The Preslar Family

The Preslar Family
December 2017

Friday, February 20, 2009

Oh My Ganache

Tonight was our ward's annual chili cookoff. I think this activity is more popular and is better attended than any other activity our church does, including the Christmas party. It really is so much fun. Well, since Troy shot an elk this year he was determined to add an elk chili to the lineup. There was also a dessert contest so I decided to enter that one myself. Troy and I decided on a tasty looking chili con carne recipe found in The Joy of Cooking and then made a few special modifications. For the dessert I used a double-decker chocolate sour cream cake recipe, filled with whipped cream and topped with fresh berries and ganache. Oh. It was awesome. The kids and I spent the afternoon cooking and baking away and I have to say that assembling the cake became a family affair. It only takes a little cream and chocolate melting together on the stove for the family to come running and pretty soon we all found ourselves dipping in fingers, spoons and left-over berries into the extra chocolate concoction. We tried to keep our actual tongues out of the pot. But we did get a little greedy. It wasn't long until we all had not only brown fingers and dripping chins, but even the dog was partaking off the floor. It was a party. And we were all very happy. We got cleaned up just in time to head off to the church, chili and cake in tow. I'm very glad we all ate up that yummy chocolate before we left because our cake got reduced to a few crumbs before any of us got a single taste. Stomper was especially disappointed, so I foresee additional cake making at our house in the near future. (Darn.)

How did the chili do, you ask? Well, I have to say, it rocked. To quote the Simpsons, "Well if it isn't the pope of chili town!" We did not take away first place, (that went very deservedly to my friend Tressa - I must have her recipe) but we did manage three awards. The first award was The Meatiest (something to be proud of, I'd say). We then won the (???) Best Vegetarian. This was due no doubt to the fact that not a single pot of chili there was vegetarian, and someone decided that wild-caught elk was the closest thing to meat-free. (Okay...) But we did win the 2nd best overall, which I credit to the fact that we labeled our chili as the one with the elk meat, officially, "New Mexican Chili with Elk." There were so many chilis there that there was no way everyone was going to try every single one. (Okay, I did. I didn't even sit down at a table - I just walked behind the chili line with a spoon and cup in hand and tried a taste of each. There were some definite stand outs. I think that #9 got totally hosed. It was good. And #3 was so hot that I was dripping sweat for the next 45 minutes.) So you have to draw a little attention to yours so that people will actually try it.

I think chili cook-offs need to be a more common occurance. After all, you know the saying,

"Beans Beans Good for the Heart
Beans Beans....Great for the Heart!"

How Did This Happen?

What a week we've had. Troy was in New Orleans for a conference for most of the week, so I did my best at single parenting. (And now three of the four of us could use a little therapy.) Troy's hotel was on the corner of Canal and Bourbon Streets, the two streets in New Orleans I've actually heard of. And it was Mardi Gras this week. You'd think that would be fun, right? Crazy. I think Troy was a little put off by the whole thing, especially the lovely "Hollywood Hustler" club that was right below his window. I think he did have a good time though - he really tried to take advantage of the chance to partake of the local cuisine. Beans and rice, crab cakes, jambalaya, shrimp.... wish I could have been with him. It would have been really fun. By the way, I would like to know why it is that all things nasty happen while Troy is away. Last time he was gone it was the pink donut episode. This time? More barfing, colds, backed up toilets and all seems to hit during his absence. But we survived. Just barely. (Did I mention therapy?)

The kids had both Monday and Tuesday off so I was scrambling to find stuff to do. I think it was on Monday that some friends came over in the morning, children in tow, and the usual happened. Every single bucket of small colorful plastic items got dumped out. Now, I wouldn't have it any other way, of course. I want the kids to have a good time and enjoy the toys we have. I'm so grateful that we have toys to play with at all. But I did have to ask myself how on EARTH we ended up with toys up to our eyeballs. When Stomper was little we used to go to someone's house and I'd be sort of aghast at the toy levels, and here we are, worst of all! The thing is, I really love our collection of toys - we've tried hard to collect fun and interesting things. But the process of picking them all up one by one really emphasizes the overwhelming number and it's a little embarrassing. And after everyone left my brother Peter called to say he was in town, and he and his wife and cutie pie daughter came over for dinner, along with my sister Margaret, two of her three girls plus a friend came too. Yes. You guessed it. Every bucket of small colorful plastic items got dumped out. And I sorted them all out again. I felt again the enormity of overload. I guess I'll just keep on being grateful that we have toys to play with.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Maternal Insanity

I really thought I understood the concept of cause and effect, of choice and consequence, but sometimes I just don't seem to internalize it. Or care. I mean, I KNEW that if I went to a late movie with Misty then naturally I would be tired today. Really tired. But I just couldn't stop myself. I mean, Troy was gone last week, he's leaving again on Sunday, and this week has been a little high on the tantrum scale with the kids. Look at this picture of Bitty:

I just had to take this picture of her after Troy went and got her from about her 20th trip to time out in one day. Her face was so splotchy, her hair so crazed from rubbing it around on her pillow as she wept that, despite being short of temper, I just had to smile and get out the camera. I'm sure this is the kind of parenting day I will eventually block out. Much of the week followed suit. So, even though Troy actually had to wake me up before Misty came to get me, I wanted to go to a movie.

We went to see Australia, which was pretty good. I didn't know that it had been directed by the same guy who did Moulin Rouge, and it started off with some of the same quirky-jerky whimsical style which didn't seem to match the mood of the movie. The story line came to a nice resolution about 1/2 way through, and so we almost left because we were so tired. I'm glad we stayed for the 2nd half - I liked it better. And anyway, a little extra time with Hugh Jackman is hardly a waste of time, even though his muscles are getting so big that his neck is starting to have a larger circumference than his head. Also, someone tell Nicole Kidman, "No more surgery for you!"

The Claw

Several weeks ago I found myself with some alone time with Stomper. (Wow!) He requested a trip to the local Natural History Museum, and seeing as how it was the first Monday of the month and therefore the free day, I could find nothing to stop us. As always, he lingered long in the gift shop, and I did let him choose a small souvenir to take home. He picked out a plastic replica of a Utah Raptor claw with a magnet on one side. He enjoyed it for a few days, and then kind of forgot about it, mostly because he was disappointed that we couldn't get the magnet off without destroying the thing. This week he rediscovered it and asked if we could tape it between two of his fingers. I'm so happy that he's had a revival of his dino-love. He's totally been into playing dinosaurs again and it just makes me happy. I guess when the claw is taped between two of his toes that makes him a raptor, but then he's quite uncomfortable. Not worth it. But if he keeps it taped between two of his fingers then he's actually a baryonyx, which is a predator with long claws that they think was a fish-eater. Information I'm certain you needed to know. He's enjoyed it so much that it's actually been quite challenging to separate Stomper from his new appendage. He's even fallen asleep with it twice. We forgot it was there and he spent the night with it on, and begged to wear it through school. There's where I had to put my foot down, but other than that, he's pretty much been in constant dino-mode, terrorizing the household. He cracks me up. I love it.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Bad Donut

Shhhh. Listen quietly. You just may be able to hear the toll of doom. I should have heard it myself when my sweet and innocent daughter chose her donut from the case yesterday, but I wasn't paying attention. It seemed so benign, just sitting there on its little tray, lined up so carefully next to all the other donuts, waiting for some sweet child to be beguiled by its lucious pink frosting and gentle smattering of sprinkles. And we were beguiled, oh we were. As often happens on a trip to the grocery store I had bargained for my childrens' good behavior with the promise of the reward of all rewards: a donut. Is there anything better? Not usually, but this time was different. I don't think poor Bitty can ever trust a donut again. Stomper did okay - he went with your typical cake variety, topped with little more than an extra helping of powdered sugar, but Bitty saw that shiny pink frosting and there was nothing she wanted more on earth than that donut. I guess I have to admit, as I watched her eating it in her typical style, from the top down, and her mouth, lips and tongue turned a livid shade of peptobismol pink, that I knew deep down that something was just not right. It wasn't until we arrived in our driveway and I started hauling in a few groceries that I had an inkling of what was really headed our way. Donut left unfinished, dangling from her limp fingers, Bitty solemnly declared, "Mommy, I don't feel so good." Now do you hear the tolling of the bell?

Da Da Da Duuuummmmmm....

I have never seen pink puke before, and I'll tell you, it's a sight to behold. I don't think I'll ever forget it. I hope to never see it again. I don't think that likely since today, as I drove to the same store we had been at yesterday to purchase a forgotten item on the list, Bitty cried out in terror, "That's the store with the donuts!!!!"