Monday, December 10, 2012

She was such an imp

She wasn't born yesterday.
Isabel is 16. The boilerplate next sentence: "It seems like yesterday that she was born!" Except it doesn't seem like yesterday. It seems like forever since she was born. It seems like. . . 16 years. Good years!

Sometimes I'm shocked that I'm not really old yet. It feels like I've been living for such a long time I should be frail and finished and yet here I am still shopping at J. Crew and getting crushes on TV actors.

We threw a surprise party for Isabel on Saturday night at a restaurant and she cried when we made toasts. Owen gave her a giant Gummi Bear and Mark and I gave her a charm bracelet. I asked what her friends gave her a few minutes ago and she wondered why I wanted to know. Yesterday, which was her real birthday, I cooked spaghetti carbonara and a chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese icing, per her request.
obnoxious diva
Carbonara: yum. Not sure what to make of Canal House Cooks Every Day, which was the source of the recipe. Do we need another recipe for spaghetti carbonara?  The book is beautiful, full of luminous, dreamy pictures of apple galettes, sugared berries, beet soup. But what is new here? Not sure. Everyone seems to love it. I want to love it.

Chocolate cake: yuck. Everyone else liked it, naturally, because they're under chocolate's spell. I've written before about my personal grudge against chocolate, who is an overbearing drama queen and never lets vanilla, butter, almond, walnut, lemon, or anyone else get a word in edgewise.  I had a theory that shy people don't like chocolate, but Isabel is shy and she loves chocolate.

I hope everyone is well. I am busy. I am happy. I might build a fire. Owen is asking for canned food for the food drive. Do you think they would accept jackfruit and coconut milk? We still don't have a Christmas tree.


  1. I'm sure that was a joke, but...

    Please don't donate jackfruit and coconut milk to the food drive. I work at a food pantry, and it's really hard to move "weird" stuff.

    And to all readers: if you're cleaning out Gramma's pantry, please check the expiration dates...

    P.S. Happy birthday, Isabel!

  2. This was a nice post. Happy birthday to Isabel. It's a grand time to be alive. I just remembered that my mom has a charm bracelet she never wears from long ago, and there is a charm of the Golden Gate bridge on it that my grandpa gave her when he went to San Francisco.

  3. Love your comment on chocolate.

  4. what a wonderful gift. a charm bracelet. how i loved my charm bracelet. i don't wear it anymore and am not sure where it is but it is so full of happy memories. great gift!

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  6. Charm bracelets are great gifts. I never had one, but I always wanted one. Sweet 16! Boy, that was a long time ago! Don't be shocked that you aren't old yet. It comes rather quickly, but it seems you have the best kind of attitude about it. You are busy, you are happy, what wonderful sentiments!

  7. Happy birthday to Isabel! I made her cookies a couple of weeks ago and was nearly trompled in the stampede back to the kitchen for more after I came into the living room haning them out. "These really ARE the best cookies ever!" and (said threateningly, from the 6 year old) "You're not giving these to someone else, are you?" were top comments.

    It is extremely kind and generous of you to put all that effort into baking such a beautiful cake when you don't want to eat it yourself. I hope there was some multicolored tapioca left over for you.

    I'm still coping with being shocked that I'm probably not going to ever be 30 again, as evinced by my recent desperation purchase of lip cream. The horror.

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