

Summer Appreciation Post

IMG_6363Welcome to serenity;-).

This is what I see when I spread out my blanket at ‚our‘ spot by the lake. Isn’t it beautiful? I’m always astonished at how few people come here, but of course I’m not complaining. To the contrary, I’m deeply thankful we get to have this place to ourselves more often than not.IMG_2394As you can guess, we have moved our life out to the country cottage for the next few weeks, and so far it’s been pretty chill. We’ve done the things we usually do when we’re here: Walk in the forest, swim in the lake, find mushrooms, cook, grill, sleep in, play games, sit by a fire, gaze at the stars at night. Our lazy routine is punctuated by the kids‘ sudden cravings for favorite foods, or certain things that need to be eaten because nature or the garden supply them.

When we found chanterelle mushrooms after the rain last week, we made the best fanfuckingtastic grilled cheese from them, see above. Pimped with green onions and fresh rosemary, yum.

The above are plum dumplings, one of my childhood favorites. I learned how to make them at an early age, since they were one of my Dad’s specialties. It’s not difficult, albeit a messy process. Consisting of a mashed potato, flour and egg gnocchi dough wrapped around a plum and boiled in salt water, they’re breaded in buttered breadcrumbs and eaten with a bit of sugar. The kids just like to roll ‚em in the stuff as you can see above, and depending on the type of plum you use, it may be necessary too.

Other Parents Have Time to Cook foods are: lasagna, pancakes for breakfast, as well as, notably, my husband’s Jewish pizza topped with chanterelle mushrooms, what a treat that was! I was going to take a picture but the pizza was gone so fast I didn’t have a chance. So sorry, maybe next time. But you get the idea – thin, crisp pizza dough topped with sour cream, onions, mushrooms and cheese – very good stuff.

IMG_E6285The above was my adaptation of a classic Arabic basbousa cake; I was inspired to make one myself when I read about it on Cleobuttera’s blog. Her recipe sounds very good, but that particular day I was dying to know whether it isn’t possible to add dark chocolate to the orange flavor, and use spelt semolina instead of the called for wheat. And what can I say? It was certainly a worth-while experiment.

As of late, I’ve become quite the home-made syrup buff, check out the flavors we made for the school fair in June (yellow is elder flower, red is raspberry), so the orange syrup part didn’t scare me.IMG_5955We ended up with a lovely melt-in-mouth dark chocolat-ey concoction soaked in sticky orange bliss. Nice with a glass of milk, black coffee, and (I was told) with a glass of fruity champagne. Not drinking much myself, these days, as my body does not appreciate it anymore. Who knew I’d end up becoming such a health nut??

We have a sweet four-legged visitor for a couple days who is making puppy dog eyes at me, urging me to leave the hammock I’ve been typing away in and take him for his midday run:IMG_6375Cooper is an Australian Shepherd, and he’s a very cute bundle of activity, this one. Since we also brought the cat, it’s an interesting experiment. So far, they’ve been giving each other the evil eye, and the kitty needs to be coaxed to come out of the house at all:

IMG_6369That hammock has become a favorite place to do favorite things in, here’s my new couch blanket coming along nicely, on DC row at a time.IMG_6297Have a beautiful summer, wherever you are and whatever your favorite seasonal activity may be. I’m off to the woods with a strapping, woofing young fellow now.

The Boy With Blue Hair

I have written about my son’s school before. It’s an independently run Waldorf school and a small one at that, which has both its perks and its pitfalls. Sometimes, you need advanced social skills and emotional intelligence for coexisting with certain teachers, colleagues or classmates, as you can’t simply switch into a parallel class (there’s one of each grade only). If you’re absolutely incompatible as human beings, you may be forced to change schools, which has resulted in a fair number of comings and goings over the years, but fortunately, these rarely concerned us personally.

If things go smoothly, though, the kids are solid with each other, and the teachers really care about them, this creates an exceptional environment of mutual respect, affection and trust. I’ve attended breathtaking theater performances that were born from this safe space, I’ve read astonishing papers, and the kids have written and publicly read absolutely incredible poetry. They never fail to impress me.

But let me tell you about what happened yesterday. The German teacher had assigned the kids to write speeches, about a topic of their choice. One of the boys (E. with the blue hair) wanted to talk about homosexuality. It went well, E.’s very bright, and a good speaker. And then, in closing, he came out to the class as gay! After a moment of silence, there was cheering, applause, and the teacher complimented him for personal courage.

As a parent, I cannot help feeling glad to have enrolled my kid at a place where there exists such an atmosphere of trust. My son said the boy hadn’t even told his mom before opening up to his friends and teacher in class. Remarkable, isn’t it?

On this positive note, I’d like to add a few pics of my latest crochet project: It’s a blanket for our couch, in a simple but gorgeous color block design I found on Pinterest. The pattern can be found here, but I’m changing everything but the color scheme, really. My yarn of choice is thinner, my hook is smaller … so 220 instead of 81 stitches across, double crochet instead of single crochet, and God knows how many rows this is going to take … but I knew that going in, and I ordered a generous amount of yarn, I’ll be fine. I couldn’t wait to start swatching and starting out, even though it made for a late night yesterday, and the need for some extra caffeine this afternoon.img_5314.jpgHave a great weekend, everyone.