|8th grader no more
June is a big month, as product starts coming off the assembly line. Day before yesterday, Owen graduated from elementary school. He and his cohort have mastered their math facts and can sing Congolese folk songs. They are of middling height and physically awkward. According to the inspirational quotes they recited, they believe in striving, friendship, and the value of being true to one's self. Admirable! At the graduation, there were a lot of dresses with "bubble skirts" like this. While the ceremony was sweet, it did not feel momentous and I went straight from the graduation to buy goat ration and fly traps.
But later I confirmed: it was Ella.
This happened again and again and again. Everywhere wandered radiant young people I've known since they were five, almost all of them taller than me with vaguely familiar faces and very long legs. It was poignant and unsettling.
Isabel went to a graduation dance in the evening where the dresses got shorter and tighter, the heels higher. I had bad dreams all night. One involved raising a baby albino alligator that I was feeding with an eye dropper until the baby alligator ate the eye dropper and swam away. In another dream, I excised a very tiny kid goat from inside of a Bartlett pear. And in the worst nightmare of all, I overheard a friend say that my bedroom looked "like a pig pen." I did not, in the dream, deny that my bedroom looked like a pig pen, merely chastised this friend for gossiping about the way I keep house. If you know how to analyze dreams, please, please don't.
Back to our scheduled programming: The other night I made Guy Fieri's Bring It On Beef Brisket. About half of his dishes have gimmicky names like that, which doesn't bother me when the recipes work. This one didn't, not for me. It was the most disappointing kind of bad meal, because I was so looking forward to it. The photograph in Fieri's book shows the brisket is falling to shreds, collapsing under a blanket of what appears to be glossy barbecue sauce. I thought about that brisket all day and it cooked for what seemed like all day. But the the meat never softened, remaining an implacable raft of stiff gray cow flesh. The sauce lacked zest.
1. the recipe is wrong
2. the piece of brisket I got was wrong
3. I did something wrong
Last night, I made Fieri's ginger carrot soup. My husband thought this was great, but I could not eat it. I've grown accustomed to vegetable soups made with only vegetables, and the homemade chicken stock was overpowering, too chickeny, and I couldn't taste the ginger.
|None for me, thanks
On another subject, we've begun milking Natalie. Last night, Owen helped milk and then I went upstairs and made him hot chocolate with the fresh milk. He couldn't get over how awesome the whole experience was. I don't think I could persist in our onerous and messy animal project without him. I appreciate not just the work he contributes to keeping them, but his sheer joy at having them.