First, overdue thanks again to the following lovely ladies for the stylish blogger award! I'm not going to repost the picture, or write seven more things about myself, but I encourage you to go show them some blog love.
Dawn at http://dawn-black.blogspot.com/
Maria at http://missionfertilesoul.blogspot.com/
Tracy at http://juststoptryinganditwillhappen.com/
Esperanza at http://secondhandhappiness.blogspot.com
I'm still not feeling particularly stylish, but I do feel a bit heroic this weekend. It happened like this ...
My son is a particularly emotionally intelligent little boy. He can read me better than almost anyone I know, and knows exactly what I need to hear. Case in point: when I told him, before N. was born, that I was worried that I wouldn't get to spend enough time with him once the baby arrived, and that I would miss him, he said, very matter-of-factly, "Well, Mom, when the baby is old enough, we'll spend time together. I'll still love you."
Mind you, my son is four. He should charge for therapy.
Yesterday, I asked him if he'd like to go for a bike ride. It had been a while since we've done anything alone together--since N's arrival three months ago, to be exact--and though the timing of children's naps didn't work out for me to go for a run, I thought this might be a good substitute to get me some exercise (not that I'm going to rid myself of my flab in time for bikini season, but whatever). Last summer, we got, second hand, one of those fabulous trailer bikes, which is basically the rear end of a normal bicycle designed to turn your adult bike into a kid-friendly tandem (basically all the kid needs to do is balance him or herself on the bike; pedaling is completely optional). When the kid does not pedal, it's a LOT of work, even though the attachment itself is relatively light. This year it seems that I. actually understands the pedaling concept, though, and we were about two and a half miles from home, enjoying the misty afternoon when suddenly ...
I felt my seat give way, and then, I was sitting on nothing at all.
It turned out that the bolt holding the seat onto my bike had snapped in half, leaving bits and pieces of seat hardware strewn across the road. I told I. to get off, and surveyed the damage, holding the seat in my hand. "I don't know, kiddo," I said, "we may have to walk back." My mind was reeling, thinking that at a four year old pace, we'd never get back in time for N's next feeding, and we had no phone to call home. N. is refusing bottles. This could be very, very bad.
"It's OK, Mom," he said, voice trembling, "I was tired of pedaling anyway."
I could have kissed him. And something about the way he said it, so reassuringly, made me think that maybe I could be the hero here, make this work after all. I gathered up the hardware, put the seat on the post, and held onto it with my inner thighs. I told him we were going to give it a shot.
He seemed impressed by this, and climbed back on. Though pedaling was even more of a significant challenge now than it had been before, I somehow managed to keep the seat on most of the way back, stopping twice to keep it from slipping out from under me. After some harrowing run-ins with the downtown traffic, we arrived home, cheering, feeling like we'd survived a great adventure. "We made it, Mommy," he said, beaming. I handed I. the seat and told him to go tell his father that he'd lost me on the way. He grinned and took off towards the back yard.
The amazing thing is, I don't think I would have tried to jury-rig the seat if he hadn't been there. I confess, I surprised myself. I didn't want to disappoint him; I wanted to make it right, to fix it. All I had to do was decide I could.
In food blog world these days, stuffed desserts seem to be all the rage. It's sort of like the turducken approach applied to sweets: brownie stuffed cookies, cookie stuffed brownies, etc. I think the reason we find this concept so appealing is that we love being surprised by what's inside.
And why wouldn't we be? Here's to the surprises in all of us.
makes 2 dozen cookies
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. pure maple syrup
3 T. non-dairy milk
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. + 2 T. unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
3/4 c. natural salted peanut butter
2/3 c. confectioner’s sugar
2 T. non-dairy milk
1/4 t. vanilla extract
In a large mixing bowl combine oil, sugar, maple syrup, non-dairy milk and vanilla extract and mix until smooth. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, black cocoa if using, baking soda and salt. Mix to form a moist dough.
Make the filling. In another mixing bowl beat together peanut butter, confectioner’s sugar, 2 tablespoons of soy creamer and vanilla extract to form a moist but firm dough. If peanut butter dough is too dry (as different natural peanut butters have different moisture content), stir in remaining tablespoon of non-dairy milk. If dough is too wet knead in a little extra powdered sugar.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line bakings sheet with parchment paper.
Place dough balls on lined baking sheets about 2 inches apart and bake for 10 minutes. Remove sheet from oven and let cookies for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to complete cooling. Store cookies in tightly covered container. If desired warm cookies in a microwave for 10 to 12 seconds before serving.