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    Rhubarb Sauce


    2013 - 07.23

    I love rhubarb. Crisp, pie, but one of my favourite ways to eat it is in sauce over ice cream or (this may be kinda weird…) on Rice Krispies with a lot of milk. By the end of it, the milk has curdled a little bit, but that’s totally the best part! I planted a rhubarb this year in a large pot and it’s doing well (as long as the aphids don’t destroy it…we have a massive ant colony in our yard and they’ve taken advantage of some of my garden. Grrr… ) but haven’t harvested it yet. Jen, David’s sister, bought a bunch of rhubarb from the farmer’s market for me and gave it to me on Mother’s Day. I cooked it into sauce, and wanted to write down the recipe here so I can finally take it off the whiteboard where it’s been since May. :/ Hopefully I’ll be able to remember it’s here so that I can calculate how much rhubarb to buy/harvest in order to make a decent amount of canned sauce. I’ve frozen the small amount of sauce I didn’t get around to eating this time around, but I’d much rather have a large batch that isn’t taking up any space in the freezer. As of this writing, we don’t have a separate freezer at our house, but that’s probably our next major household expense.  This is a crazy easy thing to make, so I mostly wanted to be able to quickly check for quantity, and because I liked the tartness/sweetness ratio I pulled off, so I wouldn’t have to experiment.

    Sorry for the weird back and forth with metric and imperial measurements, and the imprecision I put in…I’m just kinda going with what I’ve got written down, and honestly, it’s REALLY hard to screw this up.

    Karin’s Rhubarb Sauce (makes 4 cups of sauce, plus one serving over ice cream. What? I wasn’t going to waste it!)

    About 1 kg of raw rhubarb trimmed, washed and cut into approximately 1″ chunks. *
    2 cups of white sugar. **

    Put the sugar into a large pot or saucepan and warm it up (not necessary, but it seemed to melt the sugar a bit easier) then put the cut up rhubarb into the pot with the sugar and stir it up. Turn off the heat and let it sit for anywhere from 15 minutes to 3 hours until the sugar melts. The recipes I found had a range of times. Turn on the heat to about medium and cook until the rhubarb is soft (about 5-15 minutes). Make sure you’re stirring. Mash with a potato masher if you want it smoother, or leave it for a chunkier sauce. Remember that the sauce will be more tart if you leave it in chunks because the sugar probably won’t penetrate into the fruit.

    Eat right away, freeze or can using proper canning techniques.

    * DISCARD ALL LEAVES. They’re extremely toxic. Most recipes mention this, and most people know, but just in case someone stumbles across this recipe and didn’t know that. Because I have a 6 month old who likes to chew on my fingers, I also wore disposable vinyl gloves and washed up really well. Paranoid? Maybe.

    ** I like sour and bitter things a LOT (tonic water, beer, lemon etc), so this might be too tart for some people. Add sugar to taste. You can add sugar pretty much any time while the sauce is still hot, or even when serving individually. :) I’ve also heard of people using honey, which sounds freaking amazing, but I have no idea how much to substitute.

    Vaccinations


    2013 - 07.19

    (This is a post that was written in mid-March but never published for some reason. We’ve since had her 4 month shots, which she did even better at, and hopefully her 6 month shots have been scheduled. I should add that after having her days and nights completely reversed for her first 2 months, Nadia slept through the night for the first time that week, and slept well until her 4 month shots when the poor girl got her first two teeth, vaccinations and a growth spurt within about three days of each other and blew her self imposed sleep schedule all to heck.)

    David and I took Nadia for her 2 month shots this week. She did a pretty good job, although the expected, sheer outrage did occur. She got three needles, two in one leg and one in the other, plus a syringe orally. She wasn’t as upset as I thought she might be, and nursed after. We went over to visit my mom (her Oma) after, and Nadia was pretty calm for most of the time. After that, we went to Dave’s sister’s condo where we had lunch and Nadia got Grandma and Grandpa time. Nadia started getting a bit fussy later in the afternoon, partly because she had missed other usual naps during the day, and the bits of sleep she was getting weren’t as long or deep as she was used to.

    Month 6 Letter


    2013 - 07.17

    Dear Nadia,

    You are now half a year old. 6 months. 26 weeks. 182.5 days. 4,380-ish hours. Over a quarter million minutes.

    This month we started official sign language classes. We have been signing at you for most of your life (milk, change [your diaper],  mommy, daddy, bears [for your bear mobile] and a few other ones) but have started being much more consistent about it. On our first day of signing class, we’re pretty sure that you signed “milk” to us! One of the other moms in the class noticed, and was astounded that you’d learned it so quickly, but I told her that you had over 5 months of practice by then. Considering that most books say to not even bother STARTING sign language until 6 months, that’s pretty darned good! I’m starting to think that you’re also signing “change” sometimes. Those are both signs that are fairly easy to do, and they’re DEFINITELY things that need to happen a LOT, so we aren’t totally sure if you are doing them yet. You are, however, extremely mature and responsible, so it could be happening.

    On the somewhat less mature and responsible front, you’ve started biting while we’re nursing. It’s now been over three days without any biting, so I’m hoping that you’re finished that particular experiment. I think the data collection portion has now been completed.

    I’ve been doing a lot of sewing at your Oma’s house, so you’ve been spending a lot of time with her, Grandad and Honey, their corgi. I’ll be downstairs at the sewing machine and I’ll hear you and Oma laughing at each other. :)

    Your Grandma and Grandpa are in New Mexico right now for a calligraphy conference. You don’t appreciate it right now, but your Grandma makes the most amazing letter art. If you’re lucky, maybe she’ll teach you one day.

    You still love music!! We got you a second mobile, so that you can have one on your playpen and one on your crib. Sometimes you’ll be fussy and all you want is for the music to start up again, then you’ll be happy. Dad bought you a fancy clock radio that plays music from my iPhone and from the computers so that you can listen to your favourite songs without me having to leave my phone with you. You also love something called The Frame channel on TV. It’s a slideshow of nature and city photographs set to music, and you also still like the music channels. You’ve also started making your own music! You love your musical garden that lights up (and we need to change the batteries on it…it’s kind of acting weird right now), and we bought you some egg shakers from Long and McQuade because you liked them so much in our music classes. It was just this month that you started showing an interest in shaking things. I bought you a rattle when I got your teething rings a few months ago and you couldn’t care less. It wasn’t until this month that you really started getting into them. You can also make your Sophie giraffe squeak. The first time you did it, we were in the car, and your Dad and I couldn’t figure out what was going on. It turned out that she was under your leg and you were banging your leg to make her squeak!

    Speaking of music, we took you to your first Highland Games. You LOOOOOOOVED it. There was so much to see and hear. You even loved the bagpipes, something I wasn’t sure you’d be too thrilled with yet. We have a video of you moving your fingers while the pipe bands were marching and it looks like you’re playing along with them.

    We have the geckos back in our house for the summer. We had them over spring break but you didn’t really notice them, and vice versa. Now, whenever you’re on the floor, you try to get over to them and get confused as to why you can’t reach for them because they’re in a clear glass terrarium. They’re pretty fascinated with you as well, at least when they aren’t terrified that you’re going to eat them (they don’t know that you still don’t eat solid food). They keep a pretty watchful eye on you when you’re rolling around on the floor. They know better than me how quickly you can move, even though you aren’t quiiiiiiiite crawling yet.

    Your newest trick is to get all the way up on your hands and knees. You’ll rock a bit, and sometimes you can lurch forward. Between that and rolling, you’re getting pretty good at getting where you want to be. Once, I was trying to see if you would crawl, and put out one of your toys pretty far ahead of you. You reeeeeeeeached for it, and then grabbed it without moving your body! Whoops…I’d forgotten how tall you are!

    This month, you were quite a party animal. My best friend’s son, Quinn, turned 1, and we went to his birthday party. You were desperate for some of my cake and took me by surprise when you swiped at it, getting a handful of icing on your first try…and icing is my favourite part! We also went to your Aunt Susy’s bridal shower. You behaved yourself very well, and visited with all the ladies.

    I mentioned that I’d been doing some sewing. So far I’ve made you a cloth story book, a green and blue tutu, some cloth wipes and a diaper cover. I’ve got lots of plans for other things for you, and I’m excited for you to see them. I’ve even been working on the knitted blanket that I started when I was pregnant with you.  I’ve only got about 100 rows or so to go…so since I knit one or two rows every couple of days, I MIIIIIGHT just get it finished in time for your first birthday.

    This month you also travelled as far east and as far west/northwest as you’ve ever been in a car. Your Dad, you and I went on a quick day adventure to Mission looking for a special glass thermos for me, and a few days later your Grandad, you and I went to Whistler for the day. We had ice cream (well, you didn’t get yours directly…) and took a picture of you and Grandad with a bear, but don’t worry. It wasn’t a real one. Oma said that it was Bearpaw (Grandad’s nickname), a bear, and Baby Bearcub (you!). :D

    The moment you turned 6 months, you and Dad and I were at Mom ‘n’ Toes, a baby art class. We painted a picture together of a little forest with a pond. I did the background, then you helped by putting your toes on the painting for turtles, owls and goldfish. It’s super cute, and I can’t wait to see what we make in the next three sessions. Your Oma sent you a text message at exactly 11:40 am, which is the time you were born. Six months has gone by so quickly and you’ve changed so much, but you’re still my little Nadia.

    I love you,

    Mum

    Month 5


    2013 - 07.15

    Dear Nadia,

    You won’t be reading these for a few years, so you won’t notice that I’m posting this on what is actually your 6 month-eversary, but I wanted to acknowledge your fans who have been awaiting this next installment with bated breath. I’ll confess, I’ve actually had 90% of this written by pretty much a week after your 5 month-eversary but haven’t been able to pull the trigger and actually post it. I wonder how much of that is me not quite ready to acknowledge that my little baby isn’t quite so little any more.

    I should probably get used to it. I’m pretty sure that you aren’t going to be getting any smaller. :)

    You’ve been very busy this month! We’ve been working on our garden out in the front yard, and you like to lie on the grass and watch the clouds and leaves as they move over you. We’ve gone to watch Dad play Ultimate a few more times, and even gone to two disc golf tournaments. Dad was playing in one of them and he and I were in charge of another one. You were a superstar at both of them and helped me BBQ and sell hotdogs. We’ve been seeing your cousins and uncles and aunts and grandparents, and going to Galloways, and Toys R Us and Starbucks, and for walks and runs on the trail to the library, and at the track. We even visited your Aunt Jen at her work.

    Some of the biggest news happened just after you turned four months…your first tooth appeared! We had about a week of grumpiness, then a night of relief, then your SECOND tooth appeared! Now you’ve got two teeth on the bottom and you like to chew on people’s fingers. You’ve finally started rolling from your tummy back over onto your back so that you can fix yourself instead of getting mad that you’re on your face again. This also means that you can roll over and over so you can move across the floor, and we need to be extra careful when we put you on the bed or couch or change table! You’ve also learned how to play peek-a-boo. We will put the blanket over your eyes and you’ll pull it down and smile at us, but if you feel like it, you’ll also hide under the blanket yourself when we ask you if you want to hide your face, then look out at us when we ask “Where’s Nadia??”

    You’re starting to get verrrrry interested in what other people are eating. Some people think that’s a sign that you’re ready for solid food, but you’re also becoming very interested in what people are holding, and you’ll try to eat that too. You’ve become especially enamoured with my iPhone and will swipe at the screen, especially when I’m playing Candy Crush. We play a lot of music through my phone for you as well, and you’ll watch as it moves around, even when there’s nothing on the screen.

    You still like baths, your Douglas duck and your hug bug, as well as your bear mobile, but you’re also very interested in other stuffies, like your Tigger and fox (from a box). We also bought you a noisy toy (oh my!), a garden of flowers that light up and chime when you touch them. You like that one a lot, although usually you just watch when we set the flowers off.

    Hopefully I’ll get your 6 month letter up in a bit more timely manner, but hey! At least I can’t be any later with these unless I want to owe you two!

    Love,
    Mum