Thursday, February 5, 2009

Snow, School Closings, Cupcakes, Cookies and Snowmen

Sunday, my cousin Anne and her mother, Mom’s sister, came to visit in the early afternoon. Anne brought with her wonderful New York bagels, special deli-prepared cream cheese, whitefish salad and lox. I had just finished preparing a sweet potato bundt cake as they rang the doorbell, and popped it into the oven. Mom seemed to really enjoy having the company when she awoke, and my sister stopped in, too, after meeting friends at the Wm. Penn Inn nearby for brunch. We all pulled up chairs in Mom’s room and I fear that, after a while, we probably wore her out with all our chatter, but most of the time, she is always commenting to me how quiet the house is when Saul is at school. Once the cake was glazed, we all had a slice with fresh limeade before Anne and Aunt Ruth left.

Monday brought an unanticipated pleasure. Heavy snow had been predicted for Tuesday, and my friend Roxy, who loves gazing out the window at the pristine drifts, the snow puff laden fir trees, and the gentle waft of large snowflakes wending their way down from the heavens, definitely does not like to be out driving in it. She called Monday morning to ask if I would like a visit. She had planned to meet her daughter, Sarah and Sarah’s husband for lunch and then stop over. As it turned out, I invited them to come join me for lunch. After a few hours of my computer work, which has increased quite a bit this month, I had fun setting the table for us with old china and silverplate and making the leftovers look more appetizing. We had macaroni and cheese, kohlrabi coleslaw, Manchego and membrillo with crackers, bagels with cream cheese, whitefish salad, (thank you, Anne), and sliced tomatoes, and homemade guacamole with tortilla chips. For dessert, we had slices of the glazed sweet potato bundt cake with French press coffee. (I finally made the coffee myself, Larry!) Sarah, whose husband, Billy, was not able to join us after all, left after lunch, but Roxy stayed for a while and visited with me and Mom. Getting together now is just like old times when we were back in high school. We talk about anything and everything. Roxy brought me a card with a beautiful sentiment written inside and a sleek, black eelskin wallet in which to store my million dollars when I win the Pillsbury Bake-Off :-). Marianne came to visit Mom for a while also on Monday afternoon as Roxy was preparing to leave and as Saul arrived from school.

Tuesday was spent on computer work and baking cakes and cupcakes for Izzy’s 5th birthday party this weekend. In the evening, the snow began as promised, and Chestnut Hill College was closed yesterday because of the accumulation. I was thrilled, because I didn’t know how I was going to finish everything I had to do before leaving today without Saul. We slept an extra hour and had breakfast together. Then, I made icing for the snowman cake while Saul wrapped the base in wintery wrapping paper. We had made the base with a tall wooden spike for a globe-shaped cake for Ari’s bar mitzvah many years ago. The snowman cake was a last-minute inspiration based on my baking of bundt cake this week, and the base was just perfect for this project where a tall and rather precarious cake needs to be transported over a hundred miles. By afternoon, the roads were clear and we recruited our friend Larry to stay with Mom for an hour while we shopped for the fruits and nuts needed to celebrate Tu B’Shevat at the synagogue. Tuesday evening, I had another fortuitous event (the previous one being the coincidence of Marianne being here for booking the trip to Israel). Natalie, a friend and fellow congregant of Melrose B’nai Israel, called to find out if Saul would be driving to the board meeting last night. I told her about needing to shop for the fruits and nuts for the synagogue and that Saul would definitely be driving if there was a meeting so that he could deliver the produce, because we would not be there this weekend. I told her this weekend was my granddaughter’s birthday in Baltimore. She told me that her granddaughter’s birthday was this coming weekend also in Silver Spring, Maryland. I offered her a ride. When she called to see if there would be accommodations (there are a dozen teenage girls staying over) her daughter-in-law was absolutely thrilled to have her there. She was positively giddy at the prospect of being there for the occasion. Total good karma all the way around!

Originally, I was only supposed to make cupcakes for the birthday kids to decorate with snowmen and penguins. Among the guests are a five-year old with a nut allergy, and one that cannot have milk or chocolate. For cupcakes, I made the Presley Bella Angelfood Cake without mixing in the cocoa. The batter made great dairy-free, nut-free, chocolate-free, and egg-yolk free cupcakes and there is not that headache of cutting an angelfood cake out of the ungreased pan. The batter made three dozen. The snowman cake is made from a sturdy and delicious sour cream pound cake recipe that I have been using for many years to make tiered wedding cakes. One of the projects that the birthday party kids are making is snowball cookies. Ordinarily, these cookies are made with lots of chopped nuts. I suggested to Jessica that we try to make them with sesame seeds instead. She called the nut-allergic child’s mother and found out that sesame seeds are okay. Last night while Saul was at the meeting, I made those to see if they would work instead of nuts. The result was fabulous and Saul declared that they are now his favorite cookie.

So here I am, bags packed, waiting for Saul to arrive to whisk us off to Baltimore. Agnes will be waiting at the train to be delivered here to take care of Mom this weekend. As a result of joining Facebook, we were invited to have dinner this evening at the home of a high school friend whom we haven’t seen in 35 years. He and his wife live only two miles away from Jessica in Baltimore. Hopefully, we will all get there safe and sound, along with our precarious, but precious snowman.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Don't put your credit cards into the eel skin wallet it magnetizes them! Or does it?